University Renovation Project under Controversy

Though being a little bit surprised at the project on Vietnamese university reform for the period of 2006-2020, Prof. Tran Hong Quan, Chairman of the Non-State University Association was still wondering on the gap between the reality of management and the thought in the government and Party resolutions and the project itself.

He believed the backwardness in education apparently showed in low training quality, small scale education, resulting in a poor and stagnant tertiary education, always lacking resources and motivation for its self-perfection. The bureaucratic control of the past is manifesting itself most profoundly in the national education, he added.

Many headmasters shared the views with the former minister and believe that university reforms must start from system management, mainly the administrative structure.

Delegates at the conference also called on the government to give universities the full autonomy over the recruitment process and decisions on cooperation programs with foreign partners.

The Viet Nam National Universities of Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi suggested a transfer of authority to universities over the annual students enrollment. So far the process has been handled by the Ministry of Education and Training.

Another point of renovation that may appear as a breakthrough of the education sector is finance and tuitions. Deputy Minister Banh Tien Long announced that a new financial system in which the training cost is shared among the government, students and the community. In addition, the regulations of tuition, scholarship and student loans will be reconstructed.

Students, following the new reforms, must pay tuition fees that could be financed by national budget or the communities. There will be student loans as a kind of financial aid to assist low-income learners. This move will hopefully help improve the training quality. 

Mr. Tran Hong Quan suggested that the government should no longer fix university tuitions. The government must remove the cap on tuition level of both state and non-state institutions. Students of state and non-state institutions alike can ask for loans to continue their study. All universities and colleges will receive tuition fees to operate, he added.

The two-day conference was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem and nearly 500 delegtes from universities and colleges nationwide.

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem:

The government announced that education renovation over the past time has not been effective enough to meet the demand of the society. The subsidized education system still has a profound effect on schools’ operation. Thus, Viet Nam’s education system must have a big change in administrative efficiency and self-governance operation.

By VL - Translated by Van Hanh

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