A Study of the Curriculum of Indonesia’s Existing Five Graduate LIS Programs

By: Sulistyo-Basuki
Source: Sulistyo-Basuki's Blog


Although the library education in Indonesia has been in existence  since 1952, the  formal division of academic and vocational program for librarian just begin in 1987 when the government issued a decree on the vocational (then called diploma program ) and academic program. The academic program consist  of undergraduate, graduate and doctorate  programs. The 1987 decree marked the differences from the previous educational system inherited from the Dutch system and has been  operated for decades. The Dutch-inherited-educational system consist of   Sardjana Muda program  (a three years course after senior high school), Sarjana (five years studying after senior high school) and direct to doctorate program.  Prior to 1987 decree, there are known about  7 institutions which produced Sarjana holders and the opinion of that time is that Sarjana degree is more or less than bachelors’ degree, in Anglo-Saxon context,  hence it is  necessary to open graduate program or Pascasarjana (in Bahasa Indonesia). Based on the  1987 government decree, the  University of Indonesia established the nation’s first graduate program in library and information science in 1990,  followed by University of   Padjadjaran (in Bandung, West Java) in 2003, Gadjah Mada University (Yogyakarta) in 2003,  Bogor  Agricultural University (in Bogor, West Java) in 2006 and Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University (Yogyakarta) in 2008.. Before 2000, the operation of graduate programs is conducted by School of Graduate Studies, but afterward the operations was  transferred to the related  departments of the faculty (for example LIS department at the University of Indonesia is under  the supervision of the  Faculty of Humanities, University of Padjadjaran under Faculty of Communication, Bogor Agricultural University under School of Mathematics and Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada under Faculty of Humanities and  Sunan Kalijaga under Faculty of Adab  (whch means in Arabic  civilization, it means Humanities). A survey was conducted on the curriculum LIS  graduate programs.The methods used are inspecting the  available documents such as brochures, reports,etc., web  site visits, physical visits  to each program, interviews with the department head and personal communication with the concerning parties. The survey found that only three  courses are similar that are Research methods,  Seminar on research proposals and Theses;  between two or three courses  have the same component although different names, while the others are totally different. The differences are caused by the  different Faculties  which supervise the programs, for example at Bogor Agricultural University the program are operated by the Department of Computer Science hence their courses and theses  stress on technological aspects,  University of Padjadjaran under the Department of Communication  caused the research topics mainly on communication, or communication-related-topics  while at Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University under the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies which indirectly influenced the theses should be directly or indirectly to Islam,; while  the programs  at the University of Indonesia and Gadjah Mada University although under the Faculty of Humanities, there are differences  caused by the different background of the lecturers and the different approaches toward LIS It is suggested that there should be a consortia consists of those five graduate programs resembling the LIS undergraduate consortium established in 2012, the possibility of developing a nation-wide-compulsory courses for graduate programs with the credit hours as minimum as possible so that the operator could developed the other courses to adjust to the unique institutions’ vision and mission and  also iti is suggested that there are regular meetings among the operators.

Keywords: Indonesia, Library Education, Library and Information Science, Graduate Program


Although library education in Indonesia has been e xisted since  1952 with the opening of Kursus Pendidikan Pegawai Perpustakaan (Sulistyo, 1992; Vreede de Stuers, 1953 ; Soemarsidik 1961; Sulistyo,1994) however the existence of graduate education for Library and Information Science (LIS) was just began in 1989  when the government issued  Act of National Educational System. . That Act abolished the Dutch-inherited system which consists of Sarjana Muda (three years after senior high school, Sarjana five years after senior high school) and Doktor degrees.. That year marked the recognition  of the higher education program which consists of professional and academic mainstream. This recognition was reinforced by National Educational System Act in 1989. The latest act on higher education is Higher education Act 0f 2012 which divide higher education into vocational and academic programs. Formerly vocational program was known as program prosesional based on 1989 National Educational System Act. (Undang-Undang…1989)

The  vocational program was conducted through  Program Diploma (Diploma Program) which began from Diploma 1 through 4, then continued to Magister Terapan latter on to Doktor Terapan programme.(Diploma 1 means it was one-year course after senior high school, diploma 2 is two –year course etc. Program Magister Terapan is a graduate programe after finishing Diploma which is a terminal program because after finishing specialist, he or she could not continue to doctorate program. The academic program began with program Sarjana which is equal to undergraduate studies , then followed by  Program Pascasarjana  or graduate and or post-graduate program. This pascasarjana program is equal to master’s degree program in the Anglo-Saxon system.

The current system as result of Higher Education Act of 12 is slightly different from the 1989 National Educational System Act. The professional program was changed to vocational program, consist of diploma program (from diploma 1 to 4), continued to graduate program called application master  degree, then followed by doctorate degree called application doctorate.  For academic program  is till the same with 1989 National Educational Act  i.s. program sarjana, pascasarjana and doktor or undergraduate, graduate and doctorate degree program. However the latest development was beyond the scope of this paper.

Establishment of graduate schools.

Based on the 1989 National Education Act, University of Indonesia (Jakarta) established its LIS graduate program in 1990, followed by a special project from then Ministry of Education to train manpower in its 27 provincial offices. The Ministry appointed 27 candidates taken from the existing provinces and applied to University of Indonesia on certain condition that their proposed candidates should be accepted in University of Indonesia’s LIS graduate program without entrance exams, but they could pay the tuition as required by the university (at that time the tuition for LIS program is higher than the Faculty of Letters’ gradute program).

The University of Indonesia’s School of Graduate Studies rejected the proposal and instead they are accepted at Gadjah Mada University (Universitas Gadjah Mada) in Yogyakarta. That’s why Gadjah Mada University  claimed its graduate program in 1996 then closed in 1999, reopened again in 2003 (Universitas Gadjah Mada, 2010). Padjadjaran University  in Bandung, West Java (Universitas Padjdjaran) opened  its graduate program in 2003, followed by Bogor Agricultural University in Bogor, West Java (Institut Pertanian Bogor) in West Java in 2006 and followed by Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University in Yogyakarta, Central Java  (Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Klaijaga) in 2008.  So by now there are 5 graduate program in ILS (Table 1)

Name of coursesUIUGMUnpadIPBUIN Suka
University of Indonesia
(1) Philosophy and Methodology of ScienceXXX
(2) Theories of CultureX
(3) Information societyX
(4) Organization of InformationXXX
(5) Information SystemX
(6) Information ManagementXXX
(7) Archives and Records ManagementXX
(8)Collection ManagementXXXX
(9)Information ResourcesXXXX
(10)Management of Knowledge CultureXXXXX
(11) Seminar on research proposalXXXXX
(12) ThesesXXXXX

Name of coursesUIUGMUnpadIPBUIN Suka
Gadjah Mada University
(1) Current issues on CommunicationX
(2) Theories of Development and InformationX
(3) Research methodology in Communication ScienceXX
(4) Theories of SociologyX
(5) Informational Human ResourcesX
(6) Indonesian Society and  CultureX
(7) Philosophy of ScienceXXX
(8) Management of Information Service SupportX
(9) Library Operational SystemX
(10) IT-based information serviceX
11)Management of  Institutions and LibrariesXXXX
(12) Public relations and library promotionsXXXXX
(13) Seminar on theses proposalXXXXX
(14) ThesesXXXXX

Name of coursesUIUGMUnpadIPBUIN Suka
Padjadjaran University
(1) Seminar on research proposalXXXXX
(2) Philosophy of scienceXXX
(3) Scientific bases of Communication ScienceX
(4) Theories of communicationX
(5) Research methods in Communication (Quantitative)X
(6) Research methods in Communication (Qualitative)X
(7) Information Service SystemX
(8) Management of Information PreservationX
(9) Communication and Information Media TechnologyX
(10) Communication and Information ResourceX
(11) Management of Documentation SystemXXXX
(12) Management of Information Institutional SystemXXXXX
(13) Management of Information MarketingXX
(14) ThesesXXXXX

Name of coursesUIUGMUnpadIPBUIN Suka
Bogor AgriculturalUniversity
(1) Management of Library databaseX
(2) Perspective of Library and Information ScienceX
(3) Organization of InformationXXXX
(4) English languageX
(5) Information resourcesXXXX
(6) Management of Information TechnologyX
(7) Research Methodology, consists of Research Methodology  1,2, and 3XXXXX
(8) Colloquium*XXXXX
(9) ThesesXXXXX

Name of coursesUIUGMUnpadIPBUIN Suka
Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University
(1) Libraries and information in the cultural and social contextsX
(2) Organization and analysis of informationXXX
(3) Information resources and servicesXXXX
(4) Approaches  toward Islamic studiesX
(5) Islam in librarianship contextX
(6) Libraries and information centers managementXXX
(7) Collection ManagementXX
(8) Digital libraries and information portalX
(9) Archives ManagementXX
(10) Research methodologyX
(11) Design of Information SystemsX
(12) SeminarXXXXX
(13)  ThesesXXXXX

Source: Sulistyo (2013) from various resources

Note :

*Colloquium is the same with seminar, albeit the graduate students must present her or his proposal to  students from other department. This is specific in Bogor Agricultural University.

+Although  some course name is slightly different , the content almost the same.


The similar courses are three, that is Research Methodology, Seminar and Theses. Which are found  among the 5 universities, The name seminar is found among the four institutions while the Bogor Agricultural University s using the term colloquium. The method is slightly different, in colloquium the student presents his or her theses proposal among students  from her or his class as well as students from other studies. The  required colloquium is 4 times presentation.

Three  courses are shared by the four institutions that are  Information  Organization, Management of Institutions and Libraries  and Information Resources commonly known as Reference, although the term is slightly different but basically the same. Course title Management of Institutions and Libraries is the same with Management of Libraries and Information Centers (cf Stueart, 2010) as the course contents  is the same. Meanwhile Padjadjaran University maintained the course with different name i.e. Management of Documentation System because  the majority of its graduates are working in the mass communication field in which the term  documentation is more popular than the  term libraries or information centres.

Three courses are shared by three institutions, i.e. Collection management and Philosophy of Science; two courses i.e. Archives Management, Information Marketing which are shared by two institutions. The others are not similar and indirectly reflected the  institutions’ main interest.. University of Indonesia program which offered course on Bibliometrics / Informetrics was dropped but at Bogor Agricultural University it was a compulsory course.

Cause of differences

The main reason why the courses are different  are caused by the faculty which supervises the LIS graduate program. At the University of Indonesia, the LIS programme comes under the Faculty of Humanities, the same with Gadjah Mada University and Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University. The program  at the University of Indonesia  operated by the Department of Library and Information Science, however at Gadjah Mada University under Department of Cyber media and Culture, the LIS program is just an extension of the program, not an independent department. The case is also the same with Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University which  comes under the Islamic Interdisciplinary Studies, Faculty of Humanities and so does with Padjadjaran University whose graduate LIS program s under the jurisdiction of the Department of Communication. At the Bogor Agricultural University, the LIS graduate program come under the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics through its Department of Computer Science. Such different departments could explain why there are differences in the courses.

Right now no national curriculum for graduate program, it is different from its sister the undergraduate program., which has its own   national curriculum for the undergraduate program. Although it is limited to no more than about 50 credits out of the minimum 144 credits for LIS undergraduate program, it is accepted by the current 13 universities (Direktorat Jenderal Pendidikan Tinggi, 2013) although in the author’s survey the total is 17 institutions.

A question posed is it really necessary to establish a national curriculum for LIS graduate program? Is it not enough that there are three courses (Research methodology, Seminar on research / theses proposal and Theses) similar in the graduate programs? Arguably it is necessary to  establish common graduate LIS courses. The approach as suggested by Moore et al. (1998) perhaps should be considered although its publication date is rather obsolete. Also the four pillars of education  which is consists of learning to know, learning to do, learning to live together and learning to be as mentioned in the Delors Report (1996) should be considered also. Such philosophy still used in Indonesia albeit for undergraduate curriculum.

The difficulty in developing a LIS graduate curriculum also  related  to the enrollment policy. The graduate program  enroll students with bachelor’s degree on LIS and non-LIS \ respectively. For non-LIS new students, the program must offer courses on library-and-information  related courses such as Organization of Information, Information resources, Library and Information Centers Management; however for the LIS degree holders, such courses are not new as that courses has been  taught at the  undergraduate level. Offering  brand new courses such as Theories of Culture, Issues on Communication perhaps can be a solution, however it is  not suitable with the non-LIS degree students  as some of them have learned it in their undergraduate program; hence the LIS program operators face the complicated situation in designing the courses which suits for the LIS-based and non-LIS based students.


The survey found that only three courses are shared by all the five LIS graduate schools, there  four, three and two courses shared by the universities. The differences could be traced to the faculty and departments which operating the graduate program as the institutions are difference, for example Faculty of Communication is different from Faculty of Computer Science. Although there are three similar faculties (Faculty of Humanities at the University of Indonesia, Gadjah Mada University and Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University) there is still differences regarding the course because of the different nature of the department.

At University of Indonesia, the graduate LIS is operating under the Department of Library and Information Science while at Gadjah Mada University, the LIS graduate program is not operated by the LIS department (it is not exists), it is just a specialization of the other programs. It is suggested the association of the graduate LIS program in order to solve common problems.


Delors, Jacques. (1996). Learning: the treasure within; report to the UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first century. Paris: UNESCO Publishing.

Direktorat Jenderal Pendidikan Tinggi. (2013). Data evaluasi program studi DIKTI. Data program studi perpustakaan. Jakarta: Directorate General of Higher Education evaluation data on library science departments.

Sulistyo-Basuki. (1994). Periodisasi perpustakaan Indonesia. Bandung: Remaja Rosdakarya.

Sulistyo-Basuki. (2012). Ilmu Perpustakaan dan Informasi : perkembangan dan tantangannya di Indonesia.

Paper for Seminar on Library and Information Science: development and changes Bandung,  September 2012.

Sumarsidik, Suwati. (1961). The Indonesian library school, Malayan Library Journal, 1(4),35- 36

Indonesia. (1989). Undang-Undang nomor 9 tahun 1989 tentang Sistem Pendidikan Nasiona.l

Indonesia (2012). Undang-undang nomor 12 tahun 2012 tentang perguruan tinggi.

Moore, Nick et al. (1998). A curriculum for an information society. Bangkok: UNESCO principal Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

Stueart, Robert D. and Moran, Barbara M. (1009). Library and information center management. 7th ed.  Westport,Con.: Libraries Unlimited.

Sulistyo-Basuki. (2013). Direktori sekolah peprustakaan di Indonesia. Unpublsihed.

Sulistyo-Basuki. (2011). Perlukah kita memiliki kurikulum nasional ilmu perpustakaan dan informasi.

Universitas Gadjah Mada Fakultas Ilmu pengetahuan Budaya.(2012). Buku panduan.Yogyakarta: Universitas Gadjah Mada.

Universitas Indonesia. Fakultas Ilmu Pengetahuan Budaya. (2012). Buku panduan. Depok: Fakultas Ilmu Pengetahuan Budaya Universitas Indonesia.

Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga. (2010) Buku panduan. Yogyakarta: UIN Sunan Kalijaga.


Vreede-de Stuers, C. (1953). Education for librarianship in Indonesia. Unesco Bulletin for Libraries,  7 August, 496.

No comments:

Total Pageviews