Experts discuss provincial universities’ difficulties

August 21, 2018 - 06:00

Plans to close down universities in the provinces and improving the way higher education centres are run in big cities is causing controversy.

Students are studying in the library in the Tôn Đức Thắng University in HCM City. Plans to close down regional universities is causing controversy. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Vy
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Plans to close down universities in provinces and improving the way higher education centres are run in big cities across the country are causing controversy.

The idea was suggested by Prof. Từ Quang Hiển, former director of the Thái Nguyên University, who was speaking at the Việt Nam Education Conference 2018 in Hà Nội last week.

He said provincial universities are not proving effective despite the model being in operation for 24 years.

Hiển believed that the best way forward was to shut down education centres in the regions, or failing that, run them in the same way national universities are managed.

He told the conference that provincial universities show a number of weak spots in management and have little connection with other education centres.

Hiển went as far as to suggest that these universities were almost acting independently, which was not a good model for further development.

But at the same time he said national education centres should also look at shaking up their management structure, and where possible work closer with other, similar education facilities.

In Hiển’s opinion, polices should be set up so that smaller universities also have enough capacity to separate away from their parent centres.

Speaking about the issue, Hoàng Ngọc Vinh, former director of the Vocational Training Department under the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), said concerned organisations should search for reasons why provinces’ universities did not develop.

After searching for the reasons, concerned organisations can decide whether they should dissolve provinces’ universities or not.

“If management is good, provinces’ universities would be a strong group with each member university having their own strong points,” said Vinh.

Thus the most important problem was that the universities lacked an effective management and operation.

“Members of provinces’ universities should cooperation to create a strong group to integrate,” said Vinh.

To better develop, Vinh proposed provinces’ universities and national universities to re-research to find out a proper management.

Professor Lâm Quang Thiệp, former director of the Higher Education Department under the MoET, said that setting up models of national universities and provinces’ universities was one of important polices in the period 1987-97. At that time, education sector wanted to build strong universities.

But the implementation met problems and difficulties.

Many member universities did not agree to merge into one, because at that time, “university” would become “faculty” of the main university, said Thiệp.

Thiệp proposed to allow university members with uni-sector to develop into an independent university. — VNS