Foreign schools short of the good mark

January 22, 2013 | 10:48
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Foreign-backed training programmes aiming to improve the quality of Vietnamese education system are showing signs of falling.

The Government Inspectorate found that only five out of 94 foreign universities that have been cooperating with Vietnamese universities, ranked high within the region and the world namely Brussels University (Netherlands), Swinburn (Australia), ESCP Europe Business School, Sidney University (Australia) and Stirling University (United Kingdom).  The remaining is not ranked or ranked lower than Vietnamese universities.

“This fact failed to meet strategic educational goals set in the previous decision by the prime minister,” the Government Inspectorate said in a report.

Along with the nation’s poor infrastructure and complicated administrative procedures, a shortage of skilled workforce is considered as a bottleneck hindering Vietnam’s economic development.

To improve the quality of human resources, Vietnam has allowed domestic universities to cooperate with foreign counterparts to create a comprehensive change in educational quality in line with advanced international standards, Vietnam’s educational reality and serving the country’s socio-economic development.

However, the Government Inspectorate found a series of mistakes in training cooperation programmes between domestic and foreign universities, showing that the quality of these foreign-backed training programmes was not as high as expected.

For example, in 20 profiles of post-graduate programmes at the National Economic University (NEU) and Hanoi University, the authority detected only 11 programmes compelling entrance examinations and the others not requiring entrance exams.

Those programmes without entrance exams then violated the governmental Decree 18/2001/ND-CPdated  May 4, 2001 and the Circular 15/2003/TT-BGD&DT issued by the Ministry of Training and Education on March 31, 2003, according to the authority.

Not only falling short in quality, these foreign-backed training programmes also showed differences in educational fee mechanisms.

The lowest fee for a post-graduate programme applied at NEU Vietnam-Netherlands class was $3,500 per course, while the highest fee is $13,500 per course for the graduate programme at NEU. This amount is 20 times higher compared to the stipulated fees in the governmental Decree 49/2010/ND-CP issued on May 14, 2010.  

“Such high education fees are not equal to the quality of those training programmes,” the Government Inspectorate said in the report.

By Phan Hien

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