HA NOI — Infrastructure and learning facilities at many of the country's public universities and colleges have been discovered to be severely low in quality in a recent nation-wide survey.
Students analyse soil samples in a lab at the School of Forestry and Agriculture of Thai Nguyen University. A recent survey by the Ministry of Education and Traning of 196 public educational establishments revealed low-quality infrastructure and facilities. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Na
The Ministry of Education and Training's survey, which was carried out for the first time at 196 educational establishments, revealed that only one library seat is available for every 21 students at public universities and colleges in Viet Nam, and many public higher education institutions to not even have a library to facilitate studies, the survey released on Monday reported.
It also revealed that 24 lacked a library altogether and 119 did not provide their students access to e-libraries.
Additionally, the quality of e-libraries was revealed to be inadequate and ineffective. Only 16.9 per cent of the e-libraries were connected with other libraries and as many as 175 students had to share a computer.
The survey found that a shortage of land area, and inadequate training facilities and functional areas for educational pursuits were common.
On average, area available per student was about 35.7sq.m, far from the current standards of 55 to 85sq.m.
Students only had about 3.6sq.m of study area available, less than half of the national standard and three times lower than that in developed countries.
On average, total land area of each university and college was reported to be under 10 hectares. Only 20 per cent of the 850,000 students in these educational establishments were able to stay in dormitories because there is simply not enough room.
Only 15.5 per cent of laboratories met research and study requirements for teachers and students. Nearly 50 per cent were reported to be outdated while only 1.4 per cent met the same quality standards as international schools.
Tran Thanh Binh, director of the Institute for Research and Design of Schools, said the growing student population and the rapid increase in the number of educational establishments were the main reasons for the limited land funds.
For example, the number of students has increased by 135 per cent in the past five years while the land fund has remained unchanged.
Binh said most existing universities were established on sites of less than 10 hectares and 15 universities hovered just below or just above one hectare. This has led to a substandard educational environment at these universities.
Le Hong Can, vice rector of Hong Duc Private University in central Thanh Hoa Province said there should be a policy to prioritise the construction of university facilities.
Vice head of the Ministry of Finance's State Budget Department Nguyen Truong Giang said the schools should mobilise investment sources from businesses or the community to develop infrastructure.
Giang said one-fifth of the State budget was spent on the educational sector, with 10 per cent of that going to higher education.
That percentage is expected to increase to 12 to 14 per cent in the upcoming years, he said.
Giang said the schools should be re-classified according to national standards and that low-quality institutions should be merged together to avoid ineffective and scattered investment. — VNS