Architectural Education, Qualification to Practice, and the Registration System

History of Architectural Education in Indonesia

The architectural education in Indonesia was established in 1950 with the opening of ‘Bouwkundige Afdeeling’ (Building Section) at the Fakulteit Teknik (Faculty of Engineering) Universitas Indonesia in Bandung (ITB). The educational program is implemented to produce Insinyur Arsitek (Architecture Engineer) with curriculum adopted from the TU Delft, The Netherlands (as most of the lecturers were TU Delft alumni). In 1958, for the first time this department of architecture produced its graduates.

In the 1960s some department of architecture were established in several cities of Indonesia, including Parahyangan Catholic University, Bandung (1960), Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta (1962), Diponegoro University, Semarang (1962), Tarumanegara University, Jakarta (1962), Indonesian Christian University, Jakarta (1962), Hasanuddin University, Makassar (1963), University of Pancasila, Jakarta (1963), University of Indonesia, Jakarta (1965), Udayana University, Bali (1965), and Surabaya Institute of Technology (1965). The establishment of several department of architecture in Indonesia was followed by other universities in Indonesia in the next decades.

In this era, the primary aim of the architectural education in Indonesia is to produce professional architects with minimum of five years duration. The students were prepared to have a strong knowledge on architectural theory, architectural design skills (studio), and internship. At the end of their studies, the students were tested through simulation project before commenced as an engineer.  

Major changes of architectural education in Indonesia in 1996 have marked by the changes of 160 credits for undergraduate program to 144 credits (5 years to 4 years program) and the first architectural education accreditation is also conducted by the National Accreditation Board in this year. As a consequence, the Architecture Engineer award (Ir.) turned into Bachelor of Engineering (ST) aimed to produce scholars that can be prepared to be a professional.

In 2015, PDDIKTI recorded 159 department of architecture all over Indonesia in undergraduate level, 16 master level, and 7 in Ph.D level of education. This number is the largest within ASEAN countries (Philippines: 83; Vietnam: 22; and Thailand: 20 institutions).

Architectural Education and National Policy

The architectural education in Indonesia is experiencing changes that demands a more dynamic learning model, multidiscipline, and more focused on producing the graduates to meet the standard of competence in national and international level. In addition the graduates produced are also expected to response the contemporary issues such as the environmental sustainability, socio-cultural, and community development to prepare them in competing with foreign architects.

In 2007 the Indonesian government signed the agreement on ASEAN Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for architectural services. In order to fulfill the requirement as ASEAN Architect, the architecture graduates require taking a minimum 5 years of architectural education as requested by the UIA. At the regional level the challenge of architecture education and profession is also marked by the ASEAN Free Trade Year 2015. The free trade is allowing the applicable standard of practice for Architect ASEAN member countries and allowing architects to practice in countries within the ASEAN members.            

In fact, the undergraduate level of architectural education in Indonesia is organized within 4 years allowing one year gap with the UIA requirement. In 2009, the Indonesian Institute of Architects (IAI) and the Association of Architectural Higher Education in Indonesia (APTARI) have set a Professional Architecture Education Program/PPAR (1 year continuation and/or part of 2 years of Master Degree Program) as an official set towards a professional architecture education in Indonesia.

Amongst the 159 department of architecture in Indonesia, only 14 are recorded as the organizer of PPAR with one of the (University of Indonesia) is registered in the Ministry of Higher Education. This can be a challenge for the architectural education in Indonesia. Furthermore, Indonesia needs to formulate the general competence as reference for curriculum standard in conducting the architectural education in Indonesia.

Hence, in relation with the various challenges and opportunities there is a need of program revitalization of architectural education in Indonesia to deal with the dynamic changes and the challenges of architectural profession at the global, regional, and national levels. In 2015 IAI and APTARI implement the revitalization program of architectural education in order to improve the quality of higher architectural education in Indonesia. This revitalization program is included to formulate Program Learning Outcome, Curriculum, and Professional Architecture Education Standard.

The Qualification to Practice and Registration of IAI

Currently, the Indonesian Association of School of Architecture (APTARI) and IAI (with some contributions from PPAR-UII) formulates a guideline serving as mutual platform between IAI and Schools of Architecture in conducting professional education and granting professional certification. In this scheme, in addition to the granting of License Architect, the graduates will be granted a certificate of “Arsitek Muda” (First Level Architect) by IAI (see figure 1). In this qualification, upon the completion of PPAR the student will be automatically granted a certificate of Arsitek Muda.

Arsitek Muda Certificate is a limited certificate in the sense that the holder may only perform professional architectural design of up to three stories building and the certificate valid for only two years. Such a certificate will cease automatically if holder does not proceed to the full time internship within 2 years. As seen in Figure 1, in order to get a full certificate, a graduate of PPAR requires 2 years of internship experience in addition to passing the competency examination.

Figure 1. The proposed stages of professional education of architect based on the agreement between IAI and APTARI in 2015

The full certificate consists of two types, namely Arsitek Madya (Second Level Architect) and Arsitek Utama (Third Level Architect), each of these full certificates valid for three years. By default, an architect in Indonesia can legally practice if the holder meets three conditions as follows:

1.   The architect is a valid member of IAI – a membership card is issued by IAI as a proof of validity

2.   The architect has one of the three types of the above-mentioned certificates, i.e., first level, second level, or third level

3.    The architect holds the SIBP (Surat Ijin Bekerja Perencana – literally translated as “Work Permit for Design Consultancy”), which is issued by the municipal government. However, SIBP is required only within a certain municipality such as Jakarta. In most cases only the conditions number 1 and 2 are required.

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