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Inspection team reports troubled universities

In Uncategorized on April 10, 2010 at 11:03 am

Priority should be given to the establishment of private universities that have intensive investment or operate on a non-profit basis, while poor-quality ones should be shut down, an education supervisory team has said.

The National Assembly Standing Committee’s supervisory team made the statement at a meeting April 9 in Hanoi with related agencies to hear feedback on its report on Vietnam’s higher education quality.

The meeting was attended by NA Deputy Chairperson Tong Thi Phong and Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan.

National Assembly Deputy Chairperson Tong Thi Phong (C) presides over an April 9 meeting in Hanoi to discuss the results of a recent inspection of higher education institutions by an NA supervisory team (Photo:

Poor standards reported

The team’s investigation showed that many private universities failed to meet requirements in terms of instructors and teaching facilities.
A lack of teachers was found at several schools, despite numerous offers of employment issued, according to the schools.

For example, the private Dong Do University has only 53 full-time instructors while it says it has offered jobs to as many as 375 lecturers.

The investigation also found that many instructors were overloaded, sometimes working up to 1,000 hours per year at different universities, while national regulations stipulate that teachers should work no more than 260 hours annually.

Overworked instructors thus have little or no time to update their professional skills and knowledge, let alone conduct their own research, experts said.

“Many private universities pay teachers on an hourly basis and even hold the view that the more the teachers teach, the better they become,” said Le Van Hoc, deputy head of the supervisory team.

Regarding teaching facilities, the team said most universities’ premises are too small or they have to pay rent to operate, which affects their operational efficiency.

Moreover, some schools use their profits to invest in other realty, rather than expanding school facilities, the team said.

Despite such problems, however, many schools have still seen enrollment increase year after year, at 13 percent on average, the team said.

For instance, the private Quang Trung University increased its enrollment from 700 students in 2006 to 3,300 in 2009. The same year at the private Hung Vuong University, students increased from 1,000 to 2,100.

More seriously, universities have even admitted students into faculties that have not yet been approved to operate, the team said.

Unqualified schools need stricter treatment

The supervisory team recommended that the Government limit the establishment of public universities in provinces and cities that fail to meet national requirements.

Students attend class at a university in Vietnam. Experts say the Government should prioritize evaluation and classification of universities to help improve management of training quality (Photo: VTC)

The Government should accelerate the evaluation of universities’ quality to form a basis for classification of schools for better management and control, the team added.

It also called for stricter punishment, including closures, of universities that fail to adhere to commitments related to training quality and that violate education management regulations.

Nguyen Quan, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, along with other experts, added it is unacceptable for universities not to earmark money for scientific research.

“If research is not undertaken, there will be no improvements in training quality,” he said.

Experts called the Ministry of Education and Training’s lack of determination to close unqualified universities “unacceptable.” They further urged the ministry to change its policies towards such universities.

Deputy PM Nguyen Thien Nhan said that poor standards at a number of universities were undeniable, but that it was excessive to say the ministry’s management was lax.

In fact, in recent years the Government and ministry have tightened regulations on university establishment and enrollment and applied several measures to improve higher education quality, he said.

Source: SGGP

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