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Higher education accreditation centers lack professionalism    
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Higher education accreditation centers lack professionalism 55 percent of training establishment have been accredited since 2016
Apr 01 2019

Five education quality accreditation centers in Vietnam have accredited 55 percent of training establishment since 2016, the date of their establishment. However, experts see problems in the way accreditation is implemented.

Nguyen Hoi Nghia, former deputy director of HCMC National University, said the first problem is the accreditation staff. Vietnam lacks accreditors, while current accreditors are not professional.

“The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) said there are about 1,000 accreditors and it regularly organizes training courses for the officers. However, I believe that the number of experienced accreditors is very modest,” he said.

Nghia believes that the number of senior accreditors who are trained well and sent to international training courses must not be higher than 10. The problems of the accreditation staff not only lies in the lack of professionalism, but also in their morals.

A university lecturer in Hanoi says that it is ‘abnormal’ that nearly all the universities that underwent accreditation could satisfy the required standards, stressing that the accreditation results are ‘in doubt’.

Nghia said that schools are willing to give bribes to accreditors to get the results they want. He said he refused bribes and rejected five universities which could not satisfy the requirements.

In general, schools have to pay VND200-500 million for an accreditation contract, depending on the number of students and workload. It takes six months on average to compete an accreditation mission.

However, the schools later were accredited by other accreditation centers and were recognized as meeting national standards.

Nghia said that schools give ‘envelopes’ with tens of millions of dong inside to accreditors as ‘gifts’. In some cases, schools promise to pay all expenses needed for the accreditation, from air tickets and hotels to meals and travel. Schools are willing to pay big money for the certificates on required standards.

In general, schools have to pay VND200-500 million for an accreditation contract, depending on the number of students and workload. It takes six months on average to compete an accreditation mission.

Nghia said that income is modest for accreditors. Each accreditor receives VND18-25 million for six months of work. The centers don’t receive support from the state and have to pay for everything themselves, including the offices.

There are three main problems at schools. The first lies in training. At some schools, the number of students is very high, while the teaching staff is limited and the teaching methods are outdated.

The second problem is modest research activities. This is a problem of the entire higher education system because of the low investment for research. The third is in the mission to serve the community.
-Vietnamnet