Contemplation of large reforms in education sector
  • | vietnamnet, | June 27, 2014 09:47 AM

Tran Duc Canh, a founding member of Phan Chau Trinh University suggested mergers of many universities to reduce the number of schools in Vietnam by one third.

 Tran Duc Canh

Canh proposed making a clear distinction between four types of educational facilities, including academies, colleges and universities for bachelor-level and graduates.

If the mergers of public universities were carried out, 320 facilities would be reduced to just over 200. According to Canh, specialised universities should be merged into multi-disciplinary institutions. Public universities would be merged into 15 institutions. He said, "Right now we have a large number of universities, but weak educational management."

On the other hand, Canh suggested an increase in the number of private universities over the next 20 years, despite many complaints about enrollment quotas. Canh said most private universities have a tendency to develop into multi-disciplinary institutions, and must have been good at management since they had no support from the state. He said, "This is an emerging sector, so it can expect to encounter instability and changes."

In any case, the importance of private sector in Vietnam's educational depends on government's policies.

Talking about colleges, Tran Duc Canh hopes to make them into two-year degree facilities, which can be opened in all localities. "Most students at colleges plan to transfer to a four-year university. This will help students save money and time, and will also help to reduce the number of students flocking to big cities."

If Canh's proposal were followed, the number of bachelor degree holders would increase by about 21% within 20 years. This raises doubts, since 72,000 graduate students are reportedly unemployed. In response, Canh said that, with the current human resource situation in the country, problems such as counterfeit degrees and unqualified graduates will easily arise. Fair competition will play a great role in the quality of education, he added.

Canh said, "Vietnam now has the chance to learn from other countries' experiences. However, reforming the education sector is a long and complicated process."

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