IABEE launched to the public by Minister of RTHE
Celebration of the 24th National Technology Day (HAKTEKNAS) in Denpasar, Bali, has become a historic milestone for IABEE’s journey. During the Scientific Activities opening ceremony – one of many HAKTEKNAS events – conducted at INNA Bali Beach Hotel on the morning of August 26, 2019, Minister of Research, Technology, and Higher Education (RTHE) H. E. Mohamad Nasir launched IABEE and 3 newly established Independent Accreditation Boards (LAM) to the public. The new LAMs include LAM SAMA (for mathematics and natural sciences programs), LAM EMBA (for economics, management, business, and accounting), and LAM Education. The launching ceremony was symbolized by pressing a start button together by the Minister, Director General (DG) of Students Learning Affairs (Belmawa), and representatives of IABEE and the new LAMs. IABEE Chair of Executive Committee Prof. Misri Gozan, PE represents IABEE during the ceremony. The historic moment was also witnessed by PII Chairman Dr. Heru Dewanto, PE and JICA Indonesia Office representative Ms. Fitri Arifin. With the launching, IABEE now gained a wider recognition from the government and the public as a pioneering accreditation board owned by the nation who conducts an international-level accreditation on a voluntary basis.
During a coordination meeting between DG Belmawa, DG Kelembagaan (Institutions), BAN-PT (National Accreditation Agency for Higher Education), IABEE, and 3 new LAMs held on the afternoon after the launching ceremony, it was explained, among others, that PII/IABEE is going to be mandated as a LAM to conduct compulsory-national accreditation for engineering programs. With this new mandate, in the near future IABEE will include 2 divisions within its organization, i.e. international and national divisions. The international division is to carry out the international-level accreditation according to the multilateral agreements joined by IABEE (e.g. Washington Accord and Seoul Accord). Currently, IABEE is a provisional signatory member of the Washington Accord. Meanwhile, national division will conduct the national accreditation supervised by BAN-PT. Independency from intervention of any party, including the government, in the evaluation and decision making processes of program accreditation is to be maintained by IABEE in carrying out the two mandates.
Ministry of RTHE’s DG Institutions Patdono Suwignjo during the meeting explained the policy of the ministry that national accreditation for programs has several levels starting from the minimum level required to open new programs, and subsequently stepping up to ranks good (previously C), very good (B), and excellent (A). International-level accreditation is seen as the next level that can be achieved voluntarily by the selected programs having the highest rank in their national accreditation. With this concept, more detailed policies and procedures are to be devised so that by having accredited at international-level, programs would be exempted from or no longer required to undertaking national accreditation.
In the context of engineering program accreditation, such a policy should be easier to implement because both, national and international accreditations would be provided by single accreditation board, i.e. IABEE, although technically undertaken by its two different divisions. In addition, the new directions on national accreditation are moving towards emphasizing output and outcomes aspects of the program; an emphasis that has been adopted in international-level accreditation for long time. In this viewpoint, the aspects of input and process are seen as components necessary to achieve the established output and outcomes requirements. This is a good direction to achieve alignment between the two accreditations. For that reason, in the near future IABEE will align its accreditation criteria and instruments for national and international accreditation services in order to implement the policy. (BK)