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Viet Nam to expand university autonomy

Update: October, 23/2015 - 09:23
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam yesterday urged the Ministry of Education and Training to tailor its policies on autonomy for public universities to the needs of each institution. — VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam yesterday urged the Ministry of Education and Training to tailor its policies on autonomy for public universities to the needs of each institution.

At the workshop on tertiary education held in HCM City, he said that tertiary autonomy was necessary to ensure that universities planned their use of resources wisely, according to their purposes and goals.

"Autonomy does not mean that government does not invest anything in universities," he said.

He assured education officials that universities with autonomy would still receive money from the state, but would retain the right to decide how the money is spent.

Universities with autonomy, for example, have the right to use tuition as well as funds from enterprises and the government without asking permission from the Ministry of Education and Training.

The universities also have the right to make decisions on human resources and organisational structure.

In the 2014-15 academic year, 11 public universities and institutes took part in a pilot programme on autonomy in training, research and international co-operation.

They were allowed to collect higher tuition than tertiary institutions without autonomy.

Dam said the autonomy model would be expanded to more public universities.

However, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga said that most public universities without autonomy offered training in many majors.

"These schools cannot easily charge higher tuition, either," he said.

Mai Hong Quy, rector of HCM City University of Law, said the ministry should carry out more inspections and impose strict sanctions for violators of autonomy regulations.

If there were no regulations and sanctions, tertiary autonomy could easily "metamorphose" into full self-governing, creating "societal and political risks", she said.

Da Nang University's School of Education will be the first in the country to be assessed by Ha Noi National University's Quality Assessment Centre. The assessment will be carried out at many other universities and colleges. The results will be used to classify the schools into the three groups.

Dam said the assessment would also rank tertiary institutions on quality, which would help them identify what they need to improve. — VNS

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