Local universities booming in Vietnam

Published: 31/05/2011 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge – The school upgrading has been taking place everywhere in Vietnam: intermediate schools (2-year training) have been upgraded into junior colleges (3-year training), while junior colleges have been upgraded into universities (4 or 5-year training). Is this the reasonable development orientation for Vietnam’s education?

The wave of provincial universities

In 2006, the Binh Thuan provincial people’s committee drew up the plan to establish the Binh Thuan University, by upgrading the existing provincial pedagogical junior college.

However, in early March 2009, the Prime Minister signed the decision on establishing the Phan Thiet private university in Binh Thuan province. Since the province already has one university, the province in June 2009 decided not to develop the project on Binh Thuan University any more.

Nevertheless, the project, which was thought as dead, has been revived when the provincial authorities in late 2010, ordered the education and training department to take necessary procedures to set up the Binh Thuan University.

In Phu Yen province, the Pedagogical Junior College and the Economics-Technique Intermediate School were merged and upgraded into the Phu Yen University in 2007. In Tra Vinh province, the Tra Vinh Community Junior College was upgraded into the Tra Vinh University in 2006. In Quang Ngai province, the Quang Ngai Pedagogical Junior College turned into the Pham Van Dong University in 2007. In Quang Binh province, the Quang Binh Pedagogical Junior College turned into the Quang Binh University in 2006. Meanwhile, the Ha Tinh University has been established from the Ha Tinh Pedagogical Junior College.

The wave of upgrading junior colleges into universities began 10 years ago, while the schools have been booming over the last five years. According to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee, Vietnam now has 409 universities and junior colleges, including 307 schools which have been established or upgraded in the last 10 years.

With the upgrading, 35 provinces and cities have new universities and junior colleges. Currently, 40 provinces and cities have universities, 60 has junior colleges, while 62 provinces and cities have at least one university or one junior college. Of the 307 new schools, 245 schools have been upgraded from lower levels, 8 schools have been upgraded from the faculties of national or regional universities, while only 32 schools have been newly built.

The wave of upgrading schools still continues. The Ben Tre and Binh Thuan Pedagogical Junior Colleges are following necessary procedures to become universities. Most recently, presidents of some schools in the north, when introducing their enrolment plan for the 2011-2012 academic year, revealed that their schools will be upgraded into universities in the near future.

What for?

A professor of a school in HCM City said that every city and province wants to have universities in their localities, because the universities will help upgrade the quality of the labor force for the provinces.

Schools can see big benefits when they can be upgraded into universities. First of all, they will get tens of hectares of land and get capital allocated to build schools. Second, it is clearly that universities have bigger power than junior colleges or intermediate schools because they have bigger enrolment quotas and have better pay for lecturers. And more importantly, university education now is really a profitable business.

Nevertheless, many experts say the wave has brought more harm than good. The National Assembly’s Standing Committee has pointed out that the majority of the schools, which have been upgraded, are facing big difficulties due to the lack of lecturers.

A junior college in the south, due to the serious lacking of lecturers, had to report a “bogus list” of lecturers to the Ministry of Education and Training. An official, who worked for a state agency in district 3 was listed in the payroll of the school. Meanwhile, in fact, he did not do any thing for the school.

The training quality of local universities remains problematic. That explains why an enterprise in Mekong Delta reportedly refused the candidates who graduated from local universities.

Source: TBKTSG

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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