FIG Peer Review Journal


Land administration and management in South East Asia – considering the role of higher education (2864)

David Mitchell (Australia) and Stig Enemark (Denmark)
Dr David Mitchell
Director, Land Centre
RMIT University
School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences
GPO Box 2476V
Corresponding author Dr David Mitchell (email: d.mitchell[at], tel.: 61 3 9925 2420)

[ abstract ] [ handouts ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2008-03-21
Received 2008-01-31 / Accepted 2008-03-14
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Working Week 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Working Week 2008
ISBN 978-87-90907-67-9 ISSN 2307-4086


A 2000 World Bank report on higher education in developing countries highlighted the growing gap in the quality and participation rates of higher education between developed and developing countries. Some of the problems facing higher education institutions in developing countries include a heavy reliance on government funding, poor pay for academic staff, inadequate facilities, and poor governance. In this paper we focus on higher education in the land sector in South-East Asia, and find that similar problems exist. At the same time there has been an increase in the investment in land titling projects in developing countries resulting in a significant increase in demand for people with qualifications and skills in surveying, valuation, planning and association disciplines. In developed countries the objectives of university education for the professions associated with land administration - such as land surveying, land valuation, and land use planning – are relatively well established. There is a clear trend towards an increased focus in surveying education on the development of managerial skills, and the acquisition and application of interdisciplinary problem-solving skills (Enemark 2001, Enemark 2007). Many institutions are changing to project-based education assisted by coursework, and developing virtual media and web-based learning tools for course delivery. However, there is limited literature on the objectives of education in these professional areas in developing countries. Should the objectives for land administration and land management education in developing countries be similar to those for developed countries? Or do they face vastly different challenges and have vastly different needs. Better understanding of these issues is needed to help FIG to support education in developing countries. This paper considers these questions and looks at the approach taken in three countries in South East Asia – Cambodia, Indonesia and the Lao PDR. The authors consider the challenges facing Universities and Colleges in the region and the major needs for land administration education. The role of the FIG in the development of land administration education in developing countries is also discussed. This paper commences the dialogue on this important issue and identifies areas that warrant further research.
Keywords: Education; Curricula; Capacity building; Land management; land administration, developing countries, land titling