Quality assurance in higher education in Australia and Indonesia

qualifications frameworks

In this AIC Briefing Note, Skills Futures Fellow Professor Caroline Chan provides an explanation of the qualifications frameworks used in Australia and Indonesia, of the education systems and the regulators, as well as analysis of the similarities and differences between the two countries’ systems. Read an excerpt below or click the link for the full paper.

Read or download our Briefing Note: ‘Quality assurance in higher education in Australia and Indonesia’

Qualifications Frameworks

Qualifications frameworks provide a way to compare qualifications across an education system and to describe the relation between different levels within the system. Curriculum is designed with appropriate content and learning outcomes.

Qualification framework also assists with educational mobility in which countries are recognising each other qualification. Due to the different education systems and structure, determining equivalency of qualifications can be both complex and challenging, requiring detailed analysis of the education systems and learning outcomes expected in each qualification.

See our interview with Caroline Chan, as she delves deep into Indonesia’s challenges regarding quality assurance and standardisation of education across the archipelago:

Comparing AQF (Australia) and KKNI (Indonesia)

Understanding qualifications frameworks is important for mobility of graduates and workers, both inbound and outbound, and to encourage diversity rather than homogeneity of qualifications.

There are similarities and differences between the two frameworks.


Both the AQF and KKNI originated from similar objectives:

  • ensuring consistency across qualification types through standardisation, thereby illuminating and facilitating pathways through the education system for students wishing to pursue higher levels of education;
  • building and developing a framework of reference that students, institutions, industry, government bodies, professional associations and quality assurance regulators can use in their respective activities and operations and;
  • promoting and supporting international mobility of graduates and workers.

Despite these similarities, the two qualifications systems are not aligned. Differences between the education systems of Australia and Indonesia mean that the structure of qualifications e.g. bachelor degree (Australia) and the Sarjana S1 (Indonesia), are constructed in different ways.


The two systems contain a different number of levels, 10 in total for AQF and 9 for KKNI, and use different terminology for what may or may not be considered equivalent qualifications.

Another key distinction is their starting levels i.e. KKNI includes both primary and middle schooling as the first level, while the AQF begins with Certificate I, which falls within the category of post-compulsory education, and is taken by those who are 16 years and over.

Go to the Briefing Note: ‘Quality assurance in higher education in Australia and Indonesia’

Further reading: Stronger education partnerships: Opportunities for Australian providers in Indonesia

Skills Futures Fellow
The Australia-Indonesia Centre