Education ministry seeks measures to enhance quality of tertiary education

Sunday, 2017-01-08 07:13:12
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Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha
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NDO - The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) held a conference on January 7, gathering heads of higher education institutions in Da Nang to discuss ways to enhance the quality of tertiary education.

The conference focused on three major themes, namely university autonomy, quality control and cooperation with recruiters as the key factors determining the quality of higher education.

The majority of delegates shared the same view that the quality of higher education in Vietnam is currently rather low.

Associate Professor Hoang Minh Son, President of the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, said low tuition fees were an obstacle to improving the quality of education, adding that higher fees would not mean higher quality, but that if the fees were too low, higher quality could not be achieved.

Therefore, he suggested that ceiling fees imposed by the MOET should be abolished and that universities be given autonomy with regards to this matter.

Professor Dang Kim Vui, President of Thai Nguyen University, said the number of student recruited exceeding an institution’s acceptance capacity was also one of the reasons for the declining quality of higher education.

Professor Nguyen Van Hieu said one of the reasons for this is that the majority of excellent students are not retained at universities to continue doing research following their mentors.

Speaking at the conference, MOET Minister Phung Xuan Nha said that weaknesses in the quality of higher education are becoming visible and have caused public concern, while pointing out several reasons for this, such as the high student-to-lecturer ratio, adding that no more than one fifth of lecturers in Vietnam have doctorates.

He also mentioned poor infrastructure and low tuition fees, averaging at US$500 per student a year, compared with about US$16,000 in the US for a public institution and US$36,000 for a private one.

The education minister stated that it is necessary for universities to reform their administration, reduce the number of recruits to focus on quality and work with enterprises so that their students are equipped with what the economy needs.