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Ministry to tighten control of joint training programs with foreign partners

About 25,000 students are studying in about 300 joint programs with foreign schools in Vietnam.
Director of the Ministry of Education and Training’s Higher Education Department, Nguyen Thu Thuy

The director of the Ministry of Education and Training’s (MOET) Higher Education Department, Nguyen Thu Thuy, said the UK has the highest number of joint training programs with Vietnam, followed by the US, France, Australia, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand.

More than 60 percent of joint training programs are in economics and management-related majors, 25 percent in science and technology, and 10 percent in other majors. Most are university-level courses, with a few for master’s and doctoral degrees.

More than 62 percent of foreign partners in joint training programs in Vietnam are not ranked or not listed among the top 1,000 universities in the world. Therefore, the training quality of these courses is questionable.

Nguyen Mai Hoa, deputy chair of the National Assembly’s Committee for Culture and Education, said the number of university education establishments violating regulations on joint training is not a modest figure.

Many students complain that they pay a lot of money but receive certificates, not degrees, which are not accepted in the labor market.

Thuy said the ranking of schools is not a compulsory criterion to choose partners for joint training programs. The amended Higher Education Law and Decree 86 does not require it.

However, all training programs, including joint training programs, must be accredited to be sure that they can satisfy requirements stipulated in the law and decree. It is expected that MOET next year will release a circular on management of joint training programs with foreign partners.

Dr Ho Thuy Ngoc, dean of International Training under Foreign Trade University, said there are no official criteria to assess quality of joint training programs with foreign schools. “A prestigious school/higher education establishment doesn’t mean that all the majors it provides have the same quality. There are two factors – the education establishments and the majors – mentioned in Decree 86 to ensure quality,” Ngoc said.

Thanh Hung

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