The Ministry of Education and Training's chief inspector Nguyen Huy Bang talks to Viet Nam Economic Times about ensuring university entrance exams are fair for all students.
Can you discuss the preparations MoET is making for the upcoming university entrance exams to ensure a fair playing field for all students?
Based on the results of our inspections, MoET has imposed sanctions on four universities and 11 academic institutions due to serious management errors.
One of the four universities was Dong Do University. Inspectors discovered that the university facility was actually on a lease which was contrary to what was written in their licence application.
But in our latest visit in early 2013, the university had successfully acquired three hectares of land to build their own facilities. We appreciated the fast action taken by the university.
For universities that recruit more students than their allotted quota, we will issue administrative fines as well as tougher measures to discipline those in charge.
We hope that with good policies and strict measures in place, the upcoming university entrance exams will be fair for all candidates.
The Law on Higher Education came into force early this year, has your department adopted new measures to tighten inspections?
Regarding autonomy for higher education institutions, the legislation has been established so autonomy will be approved in accordance with the proven capability of individual institutions.
When given a reality check, the related clauses of this law will face challenges that seriously affect international relations in both public and private institutions. Part of the underlying reason is the diverse nature of these types of activities.
This new institutional change requires my department to step up our inspections to make sure the law is strictly abided by, particularly Conclusion No 51-KL/TU of the 6th meeting of the Party Central Committee on the comprehensive renewal of the education sector.
Is it true that MoET is considering using higher fines to tackle these violations?
I don't think so. To my understanding, the ministry does not want to increase the fines.
The ministry has never applied the maximum fine of VND 100 million (US$4.800) since it was set. Increasing the fine is not the best option.
What's more important are measures to overcome the consequences. In reality, universities are not afraid of paying fines. What they are afraid of most is having their student quotas cut or reducing the number of degrees they are permitted to offer. — VNS