Aiming to provide insights on the current situation of financial sustainability in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Indonesia, SMART CITY UI carries out a high quality research through the project of HEIGHTS (Higher Education Institutions Generating Holistic and Transformative Solutions), which is a sub-project of SHARE (Supporting Holistic Actionable Research in Education), in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame and USAID. It focuses on investigating how HEIs operate and what their strategies are to remain financially sustainable. This project is originally divided in three phases and is currently in the final phase. In Phase 1, which took approximately three months from February to May 2022, the literature review and identification of key stakeholders were conducted. This was followed by the Phase 2, where the designated workshop using?workshops using systems thinking and actor mapping methods held in August 2022.?
Moreover, in Phase 3, this research was initially organised to be disseminated to validate the findings to relevant stakeholders, which was held on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, at the Aloft TB Simatupang Hotel, in South Jakarta. This event was attended by 35 participants who are the directors, leaders, and/or representatives from the financial departments of HEIs in Indonesia, as well as the central government representatives, that were previously selected as the research samples, such as: Institut Teknologi Sumatera (ITERA), Universitas Hasanudin (UNHAS), Universitas Pendidikan Ganesha (Undiksha), Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR), the Ministry of Higher Education and Culture, Research and Technology, the National Planning and Development Agency and the Ministry of Finance, etc.
This research dissemination was officially opened by the Head of the Research Team from SMART CITY Center Universitas Indonesia, Ahmad Gamal, S.Ars, M.Si, M.UP, Ph.D., who also serves as its Advisor. In brief, Dr. Gamal introduced the study and its current findings, and highlighted that "the main characteristics of financial sustainability in HEIs are good management, quality of lecturers or human resources, good governance and good reputation. This forms a circle, to have a good reputation HEIs must have good management, but the opposite can happen; with a good reputation HEIs will end up having good management" said Dr. Gamal.
The Institutional Director of the Ministry of Higher Education and Culture, Research and Technology, Dr. Lukman, S.T., M. Hum, also presented a keynote speaker representing the government perspective. Dr. Lukman explained that the government has played its role to support the financial sustainability in HEIs in Indonesia. In its attempt to support HEIs, the government has launched 5 policy directions: (1) increasing participation rates (2) improving quality and relevance, (3) improving the quality of educators' training (4) strengthening the governance system, and (5) strengthening research, innovation, and community service. By upgrading HEIs status to be the Legal Entities (PTN-BH), the 5 policy directions then can be achieved. "One of the strategies to support HEIs to be financially healthy is by encouraging them to become PTN-BH and progressively escalating their accreditation in the international sphere to increase international competitiveness and collaboration" shared Dr. Lukman.
Through this research dissemination, SMART CITY UI received various inputs and insights from the constructive discussions with all participants regarding important findings discovered by the research team from interviews, surveys and financial reports that had been collected. In the future, SMART CITY UI expects that research findings can be used a reference related to strategies HEIs must have to be financially sustainable. The discussion results and inputs from this event will be further incorporated into a research report by the research team at SMART CITY UI.
SMART CITY Universitas Indonesia