Phạm Xuân Thanh
PhD Phạm Xuân Thanh, former deputy director of the Department of Testing and Quality Assessment, under the Ministry of Education and Training, talks to Giáo dục Việt Nam (Việt Nam Education) online newspaper on the need to let the education quality agency work independently.
What are your thoughts on education quality accreditation in Việt Nam?
Education accreditation activities focus on the general assessment of performance by an education institution to see if that institution has met the minimum requirements from the Ministry of Education and Training or not.
In Việt Nam, since 2016, mixed methods of evaluation and assessment have been used to evaluate the quality of education.
At present Việt Nam has five evaluation and assessment centres as follows:
-The Centre for Education Accreditation from the Vietnam National University (VNU-CEA);
- The Centres for Education Accreditation from the Hồ Chí Minh City National University and the central city of Đà Nẵng (VNU-HCMCEA and CEA.UD).
- The Centres for Education Accreditation which are affiliated with the Association of Việt Nam Universities or CEA-AVU&C and the Centre for Education Accreditation of Vinh University or VCEA.
Why don’t we establish independent quality control centres like in other countries?
Before 2015, Việt Nam raised the idea of establishing private accreditation centres like those in other countries. But that the proposal was turned down.
That’s the driving force for the Ministry of Education to decide to establish centres for education accreditation in some big universities. That’s why in 2014, two centres for education accreditation were established in VNU-CEA and early 2015 the Centre for Education Accreditation in Đà Nẵng was established.
Then in 2015, the Vinh Centre for Education Accreditation was established.
In late 2017, the Vinh University established its own Centre for Education Accreditation.
Why don’t we let each university have its own centre for education accreditation?
As I mentioned above, we wanted to have a national quality control centre. But our proposal was turned down as many people expressed their wariness that the national quality control centre might not perform their task objectively.
What do you think about the operation of centres for education accreditation under the National University, the Đà Nẵng University and the Vinh University?
I highly appreciate what has been done at the National University, the Đà Nẵng University and the Vinh University.
But I’m sorry to say that the three centres for education accreditation which are under my management in accordance with the assignment from the Ministry of Education and Training before I left for the new assignment as the Education Attaché in Australia, were not separated from these universities but still maintained parts of them.
Those three centres’ performance was then very poor. This is a good lesson for Việt Nam – educational quality control should not be a part and parcel of a university. Its operation must be totally independent from the university and subject to inspection by an independent quality control centre. — VNS