MOET evaluates universities, but criteria for evaluation unclear

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has kicked off a university accreditation process, but the criteria for quality assurance remain controversial.

MOET, universities, evaluation

Under MOET’s plan, universities would be classified into three groups – research-oriented, application-oriented and practice-oriented schools. There will be five levels for the ranking.

The research-oriented group includes schools producing bachelor’s, master’s and PhDs in many different majors. As the schools focus on creating researchers and scientists, they would develop human resources for research institutes, universities and academies, thus playing a decisive role in the building of a knowledge-based economy.

As for the schools, the master’s and doctoral training scale is large, which must not be lower than 50 percent of the schools’ total training scale, while the number of research-targeted training programs must not be lower than 60 percent of the schools’ total training programs.

Under the proposal, at least 40 percent of the schools’ permanent lecturers and researchers must have a doctorate. Each school must train and produce at least 50 PhDs a year and publish at least 50 scientific articles in prestigious international scientific journals.

The application-oriented group would be in charge of developing human resources for the country’s industrialization and modernization. The schools would focus on preparing people with university degrees who can apply science and technology in production.

The practice-oriented schools would be junior colleges that prepare human resources for local socio-economic development. There will be many practica in the training programs that connect training, scientific research and production practices.

The classification and development stages will be over a 10-year period, to be determined by the Prime Minister.

Regarding school accreditation, there would be five ranks, with the first rank given to the best school.

It is expected that 10 percent of the best educational institutions will be among the first rank, while  20 percent of the institutions with slightly lower training achievements will be placed second.

There would be 40 percent of schools in the third level and 20 percent in the fourth. Meanwhile, the remaining 5 percent will be ranked fifth.

The educational institution accreditation will be carried out once every two years by MOET.

Educators have expressed doubts about the feasibility of the plan.

“I cannot imagine how the ministry can assess the schools’ training quality if the criteria for the assessments remain unclear,” an analyst said.

Meanwhile, Associate Professor Le Trong Thang from the Hanoi Mining and Geology University, noted that the requirements or research-oriented schools were so “sky-high” that he believed no school in Vietnam could satisfy them.

MOET wants the research-oriented universities to spend no less than 25 percent of their annual total spending on scientific research activities.

But Thang believes that it would be very difficult for schools to seek financial sources to fund research projects.

Kim Chi

MOET, universities, evaluation