Reforming the governance of higher education in Vietnam: case studies of change at three key universities

Dao, K 2009, Reforming the governance of higher education in Vietnam: case studies of change at three key universities, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Reforming the governance of higher education in Vietnam: case studies of change at three key universities
Author(s) Dao, K
Year 2009
Abstract This investigation focuses on the reform of the governance of the higher education system in Vietnam. The forms and structures of governance established during the period of influence of the former Soviet Union, from the mid-1950s up until the end of the 1980s, have remained largely intact, due mainly to the fact that management of the system remains highly centralized. In recent years, the Government of Vietnam has emphasized the importance of modernizing governance of the system, in accordance with a framework articulated in its Higher Education Reform Agenda of 2005. This commitment has been evident also in its ten-year reform plan for education, from 2001 to 2010. Progress to date has, however, been slow, even to the extent of being negligible in some respects.

This investigation addresses specifically the reasons for the slow progress being made in reforming the governance of Vietnam's higher education system through case studies of three key universities. These ethnographic case studies have been constructed through interviews with well-placed informants together with participation observation and document analysis. These universities’ experiences are analyzed within a conceptual approach developed from the literature of the field.

The experiences of these universities suggest that the reform of higher education governance in Vietnam is a very complex process with many tensions and huge challenges ahead. Each university is at an early stage in terms of reforming their institutional governance. In addition, the system remains centrally controlled, more or less in the Soviet mould. As a consequence, the universities find it extremely difficult to cope with the HE reform process mandated by the State via the HERA. Universities have little freedom with regard to expenditure, personnel matters, student administration, curriculum, and quality assurance while their budgets are strictly controlled. The desirable outcome is for HERA to stipulate autonomy and remove in-line ministries. But there is also the dominant role of the Communist Party together with the lack of sufficient resources to renovation, lacks of trusts within institutions, and the degrees of insecurity of senior and middle mangers in relation to their employment. All the key themes investigated through the case studies indicate that institutional reform is a complex process and with a mismatch between the theory and practice.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) Higher education
education reform
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Created: Tue, 14 Jul 2015, 13:29:54 EST by Keely Chapman
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