Vietnamese private universities face closure for lack of students
  • By Hong Hanh | | February 28, 2013 08:27 PM
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Many private colleges and universities are facing the risk of closure due to failure to fill student quotas.


Many Vietnamese private universities face closure for lack of students

Barriers to enrollment

A representative from the Hanoi Department of Propaganda and Training said the quality of students attending private universities largely remains low. The majority of private schools lack adequate training facilities and are incapable of meeting students' demands. The quality of graduates of private learning institutions also remains below that of public ones, he said, adding that this is the reason for their enrollment problems.

By the end of 2012, Vietnam had 81 private colleges and universities, accounting for 14% of graduates. Few of them achieved their enrollment quotas, with most reaching between 30% and 60% of their targets. Many fell even shorter.

Recently the Vietnam Private Universities Association (VIPUA) submitted a petition to the prime minister on their critical situation, seeking intervention from the government.

The VIPUA claims that public higher education institutions are at the root of the problem because they have been allowed to set their own enrollment targets. VIPUA claims that it was a result of these policies that a record high number of 504,000 began attending public schools instead of private ones last year.

According to Tran Hong Quan, Chairman of VIPUA, besides, the ministry’s current regulations also affected the student recruitment at private universities. Each year about 500,000 potential students are prevented from attending university because of low scores on entrance exams. Quan said this is a waste and that many of these students study abroad instead, or attend foreign-invested universities in Vietnam where the only requirement is a high school diploma.

Better policies needed for private universities

Nguyen Manh Hung, President of Hong Bang University International, said, “It is necessary to apply different requirements for public and private universities."

Professor Dang Ung Van, Principle of Hoa Binh University, said private universities should be allowed to recruit students with just a high school diploma and that public schools should maintain their exam requirements. He also suggested implementing a two-tiered system that would put students into two categories: one for those with low marks and another who scored high on their exams.

According to a representative from the Hanoi Department of Propaganda and Training, it is essential to tighten control over the establishment of private universities by issuing regulations on their operation, suspension or dissolution.

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