University accreditation plan causes concern among educators
VietNamNet Bridge - The Examinations and Education Quality Assurance Department has announced the draft regulation on higher-education establishment accreditation, under which universities would be ranked based on 111 criteria.


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An official of the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) said the new standards for assessing education establishments’ quality have been created with reference to AUN-QA (ASEAN University Network – Quality Assurance) standards released in July 2016.

With 25 standards and 111 criteria, the new standards will serve the overall assessment of university education establishments. The current set of standards only comprises 10 standards and 61 criteria.

Lam Quang Thiep, former director of MOET’s Higher Education Department, said that the new set of standards is too complicated with too many standards and criteria, which would make the assessment impractical and difficult to implement.

He also thinks that it is not necessary to assess universities on a 7-scale marking scheme, saying that two or three scales would be enough. “It is just like buying fabric for clothes and you measure every millimeter,” he said.

The third problem Thiep can see in the draft regulation is that it doesn’t mention the requirements on accreditation organization. 

The Examinations and Education Quality Assurance Department has announced the draft regulation on higher-education establishment accreditation, under which universities would be ranked based on 111 criteria.
While the draft regulation has many provisions on the right & power of accreditation organizations and sanctions on education establishments, it does not set sanctions on accreditation organizations. What will happen if accreditation organizations act dishonestly and are biased?

He also pointed out that it would be a danger if the education establishment accreditation is implemented on the basis of business contracts. Under business contracts, the payers (universities) may put pressure on accreditation organizations, which will affect the accuracy of assessments.

It would be better for MOET to set up average fees of service that schools have to pay to accreditation organizations.

The currently applied standards comprises a criterion on the percentage of school graduates who can find jobs within one year after graduation. Meanwhile, the draft standards do not mention this, though this is considered an important factor to assess training establishments’ quality.

The Duy Tan University has finished the education quality assessment in late 2016. The school satisfied 85.25 criteria, but could not meet nine out of 61 criteria.

Le Cong Co, rector of Duy Tan University, complained that the current regulation sets ‘unreasonable requirements’ that not only Duy Tan, but state-owned schools, cannot satisfy.

“The current regulation, for example, includes the requirements on dormitories. How can we, non-state schools, earn money to buy land for dormitories?” he said.

Doan Quang Vinh, deputy director of the Da Nang University, also sees a lot of problems in the current accreditation standards, saying that the standards don’t consider Vietnam’s integration into the region and the world.
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Ha Anh

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