To help cadres, Party members and people have a more thorough understanding about the 5-year implementation of Resolution, in which university autonomy is considered the “root” of the renewal; and provide more scientific arguments for proposals to increase the efficiency of the Resolution, the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Training on October 25th held an online dialogue “University autonomy – Inevitable development tendency”.
Guests at the dialogue included Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Deputy Minister of Education and Training; Dr. Nguyen Dac Hung, Head of the Department of Education – Training and Vocational Training under the Party Central Committee Commission for Popularization and Education; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bui Anh Tuan, Rector of the Foreign Trade University; and Prof. Dr. Pham Huy Dung, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Thang Long University.
The following is part of the dialogue.
Journalist Thu Hang: Dear Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc, Resolution No.29 set missions for higher education: “Focusing on training high-skilled human resources, talented people; developing virtue and capability of self-learning and self-enriching knowledge and creativity of learners; perfecting the network of higher education establishments, vocational training structures; and training qualifications suitable to the scheme of developing national human resources.” Could you please tell readers about what changes the implementation of the Resolution made?
Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Phuc:
After 5 years of initial implementation, there has been a shift towards higher education.
The Resolution was promulgated in 2013 and the Government promulgated Resolution No.77 on pilot renewal for higher education in 2014. So far, the Government has approved the pilot renewal for 23 universities.
This is the biggest-ever pilot renewal with autonomy in three aspects, being: academic expertise, organizational structure and finance. Through the pilot results, the Government and Ministry gave positive assessments and proposed the National Assembly (NA) to revise the Law on higher education.
The revised contents were put into a draft law. The NA plans to adopt the draft in the end of 2018 to officially institutionalize policies which have been realized over the past years. We have to institutionalize because the pilot period (from 2014-2017) has ended.
Resolution No.29 stressed the construction of some universities and branches of learning at the international level. Higher education establishments have been aware of building prestige, quality and integration with the world. Thanks to that, 117 universities and more than 100 programs have been verified internationally.
The latest statistics show that Vietnam has seven universities listed among Top 500 in Asia and Top 1,000 in the world. Compared to large universities, our budget and investment is modest, but the renewal showed our right direction.
The Resolution also emphasized the promotion of qualities and abilities of learners. Regulations of universities began referring to foreign training programs, ideas of business, social demand to renew programs, contents and teaching methods.
Journalist Thu Hang: Thank you Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Phuc. As you said, after five years of implementation of Resolution No. 29, up to now, higher education has had many positive changes. Dear Mr. Nguyen Dac Hung, what do you think about the achievements that higher education has achieved after five years of implementation of Resolution, especially in university autonomy?
Head of the Department of Education – Training and Vocational Training Nguyen Dac Hung: I completely agree with Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Phuc. It can be said that the five-year development history of the education sector is not long, but it meets the expectation of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam. People can evaluate through following five indicators:
The first indicator, which shows the clearest changes, is that before the implementation of Resolution No.29, we did not have any university among the world top 1,000 universities. After five years, we have two universities among the world top universities and many universities in the Asian top 400-300 universities. Some training sectors and fields have been comparable with other major universities in the world and in the region.
Secondly, 84% of graduated students get jobs after 12 months.
Thirdly, the number of research works announced in the country and internationally doubles.
Fourthly, the evolution of awareness and action in universities, especially when we review the three years of implementation of the resolution, can confirm that the government’s autonomy guideline in implementing Resolution 29 is completely right, allowing us to create healthy competition among universities nationwide.
Over the past time some private universities are highly evaluated under the international verification.
Lastly, higher education and postgraduate training quality are managed more closely through gradual access to international quality and standards.
In my opinion, these are the results we have achieved over the past five years. Of course, the full implementation of Resolution 29 is still a long way away, but in the near future, specifically after 10 years of reviewing the implementation of Resolution, there will be more and more clear changes and achievements.
Journalist Thu Hang: Mr. Bui Anh Tuan, in your opinion, what is the most outstanding achievement of Vietnam’s higher education?
Rector Bui Anh Tuan: First, I agree with Mr. Phuc’s and Mr. Hung’s ideas. In my personal viewpoint, the most outstanding achievement is that the country satisfies more requirements of higher education, which is reflected in the fact that people’s access to higher education has been increased to satisfy the demand of labour market. Moreover, in some training industries, the human resources have not only satisfied domestic demand, but also regional and international demand. Meanwhile, transfer of technologies and intellectuals has also been done well.
The achievement comes from effective implementation of higher education renewal in accordance with Resolution No.29. Special change has been reported in higher education when it cares about providing high quality human resources, especially an increase in the quality and quantity of higher education foundations, together with increased inspection of the foundations’ operations.
One more thing is that university autonomy has created a new vitality, helping universities increase their training quality and provide high quality human resources for the labour market.
Journalist Thu Hang: It can be seen that to develop higher education to meet the national development, the trend of self-control is indispensable. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said that autonomy is self-demand of university, especially in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Dear Deputy Minister, do you think autonomy is the only way for the future of higher education in Vietnam?
Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Phuc: For higher education, we are integrating with the world. In that process, we study and absorb the best experiences of countries in the world. The experience of the world is diverse, but university autonomy is the core for educational establishments to develop. Higher education institutions are the place to spread knowledge, creativity, and new knowledge, so universities need to be autonomous and actively create new knowledge. Thus, university autonomy is a very important demand for development.
However, in order for autonomy to be successful, it is necessary to be autonomous not only in the public sector but also in the university, from management leaders to lecturers and students in order to create a scientific academic environment, uphold the potential, intellect and quality of students, and create a healthy competitive environment among universities. Accompanying autonomy is quality improvement, quality assurance, accountability and supporting universities to be autonomous to reach the final goals of improving the quality of education.
Journalist Thu Hang: The Ministry of Education and Training is the agency to draft the Draft Law on amending and supplementing some articles of the Law on higher education. Would you please explain how the autonomy acceleration is shown through the amendments and supplements in the draft?
Deputy Minister Nguyen Van Phuc: In the Revised Draft Law of the Law on higher education to be submitted to the National Assembly for approval in 2018, the contents on university autonomy, compared to the current law of 2012, are clearer. Article 32 stipulates contents and accountability of the university autonomy.
In addition, other things related to specific issues such as the autonomy on learning specialty, university entrance, code, training, scientific research and international cooperation, are also mentioned.
The human resources autonomy of the system is more detailed. Financial autonomy and uses of possession stipulated by the Resolution 77, which we have piloted and achieved positive results.CPV Online Newspaper: Thank guests so much!./.Compiled by BTA
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