The conference focused
on three major themes, namely university autonomy, quality control and
cooperation with recruiters as the key factors determining the quality
of higher education.
The majority of delegates shared the same view that the quality of higher education in Vietnam is currently rather low.
Associate Professor Hoang Minh Son, President of the Hanoi University
of Science and Technology, said low tuition fees were an obstacle to
improving the quality of education, adding that higher fees would not
mean higher quality, but that if the fees were too low, higher quality
could not be achieved.
Therefore, he suggested that ceiling fees imposed by the MOET should
be abolished and that universities be given autonomy with regards to
Professor Dang Kim Vui, President of Thai Nguyen University, said the
number of student recruited exceeding an institution’s acceptance
capacity was also one of the reasons for the declining quality of higher
Professor Nguyen Van Hieu said one of the reasons for this is that
the majority of excellent students are not retained at universities to
continue doing research following their mentors.
Speaking at the conference, MOET Minister Phung Xuan Nha said that
weaknesses in the quality of higher education are becoming visible and
have caused public concern, while pointing out several reasons for this,
such as the high student-to-lecturer ratio, adding that no more than
one fifth of lecturers in Vietnam have doctorates.
He also mentioned poor infrastructure and low tuition fees, averaging
at US$500 per student a year, compared with about US$16,000 in the US
for a public institution and US$36,000 for a private one.
The education minister stated that it is necessary for universities
to reform their administration, reduce the number of recruits to focus
on quality and work with enterprises so that their students are equipped
with what the economy needs.