1. The Peer Review Results
Generally, the SER is well prepared. There is specific and clear goal for the School to offer the program. The unique contribution of MPIE is on Islamic economy and Syariah system. The School places more emphasis on benchmarking and comparison with universities overseas, and hiring only international supporting faculty members. It may also be necessary for the School to look at internal strengths and weaknesses and pay more attention to local conditions and needs.
University of Brawijaya is considered one of the top ten best universities in Indonesia. Most of its study programs got the highest accreditation (accredited A) by National Accreditation Board for Higher Education (BAN-PT). Furthermore, all of the study programs at FEB-UB received A accreditation from BAN PT, indicating that FEB-UB is one of the most reputable Faculties of Economics and Business in Indonesia. This includes MPIE.
MPIE was established in July 2001 and since then has gained substantial reputation, especially in East Java, based on their academic tradition and practices. The program itself is the third study program in the faculty seeking ABEST21 international accreditation after Master of Management and Master of Accounting Programs. MPIE is a two-year (thesis) program and grants a Master of Economics (ME) degree upon completion of the academic requirements. Faculty members involved in MPIE’s academic activities are very strong (24 full-time members), and many of them are foreign graduates (more than 60%). The curriculum is well structured and the program has three specializations:
- Public Finance Management
- Monetary, Banking and Finance
- Islamic Finance and Economy.
Even though not at an excellent level, research tradition is very good, involving collaborative work among lecturers and students. Research funding has also been increasing year by year. Networking and engagement with industry as well as public sectors have been very good. However, relationships with alumni and alumni engagement still need to be improved and developed so that the program will have a better positioning among similar programs nationally. The goal of MPIE is to have integrated actions among lecturers, practitioners, and alumni in the educational process.
On the SWOT Analysis and the School’s Strategies.
Generally, the SWOT analysis and strategies cover essential items related to the program, financial aspect, staffs, students, and facilities. Cross referencing has been conducted in the analysis. For the program, program’s uniqueness still needs to be further elaborated. For students, the School recognizes its weakness in terms of limited student numbers from overseas and outside Java, and efforts have been implemented to increase the number of foreign students as well as students from outside Java.
On Globalizing the School’s Management Education.
The School has taken appropriate measures to globalize its educational program. Main activities include staff and students exchange programs, curricular revisions to ensure they are compatible with other universities, accreditation to get international recognition, and publication in international journals to increase its visibility. On top of these efforts, it is also essential for the School to consider bringing international content into curriculum design. The School has set clear goals and gradual international initiatives.
On Humanizing the School’s Management Education.
It is not so clear what are the activities conducted by the School to create or enhance the humanization process in its educational program. One possible aspect is the attempt to include local spiritual values (local wisdom) in the curriculum. However, the students seem to understand the meaning of humanizing well. During the on-site interview, one student shared her understanding of humanization of management as “how to make oneself relevant and useful for the community”.
On Collaborating with Industries in Management Education.
There are a number of activities conducted by the School to foster a closer relationship with the industry. Industry representatives take part in curriculum development and revision and also joint research, or act as guest lecturers.
Most of the (18) standards have been fulfilled by the School. On Chapter One: Mission Statement, only Standard Four needs some improvement. On Chapter Two: Educational Program, Standard Five needs further improvement. On Chapter Three: Students, Standard Nine needs some improvement. On Chapter Four: Faculty, Standard Thirteen needs further improvement. On Chapter Five: Supporting Staff and Infrastructure, all standards are fulfilled and hence no further issues for improvement.
Based on the PRT Review both through desk review as well as on-site interview, MPIE is an excellent program residing in an excellent faculty (FEB) within an excellent university. Therefore, it deserves a high rating similar to the rating (accreditation) by BAN-PT of Indonesia.
New facts based on the on-site interview
University of Brawijaya is in Malang, East Java, Indonesia. Malang is a midsize city with mild (not too hot) climate which makes it a good place for studying. Compared to Jakarta, Malang is more human and more student friendly. The on-site visit by PRT reveals this fact. As a study program, MPIE has excellent facilities for academic as well as non-academic purposes. Classes are very modern and equipped with LCD projectors and air conditioned. Overall infrastructure is excellent.
Curriculum is well structured and it is one of the strong points of the program. Curriculum is designed and implemented as an applied science with substantial content of business either as science or as practices. Networking and engagement with the industrial sector are also very good even though there are not many large manufacturing companies in the region. In this regard, SMEs play an important part in the collaboration.
Humanizing the School’s education is conducted through the integration of ethics as well as local wisdom into the curriculum as well as teaching practices. Globalizing the School’s education, on the other hand, is conducted through international partnerships, international accreditation, and curriculum updates.
With these reviews combined, we conclude our evaluation as follows.
“The Program’s educational and research activities generally satisfy ABEST21 Applied Economics Accreditation Standards. The Program’s Quality Improvement plans are good and quality maintenance and prospects for the improvement of education and research are promising.”
2. The Period of Quality Assurance
Accreditation commences from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021 for a five-year period.
3. Good Practices in Management Education
Integration between lecturers, practitioners, and alumni in the educational process.
In line with the mission statement developing the applied economics field, MPIE encourages the integration between lecturers, practitioners who are qualified and experienced to practice a particular occupation or specialization, and alumni who are competent and qualified relating to the some particular subject to share their success story and experiences. Specifically, practitioners and alumni are actively involved in the educational process as guest lecturer series and tutorial. Some of them are included in the lecturer expertise group. Regular field trip or site visit are held to the specific places related to the educational process to see and understand the real condition of business and economy, such as to the local government offices, private bank, and Indonesian central bank.
Lecturers Expertise Group and Updated Curriculum
Each subject in MPIE are taught by a team consisting of 2-3 lecturers based on their expertise. To ensure the dynamics of the knowledge and the needs of the labour market, practitioners are actively involved providing the recommendation for the curriculum that support the needs of the business environment and the needs of the labour market. This makes sure that the curriculum are updated and linked with the economy and business conditions. All tasks of this expertise group include teaching preparation, evaluation, site visit/field trip preparation, and any updated improvement and innovation of the knowledge development.
To ensure the program is updated and consistent internationally (with other university overseas), some benchmarking are also conducted particularly with partner universities such as National Pingtung University Science and Technology (Taiwan), Universiti Sains Malaysia, and Naresuan University Thailand. The benchmarking with partner universities is also to ensure that the curriculum is updated and comparable with the curriculum used overseas or internationally.
Subjects with Local or Spiritual Values
Another uniqueness of MPIE is the local values subject offered in the curriculum. As a compulsory subject, Indonesian business and economy subject explains some local characters or values of economy in Indonesia such as cooperative economy (ekonomi koperasi), team work effort and management (gotong royong), economic and business ethics, and society-oriented economy (ekonomi kerakyatan). Meanwhile, as specialization courses, some subjects including business environment and public policy, economics of financial institutions, and Islamic financial and economy specialization also discuss the management of business, finance and public policy with local and spiritual values.
“Competence-based teaching and learning method”
- MPIE encourages the integration among lecturers, practitioners who are qualified and experienced in a particular occupation or specialization, and alumni who are competent and qualified in some particular subject to share their success stories and experiences.
- MPIE uses team teaching in which each subject is taught by a team consisting of 2-3 lecturers based on their respective fields. The goal is to make the subject become more balanced and well rounded. Benchmarking is utilized to make the curriculum up to date nationally as well as internationally.
- Many MPIE courses contain local as well as spiritual values. In this case, cooperation and team work become keys in conducting business.
Furthermore, the School has implemented competence-based teaching and learning method. The School has a clearly defined curriculum that encompasses structured competence standards which provides both theoretical and practical knowledge to students.
4. Matters to be noted
MPIE is the first ‘business economics’ study program seeking international accreditation from ABEST21. The ‘business’ colors are represented by several subjects in the curriculum (such as Business Environment and Public Policy) and also in the content of many of the subjects (e.g. Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, and Econometrics are all applied). The ‘business’ content within the program is significant enough so that there was no hesitation among the PRT members to assert that the School can receive ABEST21 accreditation.
Furthermore, the program is considered the best regionally, in East Java, and it is also well known outside Java like in Kalimantan and Sulawesi. As such, it goes without saying that the program deserves some international recognition and reputation.
Among the three specializations, Islamic Finance and Economy is the fastest growing specialization compared with the two others in terms of popularity and advancement and innovation in the area of curriculum development.