return icon Vietnamnet.vn

Universities with autonomy complain about overlapping legal documents

Leaders of many universities and academies say they face many obstacles implementing the autonomy regime because of inconsistent legal framework.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam

Recently, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and the National Assembly’s Committee for Culture and Education organized a conference on university autonomy. The conference, with 900 participants, was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam. 

Pham Hong Quang, chair of the Thai Nguyen University Council, cited problems in management, decentralization, and the financing situation during the process of university autonomy.

He said that university autonomy is not only covered by the Law on Higher Education (amended), but also by other laws, including the Law on Public Assets, Law on Public Investment, Law on State Budget and the Law on Civil Servants and Public Employees. 

However, the provisions of the laws and other regulations are inconsistent, making it difficult to develop the autonomy mode. In many cases, if schools want to follow the Law on Higher Education, they have to wait for other laws to be enacted and state regulations.

Quang said that it is necessary to come to an agreement about university autonomy.

“Autonomy doesn’t mean self-governance and that schools can do anything they want. It also doesn’t mean self-sufficiency,” he said. 

“I sometimes hear that certain schools have a high autonomy level because they don’t use money from the State budget. This is right, but not enough. The State still has to support private and 'self-determined' schools through tax and land policies,” he said, adding that the UK, US and Australia governments still give support to universities, even though the schools have sources of revenue.

Prof Dr Tran Duc Vien, Deputy Chair of the Vietnam National Academy of Agriculture Council, emphasized the need to have a transparent legal framework for university autonomy.

Vien said that legal documents regulating the autonomy regime of universities are unsuited to the goals of autonomy. As a result, autonomy is allowed only on paper. 

Vien agreed with Quang that the operations of universities are covered not only by the Law on Higher Education, but also other laws, including the Law on Public Employees, the Law on Science and Technology, Bidding Law, the Law on Public Investment and the Law on State Budget. The provisions of the laws are inconsistent.

“The Law on Public Asset Management is not synchronous with the Law on Higher Education which allows education establishments to use legal non-state budget sources of revenue,” he said. 

“The Law on State Budget is not synchronous with the Law on Higher Education which allows school councils to approve financial plans and balance sheets,” he said. “The Law on Investment doesn’t specify the development of public-private partnerships."

As a result, autonomy exists only on paper.

Vien said the policy tools for implementation for the autonomy regime are limited. For example, in terms of organizational autonomy, there is no "democratic independence" in the selection, appointment and dismissal of university heads as well as in the decisions on terms of office.

Regarding autonomy in financing, many barriers exist because of inconsistency in regulations and misunderstanding of autonomy, which is equated with "self-determination" and with "self-sufficiency" in financing.

Schools operate under the mode of autonomy, but they still have to comply with procedures and norms prescribed by the law on management and use of the state budget.

There are also problems in autonomy in human resource management. The recruitment, use, rotation, and appointment of workers and the termination of labor contracts with public employees at public schools must follow procedures set by the laws on public employees and labor. In many cases, schools also have to follow procedures set by governing bodies as well.

Regarding academic autonomy, current laws stipulate that enrollment, organization and management of training is the responsibility of training establishments. However, legal documents that cover school enrollment and training still set many requirements, which shows that schools’ right to autonomy is not respected.

According to Dam, university autonomy has been included in central resolutions and legal documents. However, some problems still exist, which will be solved step by step during the implementation of the autonomy regime.

Dam stressed that giving autonomy to universities is the right decision. He cited many international school rankings as saying that Vietnam’s higher education has jumped from 80-90th in the world to the 60-70th positions.  

In the past, 70-80 percent of Vietnamese publications in international journals belonged to research institutes, but now 70 percent belong to universities.

Thanh Hung

MORE NEWS

Animated series seeks to change stereotypes on Vietnamese products

Wolfoo, a YouTube children’s animated web series, which has reached more than 2 billion views a month, has changed the world’s stereotypes on Vietnamese products.

VN banking prospects from now to the end of the year

Under the circular, the State Bank of Vietnam told banks to reschedule debt repayments to help customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic until June 30 this year.

JPMorgan: 65% of AirPods production to be located in Vietnam in 2025

JPMorgan analyst expects 20 percent of iPad, 5 percent of MacBook, 20 percent of Apple Watch and 65 percent of AirPods production to be located in Vietnam in 2025.

US$2.3 billion withdrawn from stock market, investors begin to worry

Concerns are increasing in the stock market after the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) raised regulating interest rates and withdrew VND56 trillion (over US$2.3 billion) last week.

Teacher Nguyen Ngoc Ky writing with feet passes away

This morning, 75-year-old teacher Nguyen Ngoc K, who inspired many generations of students with his determination to rise up in life, passed away at his home in Thu Duc City.

Super typhoon barrels through central Vietnam

Super Typhoon Noru, one of the four strongest storms in 20 years, made landfall in the central region of Vietnam at daybreak today, September 28, toppling trees, damaging houses and construction works, blowing away roofs and causing flooding.

Discovering craft villages in Buddhist centre in Quang Ninh

Coming to Yen Tu relic site in Quang Ninh province – Vietnam’s major Buddhist centre, tourists can also experience traditional crafts such as making hats, bamboo handicrafts, and wood carvings.

Ministry drafts mechanism to adjust average retail power price

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is drafting a Prime Minister's Decision on the mechanism for adjusting the average retail electricity price.

Foreign investment disbursement hits record high in nine months

Disbursement of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first nine months of this year reached 15.4 billion USD, up 16.2 % year-on-year and marking a record high, a report from the Foreign Investment Department (FIA) has shown.

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son pays visit to Germany

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son paid an official visit to Germany from September 26-27 at the invitation of his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.

2,500 children suffer from cancer in Vietnam every year

The Cancer Centre under the National Paediatrics Hospital, revealed the information in the programme "Con thuyền mơ ước" (Ship of Dreams) to improve people's awareness of children's cancer on Sunday in Hanoi.

New Vietnam-Japan cooperation era: Japanese Vice Minister of Defense

“Let's make 2023 the year that marks the beginning of a new era for both Japan and Vietnam," said Japanese Vice Minister of Defense Yasuhide Nakayama in a talk with VietNamNet.

Challenges ahead for Vietnam this year

“Pressure”, “increased difficulties” and “high risks and challenges”: these are the words used by the Minister of Planning and Investment to describe how hard it will be to fulfill Vietnam’s growth goals this year.

Some industries lack orders, others cannot take more

While woodwork companies are lacking new export orders amid high inflation in the US and Europe, food-processing companies are not receiving new orders because of rising input material prices.

Wholesale and retail sectors lead in new foreign investment approvals

The wholesale and retail industries took the lead in new foreign-invested projects in the January-September period, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment.
back_to_top