Shifting the scientific paradigm for the transformation of higher education: Experience at State Islamic University (UIN) in Indonesia

Keywords: dichotomy of science, higher education, integration of science, paradigm, transformation, university


Every university has many ways to make changes, and institutional transformation is one of the strategic choices to achieve excellence. However, the transformation of higher education is still dynamically defined and open. The practice also has many models and differences. This article examines the scientific paradigm shift to rethink the practice of transformation for higher education. Identifying new scientific paradigms, shifting processes, models used, practical steps, factors, and challenges is the primary concern of research work. This research was conducted qualitatively with a narrative approach. Multi-site studies at several State Islamic Universities (UIN) in Indonesia were reviewed to obtain findings about the different models applied. The results show that the transformation of higher education is simultaneously carried out by changing the institutional status and renewing the scientific paradigm. Science integration is used as a new scientific paradigm even though, in practice, each university has a different model. This new paradigm has wideranging impacts, such as eliminating scientific dichotomies that have long been practiced, expanding multidisciplinary scientific structures, and adding authority to develop faculties and study programs. Another impact is the existence of new awareness and enthusiasm for several changes in the aspects of it. Many challenges need to be anticipated to obtain better quality, such as the need for curriculum reformulation, changes in organizational behavior, a new image, and many other programs. We recommend this finding as an example of good practice in improving the quality and institutional system of higher education. To understand the wider impact of this transformation process, such as competency and graduate outcomes, changes in organizational behavior, the direction of research and community service programs, and their social impact in the future, more research on sustainability is needed.

Received: 19 June 2022
Accepted: 25 September 2023


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Author Biographies

Ahmad Muthohar, State Islamic University of Sultan Aji Muhammad Idris Samarinda, Indonesia

Master of Islamic educational thought at the Faculty of Tarbiyah and Teacher Training at UIN Sultan Aji Muhammad Idris Samarinda, Indonesia. He is interested in the research areas of Islamic educational thought, educational policy, and educational quality. He is experienced in quality assurance and improving the quality of education. He previously served as Head of the Center for Development of Higher Education Quality Standards and director of the quality assurance agency. He also succeeded in leading a program to improve the quality of Islamic schools through the ‘Schools System and Quality (SSQ) program, the Australia-Indonesia Educational Partnership (AusAID) in East Kalimantan Province, Indonesia. He has also served as Head of the Teacher and Education Personnel Development Division at the North Kalimantan Provincial Education Service. Studies within the scope of educational thinking and paradigms are areas of great interest. This can be seen from the scientific papers published in books, including Pesantren Education Ideology, Map of the Islamic Education Paradigm, Emancipatory Education Paradigm, and Teacher and Education Personnel Performance Evaluation System. Meanwhile, topics such as readiness for change, character education, learning innovation, and others can be read in published journal articles.

Abdul Ghofur, UIN Walisongo Semarang, Indonesia

Professor of Islamic Law at the Faculty of Islamic Law at UIN Walisongo, Semarang, Indonesia. He is a lecturer and director of postgraduate master’s and doctoral programs at UIN Walisongo. He is an expert researcher in the field of Islamic economic law studies. The results of his thinking in this field can be seen in published books such as Introduction to Sharia Economics, Sharia Economic Philosophy, Democratization and Legal Prospects in Indonesia, implementation of Halal Product Guarantees, and others. He focuses on the legal research area of Islamic banking. One of his thoughts is the importance of implementing the principles of ‘Maqashid sharia’ and ‘Maslahah’ as a basis for regulating Sharia banking. Topics can be read in various articles that have been published in multiple journals. Because of these two principles, he recommended the importance of looking at public opinion and community aspirations in legalizing Sharia banking law. In another journal article, he also confirmed the importance of behavioral factors in Islamic economics. He also conducted much research on the thoughts of Islamic figures in the field of Islamic law to strengthen his theoretical building.

M. Mukhsin Jamil, UIN Walisongo Semarang, Indonesia

Professor of Islamic Thought and Philosophy at the Faculty of Theology and Humanities at UIN Walisongo Semarang, Indonesia. He has experience serving as dean of the Faculty of Ushuluddin and Humanities. Apart from being a lecturer, he is currently trusted to serve as deputy chancellor for academic development at UIN Walisongo. He is interested in and focuses on the field of research on Islamic thought and has done many scientific works within the scope of the themes of the revitalization of Islamic culture, Islamic identity in Indonesia, the relationship between religion and the state, civil Islam and studies of other Islamic religious thought such as the study of Islamic manuscripts, Sufism Thought, Tarekat, and Analysis of the Views of Islamic Organizations in Indonesia. He also concentrates on the study of conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and contemporary Islamic civilization. All of these topics are studied from scientific works that have been published in both books and journals.

Muhammad Sulthon, UIN Walisongo Semarang, Indonesia

Lecturer with doctoral qualifications at the faculty of Da’wah and Islamic Communication at UIN Walisongo Semarang, Indonesia. He has experience as head of the study program and deputy dean at one of the faculties and currently serves as secretary of the Islamic studies program at the UIN Walisongo graduate program. He is an expert in the research area of Da’wah and Islamic Communication. You can find studies on the design of Da’wah science, reconstruction of the Islamic Da’wah movement, strengthening Islamic civil society through da’wah, Islamic communication, and Islamic leadership from book and journlas publications. He also highlighted many studies on religious moderation’s importance in building harmony between people. Lastly, he published the results of his research as a book on the Relationship between Da’wah and Sadaqat from an Islamic perspective which examines the values of Islamic doctrine regarding the meaning of Sadaqah strengthen the community’s economic development.


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How to Cite
Muthohar, Ahmad, Abdul Ghofur, M. Mukhsin Jamil, and Muhammad Sulthon. 2023. “Shifting the Scientific Paradigm for the Transformation of Higher Education: Experience at State Islamic University (UIN) in Indonesia”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 11 (1), 65-102.