Universities encouraged to adjust enrolment methods in the future

September 30, 2021 - 09:00
This is to avoid situations seen recently, where many students achieved high scores but still failed to qualify for their chosen university. 


Candidates at a local school prepare for the 2021 high school graduation exam on July 6 in Hải Phòng City. — VNA/VNS Photo An Đăng

HÀ NỘI — Universities nationwide have been encouraged to adjust their enrolment methods, putting less emphasis on high school graduation results. This is to avoid situations seen recently, where many students achieved high scores but still failed to qualify for their chosen university. 

The Ministry of Education and Training said that, since 2020, the name of the high school graduation exam has been changed to reflect this shift in purpose.

The new exam will mainly be for recognition for high-school students achievements, and not entrance to university. 

Due to the change, the difficulty level of the exam has been adjusted to suit this purpose, which has led to an increase in the number of students achieving high scores, the ministry said.

Data from the Ministry of Education and Training showed that in the English test, the number of students getting the maximum score (10 points) in 2021 was 4,345, over 19.3 times higher than the number of students getting the maximum score in 2020 and 14.5 times higher than in 2019.

The high school graduation rate in 2021 is nearly 99 per cent, an improvement on 2019 when the rate was only 94 per cent.

As a result of these high scores, 165 of the students who received a total score of 27 across three subjects, equal to 9 points per subject, still failed to enter the universities they applied for.

Associate Professor Nguyễn Thanh Chương, vice-rector of the Hà Nội-based University of Transport, said universities needed to quickly change their enrolment methods to match the situation.

The schools were advised to work with each other to set up a common enrolment exam, or use the results of a quality-assured exam to enrol their students.

Lê Viết Khuyến, a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges Việt Nam, said that it was time for universities to develop their own enrolment plans, gradually reducing dependence on the high school graduation exam results.

Professor Nguyễn Đình Đức, head of the Training Committee under the Việt Nam National University Hà Nội, said data in recent years showed that the high school graduation exam since 2020 no longer served two purposes – recognising students achievements in high school and using the results to enrol them into universities, especially leading universities.

Since 2019, the revised Law on Higher Education gives universities and colleges autonomy in enrolment.

Đức said the high school graduation exam results were not suitable for classifying excellent students for university admission purposes, especially to leading universities.

Lê Đông Phương, Director of the Centre for Higher Education Research under Việt Nam Institute of Educational Sciences, said that the university entrance exam and the high school graduation exam should be held separately, as their purposes are not the same.

Phương also suggested that the ability test deployed by some universities, or the critical thinking test applied by Hà Nội University of Science and Technology, is the right way to assess students.

Phương said the critical thinking test could be used for technical schools while the ability test could be used for social science schools.

The education ministry should issue detailed guidelines so that only 4-5 tests meet the different requirements of the universities, he said.

Nguyễn Đức Nghĩa, former vice-rector of Việt Nam National University HCM City, said the ability test, which was currently organised by the university, was used by nearly 70 southern universities for admission. It could be considered a model for general admission by different groups of universities.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Hoàng Minh Sơn said the ministry encouraged universities to organise their own tests in the coming years.

The ministry would prepare a plan for these tests to help classify the ability of students. The two national universities have been assigned to build a system of educational testing centres, he said.

The two national universities would also play a key role in testing, assessment and enrolment activities in the country, he said. — VNS