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Posts Tagged ‘Higher’

World Bank steps up support for Vietnam’s higher education

In Uncategorized on December 17, 2010 at 8:27 am

The World Bank and the State Bank of Vietnam on Thursday signed a financing agreement and related legal documents for the Higher Education Development Policy Credit valued at US$50 million.
The credit is provided by the International Development Association, the arm of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries.

The program as a whole is designed to support implementation of the Vietnamese government’s higher education reform agenda. This operation aims to strengthen governance and accountability, rationalize financing, improve quality of teaching and research, and enhance transparency in financial management within the higher education sector. 

Addressing the signing ceremony, Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank Country Director for Vietnam, said: “Further progress in  access to, and quality of education and training at all levels is critical for achieving Vietnam’s development objectives and in particular its objective to build the skills needed to raise the competitiveness of its economy.”

Source: SGGP

WB steps up support for Vietnam’s higher education reform agenda

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:39 am

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved US$50 million for Vietnam’s higher education development policy program.

WB agreed November 30 additional support for the sustained implementation of the government’s reform agenda for the second operation in a programmatic series of three credits.

Students at a lecture hall. WB decides to give additional support for Vietnam’s  higher education development policy program

The credit is provided by the International Development Association (IDA) – the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries.

The program as a whole is designed to support the Government’s implementation of its “Socio-Economic Development Plan 2006-2010” and its “higher education reform agenda”. 

This operation aims at to strengthen governance, rationalize financing, improve the quality of teaching and research, improve accountability for performance, and enhance transparency in financial management within the higher education sector. 

“The operation supports a number of policy measures that are being put in place by the Government, aimed at modernizing and improving the efficiency of Vietnam’s higher education system,” said Victoria Kwakwa, the World Bank’s Country Director for Vietnam. “The reform program will help tertiary institutions in Vietnam begin to meet growing demand for better quality higher education, including through greater private participation in higher education provision.”

The education sector in Vietnam has expanded rapidly, with the fastest growth taking place at the upper levels of education.  As a result of these enrollment and demographic trends, gross and net enrolment rates have continued to increase for all education levels.  Higher education coverage, though, remains relatively low.

Source: SGGP

Higher fines imposed on public misconduct

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Higher fines imposed on public misconduct

QĐND – Monday, July 26, 2010, 21:37 (GMT+7)

The Government has released Decree No75/2010/ND-CP on the punishment of administrative violations in public areas.

Under the new decree, lawbreakers will be fined up to 40 million VND (2,100 USD) and between 10 million VND and 20 million VND (500-1,000 USD) if they are found guilty of repeating the offense.

Violations that receive fines from 1 million VND to 10 million VND (50-500 USD) include: excessive noise-making; painting and advertising on public works without a licence; and activities like burning votive papers during national festivals and at historic and cultural relics.

People who are inebriated in the workplace or in public places such as hotels, restaurants and traffic vehicles will be fined from 500,000 VND to 1 million VND (25-50 USD).

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Hanoi’s hotels see higher occupancy rates

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2010 at 9:02 am

Hanoi’s hotels see higher occupancy rates

QĐND – Sunday, July 11, 2010, 21:26 (GMT+7)

Occupancy rates of 3-5 star hotels in Hanoi rose to 54.52% in the second quarter of the year, a year-on-year increase of 10.26%.

Four-star hotels registered the highest average increase overall, up 53.09%.

This was attributed to the 12% increase of foreign and 13.5% increase of domestic tourists to the capital city, in the first half of 2010.

During this period, the average daily rate (ADR) of five-star hotels experienced the biggest decrease of 20.36% to US $119.9 per room and four-star hotel room decreased, 1.54% to US $65.74. The three-star hotel ADR posted an increase of 4.93% to US $39.17.

Meanwhile, the average daily revenue per occupied room in three-star hotels posted the highest increase of 26.1% to US $22.42, followed by four-star hotels, 6.26% to US $36.58.

Experts say the grand ceremony of the Thang Long-Hanoi millennium anniversary and the Vietnam National Tourism Administration’s promotion campaign are expected to raise the number of visitors to Hanoi in the second half of the year, and according hotel room occupancy rates.

During the six-month period, Vietnam welcomed 2.5 million foreign visitors, a yearly increase of 32.6%, and 14.8 million domestic tourists, up 10%.

Source: VNA/Nhandan

Source: QDND

Japan growth revised higher in first quarter

In Uncategorized on June 10, 2010 at 10:52 am

TOKYO, June 10, 2010 (AFP) – Japan’s economy grew more than initially estimated in the first quarter, data showed Thursday, with exports keeping a recovery on track as signs emerged that domestic demand is strengthening.

A fourth straight quarter of expansion saw gross domestic product in the January-March period grow at an annualised 5.0 percent, beating last month’s estimate of 4.9 percent and expectations of 4.0 percent.

“The data was stronger than expected,” said Yoshiki Shinke, senior economist at Daiichi Life Research Institute. “It confirmed that the growth trend has continued.”

And there were signs that Japan’s domestic demand, hindered by deflation and a drag on growth, may also be strengthening after private and household consumption were both revised up from 0.3 percent to 0.4 percent.

A model introduces the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG at a hotel in Tokyo on June 10, 2010. AFP photo

Consumer sentiment improved in May to a reading of 42.8 from 42.0 in April according to a survey of 6,720 households. Any reading below 50 however means pessimists still outweigh optimists.

Analysts said data may show the recovery was starting to percolate through the wider economy, good news for the government as it looks to tackle the world’s largest public debt mountain without derailing the revival.

“Domestic demand is improving,” said Hiroshi Watanabe, economist at Daiwa Institute of Research. “Continued economic recovery should make things easier for politicians to discuss improving fiscal conditions,” he said.

The country has been stuck in the deflationary doldrums since March 2009 following the global economic downturn, as falling consumer prices deter corporate investment and consumption.

Exports, particularly to emerging Asian markets such as China, are driving Japan’s recovery from recession but its dependence on them was illustrated by their 0.9 percent contribution to the quarterly growth figure of 1.2 percent.

Booming demand for new cars, high tech products and factory parts has combined with a stimulus-driven domestic picture, raising hopes that Japan may eventually lock into a self-sustaining recovery.

Kan has targeted Japan’s finances as his biggest challenge, a change of tone from former premier Yukio Hatoyama’s administration, and has appointed fiscal hawk Yoshihiko Noda as the steward of Asia’s biggest economy.

Under increasing pressure to reduce a public debt ballooning towards 200 percent of gross domestic product as Europe’s deepening fiscal crisis raises sovereign debt scrutiny, Kan has openly discussed hiking taxes as a remedy.

Watanabe said a stronger economy gave politicians more scope to discuss measures such as “raising the consumption tax — moves that could slow economic growth temporarily but that are necessary for the long-term.”

On a quarterly basis the GDP reading was unchanged. The economy grew 1.2 percent compared with the previous four months, beating expectations of a downward revision to 1.0 percent.

While business investment fell to 0.6 percent from an initial estimate of a 1.0 percent rise, the revision was less severe than some economists had expected.

Japan’s main guage of wholesale prices of goods such as petroleum and coal used by producers rose 0.4 percent in May, the first year-on-year increase since 2008, separate Bank of Japan data said Thursday.

As demand from surging economies such as China increases prices for raw materials, Japanese companies face being squeezed further by being unable to pass costs on to consumers in a deflationary environment.

However, analysts warned that Japan’s dependence on external demand would be a risk in the future in view of eurozone debt fears and Beijing’s efforts to cool China’s rampant economy to keep inflation in check.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index closed 1.10 percent higher.

Source: SGGP

Investor wariness prevents market from rising higher

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2010 at 9:06 am

Voluntary blood donation requires a higher sense of social responsibility and duty

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Voluntary blood donation requires a higher sense of social responsibility and duty

QĐND – Wednesday, April 07, 2010, 21:25 (GMT+7)

The campaign for voluntary blood donation has received a positive response from all sections of people. However, there remains a lot to be done before it becomes a nationwide movement.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Vietnam needs nearly 2 million units of blood for emergency and treatment every year. In fact, approximately 700,000 units are provided to hospitals of which 59 percent come from voluntary blood donations to meet only 30 percent of the health sector’s needs. Consequently, many hospitals have fallen short of blood and patients often have to wait 5-10 days to get a blood transfusion.

In fact, there have been many serious emergencies, even cases of death since there is not enough blood to provide for transfusions in time.

To date, scientists from many countries around the world including Vietnam have still failed to find an artificial substitute for human blood. Therefore, people are required to donate blood.

In 2009, the Prime Minister decided to encourage the public to donate blood voluntarily. As a result, the campaign for voluntary blood donations has spread far and wide with an increasing number of donors ready to help save other people’s lives.

However, the volume of blood donated by volunteers in Vietnam is much lower than Singapore and the Republic of Korea, meeting only 30 percent of the present-day requirements.

Participants in the blood donation campaign are mostly young people, while many State employees and managers are reluctant as they think blood donation is a “private business” concerning the healthcare sector only.

It is high time that people regarded giving blood as a noble obligation, said State President Nguyen Minh Triet.

In a letter sent to people on Blood Donation Day, Mr Triet called on individuals, collectives and particularly managers to take part in blood donation campaign to help save people’s lives.

One reason is that not a few still hesitate to donate blood for fear of affecting their own health.

Moreover, the blood donation campaign has been launched only in major cities and at universities and not in State agencies or rural areas. Therefore, it is essential to encourage more people to take part in the campaign to turn it into a social movement.

In the Summer of 2009, the campaign “Drops of blood from the Vietnam Red Cross Society” collected more than 140,000 units for hospitals to save many people’s lives.

So, everyone should donate blood even if they are old or young, rich or poor, male or female.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Asian markets higher in early trade

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2010 at 5:07 am

 Asian stock markets edged higher in early trade Thursday after mild declines on Wall Street ended a strong quarter in New York.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average was up 0.7 percent to 11168.91 on the first day of the country’s fiscal fourth quarter.

The gains came after the Bank of Japan said its quarterly “tankan” survey of business sentiment showed companies gained confidence for the fourth straight quarter.

People walk through the rain past the New York Stock Exchange in New York early on Tuesday, March 30, 2010.

Yahoo Japan Corp. was up over 4 percent and among the daily leaders after a report in the country’s biggest business paper said it would tie up with China’s biggest net retailer. Big tech names like Hitachi and Pioneer were also higher.

South Korea’s Kospi was 0.8 percent higher at 1706.76, and shares also gained in Australia, where the benchmark had risen 0.3 percent to 4891.3.

In China and Singapore, the main bourses also saw mild gains, while Taiwanese shares and New Zealand‘s main index were both slightly higher.

One exception was the Philippines, where shares were lower in early trade.

In New York overnight, the Dow Jones industrials fell 0.5 percent, to 10,856.63 Wednesday, and the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 0.3 percent to 1,169.43, in the final day of the first quarter.

But traders there said they were optimistic given the steady gains over the three-month period, with the Dow gaining 4.1 percent and the S&P up 4.9 percent. The Dow Jones average has now risen for four straight quarters.

In currencies, the dollar nudged up to 93.40 yen from 93.43 yen late Wednesday. The euro was at $1.3547 from $1.3510.

Source: SGGP

Higher education needs appropriate policies: professor

In Vietnam Education on December 23, 2009 at 11:31 am

Appropriate policies are needed to create effective laws on higher education, said Professor Pham Phu at a seminar on December 22 attended by education management authorities, experts, scholars and representatives of the National Assembly Office. 

Professor Van Nhu Cuong speaks at a seminar on higher education on December 22 (Photo: SGGP)

Prof. Phu said, “Deputy Minister Pham Gia Khiem ordered relevant agencies to draft and make clear mechanisms of for-profit education and nonprofit education in 2005. But to date, no mechanism has been formed.”
“The line between public and private schools is not as significant as determining a for-profit or nonprofit school,” he added.
He addressed complaints that there are too many newly established universities, saying that it’s important to look at the current increase of students.
The policy of establishing more universities is good, as local universities have contributed to making education more accessible. More universities should be established and there is nothing wrong with the increase of students, Prof. Phu said.
It’s not good, however, that agencies have slackened their management of universities, allowing unqualified universities to enroll and educate students, he added.
“I was really surprised to learn that no one is in charge of the educational economy in Vietnam. We completely lack a basis of reasoning for this important issue,” he said.
Dr. Cao Dac Hien of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Industry said, “We need to define clearly that ‘learners’ of higher education are customers, and customers have the right to choose ‘products’.”
Therefore, to attract learners, the higher education sector has to improve its quality, he added.
Tran Thi Ha, head of the Ministry of Education and Training’s Higher Education Department, said 13 of 22 universities established from 2006 to 2009 have yet to be built and have to rent facilities in the meantime.
The establishment of universities has faced difficulties, especially in space clearance and applying for construction licenses, because localities haven’t supported or prioritized it, she said. 
Agreeing with Ms. Ha, former Minister of Education and Training Professor Tran Hong Quan said, “I recall that the Government issued a decree on exempting tax, allocating space and even building facilities for universities, but I don’t know why localities have yet to implement it.”
Prof. Quan hoped that the National Assembly Office, NA deputies and relevant agencies would report this issue to the NA.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Ministry, universities differ on higher education standards

In Vietnam Education on November 20, 2009 at 8:35 am

The Ministry of Education and Training should change its approach to higher education and make big changes at universities, said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan at an online conference on higher education for the 2009-2010 academic year.

Graduates from the HCM City University of Pedagogy. The Ministry of Education and Training will make big changes in the 2009-2010 academic year, Deputy PM pledged.

Mr. Nhan, who is also the education minister, said that in line with this year’s academic theme: “Renovating Management, Raising Education Quality and Focusing on Meeting Demands of Society,” universities and colleges would participate in evaluating the ministry’s management.

They would also help create improved standards and launch new training programs, he added.

 “Because of this renovation, universities will not be peaceful this year,” said Mr. Nhan.

However, the ministry presented only general measures for such an overhaul while failing to explain the specifics of how to revamp the system, which has been increasingly criticized by the public. 

Regarding the quality of new schools in the country, a report presented by the ministry at the conference said that 20 percent of the schools fail to meet standards for infrastructure, lecturers, investment capital, and curricula. In addition, there are no formal regulations for launching training programs or recruiting students, the ministry said.

In addition, penalties for universities which fail to meet standards are not strong enough.

Evaluating the quality of the country’s higher education, the ministry said, “In reality, the ministry cannot control the quality of higher education due to a lack of standards. There is not yet a body in charge of higher education quality.

“The ministry has not had annual reports to evaluate the … quality of universities or the entire higher education system,” the ministry outlined in the report. 

Responding to the ministry, school rectors asked that higher education institutes be allowed to set their own tuition and fees.

Ph.D. Thai Ba Can, the rector of the HCM City University of Technical Education said that universities need regulations allowing them to decide tuition fees and expenses by themselves.

“The Ministry should change the framework of tuition fees and use the state budget to pay the tuition fees for poor students,” he added.

Ph.D. Mai Hong Quy, rector of the HCM City University of Law, said that public universities were facing financial challenges because they were not allowed to increase tuition fees.

“Universities cannot earn enough money to pay for good lecturers or attract good graduates to work in universities,” she said.

“Graduates from schools of law who speak and write a foreign language fluently can earn a much higher salary than lecturers can,” Ms. Quy added.

However, Mr. Nhan said that universities who set their own fees must still follow general rules and the Ministry of Education and Training must have the right to regulate and monitor a university’s operations.

“Education is a special provisory service because poor training leads to [unskilled] graduates,” he said.

“Who will be responsible for poor training? No one other than the Ministry of Education and Training can do that.”

“The responsibility of the ministry is to protect learners’ interests and that does not mean to closely control schools.

“In the case of public universities, the ministry invests and monitors educational quality on behalf of the state,” the minister added. 

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share