An institutional study of autonomisation of public universities in Vietnam
- 10 Downloads
Autonomisation, allowing public organisations greater freedom from central control, has been extensively debated in the public policy literature as a means of increasing their efficiency and effectiveness. The government of Vietnam has adopted autonomisation as a key policy in reforming public service delivery. This paper investigates the autonomisation of Vietnamese public universities through an institutional study of autonomy policies and empirical analysis of autonomy practices amongst selected public universities in Vietnam. It pays particular attention to the evolution of the autonomy reforms and their implications for higher education governance in Vietnam. We argue that the autonomy of Vietnamese public universities is apparently growing, but does not reflect a broad transfer of power from the central state to public universities. Instead, autonomisation has a more limited objective of reducing public universities’ claims on the central budget by presenting them with both the opportunity and the incentive to generate alternative sources of revenue to fund their operating budgets in the face of diminishing state subsidies. Many significant central controls remain over operations, particularly human resources and curricula. The result has been a significant shift of the costs of higher education onto students, which may be a factor in declining new enrolments, and in many cases the misuse of university revenues for private purposes, but little evidence of improvement in the quality of the education provided. Although it is a study of a specific instance of autonomisation in Vietnam, the paper has policy implications for developing and transitional countries that seek to improve the quality of their higher education through reforms to its governance.
KeywordsAutonomy Public universities Higher education Institutions Vietnam
- Anderson, D., & Johnson, R. (1998). University autonomy in twenty countries. Canberra: Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs.Google Scholar
- Australian Government (2018). Vietnam higher education: Policy and system update.Google Scholar
- BBC. (2017). Việt Nam: Học càng cao, càng thất nghiệp? Vietnam: Higher education, more unemployment? https://www.bbc.com/vietnamese/vietnam-41008400. Accessed 19 August 2019.
- Bruynooghe, S. P., Faingold, I., Firmalo, T. Q., Futrell, A. E., Kent, J. A., & Mukherjee, R. (2008). Implementation of civil service legislation in Vietnam: strengthening elements of a position-based system service. Graduate Policy Workshop Final Reports: Princeton University.Google Scholar
- Dantri (2017) Tìm giải pháp "cởi trói" cho các trường đại học thực hiện thí điểm tự chủ (Solutions to “untying” public universities undertaking pilot autonomy). https://dantri.com.vn/giao-duc-khuyen-hoc/tim-giai-phap-coi-troi-cho-cac-truong-dai-hoc-thuc-hien-thi-diem-tu-chu-20171019233049792.htm. Accessed 19 August 2019.
- Dao, V. K. (2014). Key challenges in the reform of governance, quality assurance, and finance in Vietnamese higher education—a case study. Studies in Higher Education 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2013.842223.
- George, E. S. (2011). Higher education reform in Vietnam: boundaries of autonomy. In J. D. London (Ed.), Education in Vietnam. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.Google Scholar
- Government of Vietnam. (2006). Nghị định quy định quyền tự chủ, tự chịu trách nhiệm về thực hiện nhiệm vụ, tổ chức bộ máy, biên chế và tài chính đối với đơn vị sự nghiệp công lập (Government Decree 43/ND-CP on the right to autonomy and self-responsibility for task performance, organizational apparatus, payroll and finance of public service delivery units). Hanoi.Google Scholar
- Government of Vietnam (2014). Nghị Quyết về thí điểm đổi mới cơ chế hoạt động đối với các cơ sở giáo dục đại học công lập giai đoạn 2014–2017. In Resolution on piloting the renewed operational mechanism of public higher education institutions from 2014–2017. Hanoi.Google Scholar
- Government of Vietnam (2015). Nghị định số 86/2015/NĐ-CP của Chính phủ : Quy định về cơ chế thu, quản lý học phí đối với cơ sở giáo dục thuộc hệ thống giáo dục quốc dân và chính sách miễn, giảm học phí, hỗ trợ chi phí học tập từ năm học 2015–2016 đến năm học 2020–2021. In Government Decree providing fees and charges of public education services and fee exemptions for the school year 2015–2016 to the school year 2020–2021. Hanoi.Google Scholar
- Government of Vietnam, and World Bank (2017). Vietnam public expenditure review: fiscal policies towards sustainability, efficiency, and equity.Google Scholar
- Hayden, Martin, and Quang Thiep Lam. 2010. Vietnam’s higher education system. In Reforming higher education in Vietnam, edited by Grant Harman, Martin Hayden and Thanh Nghi Pham, 14–29. Springer Netherlands.Google Scholar
- International Monetary Fund (2018). IMF Macroeconomic and Financial Data. http://data.imf.org/. Accessed 19 August 2019.
- Lebowitz, J.L., Plotz, P.H., & Reich, W. (2014). Revocation of degree four years later leads to protest by Vietnamese academics. http://concernedscientists.org/2014/05/revocation-of-degree-four-years-later-leads-to-protest-by-vietnamese-academics/. Accessed 28 July 2018.
- MOET (2019). Statistics of Vietnam education and training 2018. https://en.moet.gov.vn/reports-and-statistics/. Accessed 9 August 2019.
- National Assembly of Vietnam (2005). Luật Giáo dục (Law on education). Hanoi.Google Scholar
- Nguyen, H.C., Nhan, T.T., Vu, T.P.T.. (2013). Current issues in global development: a case study of education commercialisation via joint-programs between Vietnamese and overseas universities.Google Scholar
- Nguyen, H. T., Obaidul Hamid, M., & Moni, K. (2016). English-medium instruction and self-governance in higher education: the journey of a Vietnamese university through the institutional autonomy regime. Higher Education, 72(5), 669–683. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-015-9970-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Party Central Committee (2006). Báo cáo Chính trị Ban Chấp hành Trung ương Đảng khóa IX (Political report of the 9th Central Committee) Hanoi.Google Scholar
- Peters, B.G. (1999). Institutional theory in political science: the new institutionalism: Pinter.Google Scholar
- Poon, Y., Nguyen, K. H., & Do, X. T. (2009). The reform of the civil service system as Vietnam moves into the middle-income country category. Hanoi: UNDP.Google Scholar
- UNESCO (2016). UNESCO Country Statistics: Viet Nam. http://uis.unesco.org/country/VN. Accessed 9 August 2019.
- Vasavakul, T. (2002). Rebuilding authority relations: public administration reform in the era of doi moi. Hanoi: Asian Development Bank.Google Scholar
- Vo, M. T. H. (2018). Autonomy of public service delivery units in Vietnam: an institutional perspective. Victoria University of Wellington http://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/7823. Accessed 15 August 2019.
- Zing.vn (2019). Biến động học phí đại học năm 2019 (Volatility of university tuition fees in 2019). https://news.zing.vn/zingnews-post916499.html. Accessed 19 August 2019.