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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs             25  July 2011

Indo bureaucracy limits number of professors

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Intellectual brilliance is apparently not enough to become a professor in Indonesia. Several academics say that a tolerance of paperwork and bureaucracy is needed.

Sjafri Mangkuprawira, a professor emeritus of human resources management professor at the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), said he had to wait almost 35 years before he was promoted to professor – despite his lengthy academic and professional resume.

“According to the existing rules, I had to first publish a textbook before I could apply for the [professor]title. But I was just too busy to work on it,” said the grandfather of seven, who also worked as an expert for the Agriculture Ministry and the Cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises Ministry.

Sjafri, who has taught at IPB since 1969, published his first textbook, Strategic Human Resources Management, in 2001. Two years later, after he turned 60, the respected scholar was promoted to professor and elected the chairman of the IPB’s academic senate. He retired in 2008.

“I know I was too old when I finally secured the title. But I never regretted it,” Sjafri said.

In contrast, Jasmal A. Syamsu, a professor of husbandry science at Hasanuddin University (Unhas) in Makassar, South Sulawesi, is among a few scholars who have made faster academic progress.

Jasmal, lauded by his colleagues as a prolific writer and researcher, was named a professor in May 2009, just a few months shy of his 41st birthday, making him one of the youngest professors at the university.

Indonesia’s higher education system promotes university educators based on a point system.

A member of the teaching staff, at the bottom of the scale, requires 100 points to be promoted to associate lecturer, while a professor requires at least 1,050 credit points.

University educators must accumulate credit points in three different areas: teaching, research and social activities. .

According to the National Education Ministry, there were currently 4,717 professors out of a total of 197,922 university educators at Indonesia’s 83 state universities and more than 3,000 private institutions.

Only 213 academics were named professors in 2010, down from 394 in 2009 and 620 in 2008.


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