Investing in university education is now in fashion

VietNamNet Bridge – People-founded universities keep complaining that they cannot enroll students. However, more and more universities still have been established, while junior colleges have been insisting on being upgraded into universities.

Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan has admitted that he has received the proposals from many schools to upgrade into higher levels of education.

Minister of Education and Training Pham Vu Luan has admitted that he has received the proposals from many schools to upgrade into higher levels of education.

Intermediate schools (2-year training for high school graduates), junior colleges (3-year training) would ask for the permission to upgrade into junior colleges and universities (4-5 year training) just after 3-5 years of operation.

This explains why universities have been mushrooming in recent years. Experts have many times voiced their concern over the abundance of engineers with university degrees and the lack of skilled workers who finish vocational schools.

One of the reasons vocational schools and junior colleges have cited when complaining they find it difficult to enroll students is that the schools cannot provide university training.

If the schools were allowed to provide university training, they would be more attractive in the eyes of students. Following university education is the goal of all Vietnamese high school graduates. Those, who fail the university entrance exams, may take a “roundabout route” to obtain the university education by entering junior colleges first, then pass credits to continue studying at universities.

Nevertheless, Luan does not think that he should make a compromise to junior colleges just to help the schools attract more students. He has shown the strong determination of keeping the education system stable.

“Once intermediate schools want to upgrade into junior colleges, and junior colleges want to become universities; if everyone thinks the grass is greener on the other side of the hill, the whole system would be unstable,” Luan said

Strong intermediate schools may become weak junior colleges. Junior colleges, becoming more prestigious after several years of operation, attempt to turn into universities. The universities would insist on the permission to train masters and then doctors.

“This has led to the lack of harmonization among the education levels, which always puts the Ministry of Education and Training under pressure,” Luan said.

MOET asked the relevant departments to review the upgrading of schools in recent years, but he stated that the ministry will not accept any proposals from schools to upgrade themselves into higher education levels.

Luan stressed that intermediate schools, junior colleges, vocational schools and universities have their roles and advantages and disadvantages, while universities should not be seen as the final targets to strive to reach to.

Luan denied the fact that vocational and junior colleges cannot enroll students because high school graduates target university education.

Vocational schools’ and junior colleges’ task is to provide students with careers which help them earn their living after finishing schools and return to school when they can.

“Junior colleges should not be considered the roundabout way for students to take to obtain university education,” Luan said.

“If students register to study at vocational schools and junior colleges just to step by step approach the university education, the schools cannot accomplish their missions,” he concluded.

Luan’s viewpoint has not been applauded by the educators at people founded schools, who believe that all people need to be well educated.


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