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Aus helps VN strengthen online education quality checks

Update: March, 16/2017 - 17:30
Some APEC economies, including Việt Nam, remain uncertain about the quality, recognition and student experience aspects of qualifications delivered fully or significantly online. — Photo thanhnien.vn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The Australian government and the Ministry of Education and Training of Việt Nam co-organised a workshop on Thursday to validate a toolkit developed to assist APEC countries in quality checks for online education.

The toolkit was first considered by 13 APEC economies, including Việt Nam, in October 2016, and is now being road-tested before it seeks endorsement at the APEC later this year. Việt Nam is one of the three countries receiving in-country assistance under the project.

The toolkit aims to promote a shared understanding of good practices and provide practical tools for evaluating aspects of online education such as, for example, teacher skills and integrity of assessment, said a press release issued on Thursday after the consultation workshop in Hà Nội.

“Online education in higher education is a global trend, and, done well, can improve access and provide innovative ways to engage students in their learning,” the press release said. “Yet some APEC economies, including Việt Nam, remain uncertain about the quality, recognition and student experience aspects of qualifications delivered fully or significantly online.”

The workshop discussed Việt Nam’s directions and challenges in accrediting online education, and looked at how the toolkit could assist the country in strengthening its quality assurance processes.

This assistance comes at the right time as the country is currently developing guidelines on distance education. As host of APEC in 2017, Việt Nam has identified ‘human resources in the digital age’ as one of its key strategic themes.

Australia’s Ambassador to Việt Nam Craig Chittick said that the Australian government is committed to supporting Việt Nam’s education reforms and noted that improving quality and access goes to the heart of meeting the country’s future needs for human resource.

“The 2035 report concluded that to remain globally competitive and sustain economic growth, Việt Nam must embrace innovation. Online education has the potential to offer more Vietnamese students access to internationally recognised qualifications without the cost of physically moving across borders,” Chittick said. “These developments present considerable opportunities for Vietnamese and Australian universities.”

Participants of the workshop also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the education ministry. TEQSA’s chief executive officer Anthony McClaran said the MoU recognises both parties’ commitment to quality education.

“We are looking forward to working with the Vietnamese Government to assist in enhancing the quality of higher education; to broadening our reach in the region and to supporting the mobility of international students,” McClaran said. — VNS

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