The Ministry of Finance have proposed closing state universities which operate ineffectively to reduce the burden on the state budget during a meeting about the education sector in 2018. Illustrative photo. The Ministry of Finance proposes shutting down inefficient universities According to the ministry, the state budget for education from 2013 to 2017 was VND1,120trn (USD48.21bn), of which VND172.90trn (USD7.44bn) was for higher education. The universities were still unable to earn incomes from scientific researches for technology transfer. In order to improve the higher education, the ministry suggested merging or shutting down poorly performing institutions and improving the human resource management work. The reforms should help reduce state budget spending and put more focus on quality universities or special educational facilities. The Ministry of Finance also asked the Ministry of Education and Training to issue criteria on higher education quality. This year, many universities had to sharply lower their entrance scores to attract new students. However many universities, especially small teacher training colleges in localities, failed to fulfil the enrolment quota. Many people have raised concerns about the quality of the education sector. Nguyen Thi Kim Phuong, Director of the Department of Higher Education, said the Ministry of Education and Training was also reviewing public universities and lecturers. “We’ll maintain quality universities. Universities that are under ministries and state agencies will be invested if they are considered necessary. The rest will be merged, shutdown or converted for other purposes,” she said.