History of the McGill IAIN relationship

The relationship between the IAINs, MORA and McGill began almost 50 years ago when McGill's Institute of Islamic Studies (MIIS) was first established. McGill graduates such as Prof. Dr. Harun Nasution returned to Indonesia to establish graduate programs in the IAINs, following the McGill model. Other prominent figures who were at MIIS in the 50s included Mukti Ali and Mohammad Rasjidi, who both became Ministers of Religious Affairs. In the 1970s, 17 teaching staff from the IAINs came to MIIS on two-year scholarships funded by CIDA and the Hazen Foundation. All returned to senior positions in the Ministry and in the IAINs.

Bilateral cooperation -- Phase 1 and Phase 2

The IAINs have been developing their internal capacity over the past ten years with assistance from McGill University through the CIDA bilateral program.

Since 1989, the Project (Phase 1 and Phase 2) has brought over 100 IAIN instructors to McGill for Graduate Studies and more than 1,400 have received short-term training in teaching, research, management, gender studies, Islamic studies, religious studies and library and information studies. Technical assistance provided by McGill staff has also contributed to the capacity development of the IAINs.

Phase 1 of the CIDA-MORA co-operation was conceived primarily as a scholarship program to upgrade the qualifications of academic staff in the 14 state institutes of Islamic higher education located throughout Indonesia. The 44 who obtained master's degrees and the six with doctorates form a network that is affectionately referred to as the "McGill mafia".

Phase 2 was designed as an institutional development project focussing on the two oldest IAINs in the system, the IAINs in Jakarta and Yogyakarta. Through human resource development and institutional strengthening activities, the Indonesia-Canada Islamic Higher Education Project has had a significant effect on the recent exponential growth of these institutions.

Phase 2 results include:

  • the establishment and/or strengthening of eight centres (four in each IAIN) for improving teaching, research, management and gender equity
  • automation and collection development in the two libraries
  • upgraded qualifications of 344 teaching staff in the two IAINs
  • the development of the programs in religious studies and inter-religious relations
  • improved teaching and program development capacity within the IAINs
  • the development of management expertise in the administrative bureaus, the centres and the Local Project Implementation Units
  • a significant body of research and the dissemination of this research (books, IAIN journals, international journals, conferences)
  • the strengthening of inter-institutional co-operation throughout the IAIN network
  • the strengthening of the links between McGill, MORA and the IAINs

Over the many years of the McGill/MORA/IAIN relationship, thousands of Indonesians and Canadians have worked and studied together. As a result McGill is well known in Indonesia and McGill staff enjoy warm professional relationships with their Indonesian counterparts making it possible to develop real partnership. During Phase 2, participatory planning and management were introduced. This has meant that McGill and IAIN professors and MORA and IAIN administrators have been involved along with Project management staff in the implementation of Project activities.

The evolution of the relationship has culminated in the IAIN Indonesia Social Equity Project, which builds on a well-established partnership between McGill, MORA and the IAINs. The new Project is designed to support the detailed plans developed by the two IAIN for their transformation into universities. With the solid and relatively rapid results to be achieved in this Project, the two IAINs will be in a position to continue their development without further CIDA support at the end of the five-year period.