Deputy Phan Van Tuong said that more Vietnamese students go abroad while many domestic universities cannot recruit enough students. He questioned “whether the quality of Vietnam’s higher education is too bad?”
Deputy Le Nam said that it is easy to enter a university and a high number of university graduates have excellent-grade degrees. “The training quality is low, many universities supplies low-quality students. What measures will you take to deal with this situation,” Nam asked.
Minister Luan said that his Ministry is tightening the establishment of new universities. Some universities cannot recruit enough students for some faculties because the outlet for these fields of training is not good, such as teacher’s training, agriculture and forestry. Investors of some universities, particularly newly-established ones, do not seriously observe regulations on training quality and training facilities. Moreover, universities offer similar training fields.
Going overseas to study has appeared since Vietnam opened its door and this is a ‘good signal’, Luan added.
The Minister committed to strengthen inspection of training quality and quality of university graduates.
He admitted that quality of higher education is still low so the party has instructed to comprehensively reform higher education.
He said the Ministry is working in a plan to renovate the final examination of high schools and the university entrance exams.
Three deputies did not satisfy with Minister Luan’s answers so they kept grilling him. Comparing overseas study and domestic study with a crowded and a quiet shop, deputy Phan Van Tuong questioned: “Many customers are waiting for the shop owner’s reform. Could you please tell us your solutions?”
The Education and Training Minister said his Ministry has inspected five universities and it will check 20 others by this year’s end. The Ministry will persist to reduce the ratio of students/one lecturer, develop a qualified contingent of lecturers and build the connection among universities in the same system.
Deputy Nguyen Thanh Tam worried about training quality when unqualified universities are permitted to recruit students. Deputy Tran Du Lich said frankly that Vietnam’s higher education quality is low compared to countries in the region and the world. “As the new minister, do you have any ideas or break-through solutions to solve this matter,” Lich asked.
“Do you plan to design an education restructuring plan?” questioned deputy Le Thanh Van. Deputy Pham Xuan Thuong said that while it is difficult to enter public universities, in-service or distance training universities mainly recruit students who fail to enter public universities. He asked: “In your opinion, which training product is better? As an employer, which of them will you choose?”
Minister Luan said that his minister has combined with the Central Committee for Education and Information to set up a research group on comprehensive reform of education.
He said it is unfair to blame in-service training. Many managers and leaders were trained this form. The poor quality of training of in-service and distance training is caused by poor management. The Ministry will carefully consider and have solutions to ensure training quality at these schools.
He confirmed that the Ministry does not discriminate between public and private universities, regular and in-service training but he admitted that it is an alarming belt for training quality of private universities when some provinces refuse to recruit graduates from private universities.
Supporting Minister Luan, Deputy PM Nguyen Thien Nhan who is former Minister of Education and Training said that education reform is an urgent task of many countries in the past ten years. Vietnamese universities have not had any standard for their products. The Ministry of Education and Training has recently asked universities to make public their standards for graduates but over 40 percent of universities have not fulfilled this task.
“Most of teachers of general schools meet standards while university lecturers don’t,” Nhan stressed. He said that to improve quality of higher education, the input standards must be raised.
He added that improving management is the breakthrough solution for the education system. It is also needed to restructure higher education and raise the qualification of the principles of over 30,000 general schools and over 400 universities and colleges.
“Once again the National Assembly, the Minister of Education and Training and the Deputy Prime Minister admitted that human resource training is the bottle-neck for the country’s development. We must continue reforming education and training,” concluded NA Chairman Pham Sinh Hung.