|Students at a foreign language lesson at FPT University. Experts have called on the Government to create a level playing field for State-owned and private universities. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Tu
HA NOI (VNS)— State leaders and university and college representatives agreed at a conference held here yesterday that the Government needed to level the playing field to allow State-owned and private universities to develop together.
The conference was hosted to review the development of non-State universities, which had been established in the last 20 years.
Professor Tran Hong Quan, chairman of the Association of Non-State Colleges and Universities, said it was unfair that private universities, which operate on a non-profit basis, were still being taxed.
Quan's opinion mirrored that of many other participants, who complained about the unfair treatment meted out by the State towards non-State schools.
Professor Dang Ung Van, principal of Hoa Binh University, said, "Without a fair policy, competition between public and private schools will be skewed, and the latter will always be at a disadvantage."
"While State-owned schools have always received adequate investment, non-State ones have always been on the verge of being kicked out of the market," stated Tran Kim Phuong, chairman of the management board of ASEAN College. She urged the government to create a policy for non-state schools in addressing this issue.
Bui Tran Phuong, the principal of Hoa Sen University, claimed State and non-State universities should be given opportunities to come together for a more straightforward discussion about educational reforms, which could help the country's educational development.
Representatives from non-State schools also complained of social prejudices against them and their students.
They said they were viewed as imparting low-quality education, with an eye on profits.
"The government has earmarked a budget to support students in state-owned schools, but nothing has been set aside for students from non-state schools," complained Quan.
The participants said that employers too didn't favour graduates from non-State colleges as much as they did those from State-owned schools.
In response to these varied opinions, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said he appreciated the straight-forward views from representatives of non-state universities and will seriously consider them.
Dam noted that the problems cited would be resolved when new policies for the fair treatment of schools are put in place in the future.
He, however, acknowledged that implementing solutions would take time.
He also urged non-State schools to improve themselves in the meantime.
Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga confirmed that by the end of 2013, there were 69 universities and 21 colleges on the non-State side. These accounted for 22 per cent of the total number of universities and colleges nationwide. — VNS