Disabled students struggle to find ways into university
  • | | July 07, 2014 03:29 PM

Vague regulations and hard realities often prevent disabled students from getting into their desired universities, confusing educators.


 A student with mobility problems to the entrance exam

In 2014, the government issued regulations which state that severely disabled students who are qualified can be given priority enrollment at universities, exempting them from entrance exams. However, this regulation caused confusion to both universities and students. Universities and colleges said there is no clear definition about what a severe disability is. Co Tan Anh Vu from HCM City University of Transport even asked the Ministry of Education and Training to issue specific guidance.

An educator at a university in Hanoi said they had to spend tens of millions of VND to hold a special entrance exam for disabled students. The supervisors read the questions aloud and the students also read their own answers. The process was recorded by police.

Le Huong Giang is an outstanding student who has won many prizes. However, she has been blind since birth and was denied entry to the international media faculty by Diplomatic Academy. She is now waiting for feedback from Vietnam National University. She said, "There is a lot of equipment to help disabled people integrate into society. I just want a chance to study."

Doan Van Ve, from the University of Science, said they once had a disabled student in the faculty of chemical technology. However, they had to persuade this student to switch to information technology because state's regulation requires practitioners to stand while doing experiments.

Meanwhile, the priority enrollment regulation added to the confusion for disabled students. The vice director of Disability Resource and Development (DRD) group, Luu Thi Anh Loan, said, "This regulation is making disabled students an exception and it will take away pride from students when they pass the entrance exam." Several disabled students, especially those with mobility troubles, think that the regulation denies their learning and thinking ability. This may make them feel inferior to other students.

Loan went on to say that the regulation would extinguish the fighting spirit of disabled people. She said, "There was a time when the pedagogic sector gave priority enrollment to disabled students. But they weren't granted the bachelor degrees after graduation, they were given a certificate." Even if they had bachelor degrees, employers might not think highly of it, since they were given priority enrollment. Priority enrollment for disabled students is a good step but it still has shortcomings and need to be more refined.

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