Accreditation is the spirit of both state universities (PTN) and private universities (PTS). However, the real condition shows that there are still a number of lecturers, especially state universities who do not yet have awareness of the importance of accreditation.
Before the existence of the Higher Education National Accreditation Board (BAN PT), accreditation was often only applied to private universities. In Article 52 Chapter XI of the 1989 National Education System Law, it is stated that the government shall supervise the implementation of education carried out by the government and by the community in the framework of fostering the development of the education unit concerned. Accreditation that is only carried out for private universities makes accreditation a form of government recognition of the existence of higher education institutions that are run by the community.
However, this condition has changed since 1994 with the existence of BAN PT which was formed to assist the government in its efforts to carry out its duties and obligations to carry out quality control and efficiency of higher education. The establishment of BAN PT shows that accreditation of tertiary institutions in Indonesia is basically the responsibility of the government and applies to all tertiary institutions, both public and private. This also shows the government’s intention and concern in fostering higher education institutions, serving the interests of the community, and advancing science and technology to improve people’s lives and enrich national culture.
Now accreditation no longer differentiates PTN and PTS. Thus, the definition of accreditation in the world of higher education is the recognition of an educational institution that guarantees minimum standards so that its graduates meet the qualifications to continue their education to a higher level or enter specialization education, or to be able to carry out their professional practice (to recognize an educational institution as maintaining standards that qualify the graduates for admission to higher or more specialized institutions or for professional practice).
Accreditation is a form of external quality assurance system, namely a process used by authorized institutions to provide formal recognition that an institution has the ability to carry out certain activities. Thus, accreditation protects the public from fraud by irresponsible parties.
The characteristic of accreditation by BAN PT is that the assessment is carried out by peer experts from outside the relevant institution (external peer reviewer) and is carried out voluntarily for universities that organize a study program. This activity begins with conducting a self-evaluation of the components of the input, process, and products of the higher education institution that organizes the study program and sends the report to the assessor institution.
The assessment carried out in the accreditation process has a dual purpose, namely:
- Inform the performance of higher education to the community.
- Suggest guidance steps that need to be taken, especially by universities and the government, as well as community participation.
The recognition rating given by the government to tertiary institutions is based on the results of higher education accreditation carried out by BAN PT, by accrediting which includes accreditation of institutions and accreditation of study programs.
The assessment criteria for institutional accreditation consist of:
- Higher education organizing license
- Requirements and eligibility for higher education delivery
- The relevance of implementing educational programs with development
- College performance
- The efficiency of higher education management
While the assessment criteria for accreditation of study programs consist of:
- Study program operating license
- The conformity of study program implementation with statutory regulations
- The relevance of the study program
- Facilities and infrastructure
- Efficiency of study program administration
- Productivity of study programs
- Quality of graduates
The classification of the assessment for all these criteria is determined by three aspects, namely quality (weight 50%), efficiency (25%), and relevance (25%).
In terms of benefits, accreditation is also useful for proposing institutional projects. A college with A accreditation can propose a project with a value of several billion or million, the magnitude of which will be different compared to a university with B or C accreditation.
Several agencies and even private companies have required that their prospective employees must come from a university with a minimum accreditation of B or even A. Therefore, several universities provide photocopies of accreditation certificates to their graduates. This is based on the higher education’s awareness of the needs of the current world of work.
The quality of graduates and the accreditation of institutions and study programs depends more or less on the quality of lecturers. These lecturers play a big role in determining the value of accreditation and ensuring quality graduates. Lecturers are required to have a sense of belonging to the study program at the college where they belong.
The lecturers should no longer use the old mindset, namely, work does not work, diligently is not diligent and still gets paid. Lecturers must have the awareness that accreditation is very important for graduates and the sustainability of the study program. Thus the quality of education in tertiary institutions will increasingly show a significant increase, along with the awareness of lecturers in maintaining and increasing the accreditation of the tertiary institutions where they serve.