BOOK CHAPTER: Vietnam’s Higher Education System in Transition: The Struggle to Achieve Potential
Martin Hayden and Ly Pham
There have been some major changes in Vietnam’s higher education system since 1993, when it began to be reformed with a view to making it more market oriented and less dependent on centralized state planning. One of the most striking of these has been its rapid expansion. Whereas in 1993 there were only 162,000 higher education students (representing less than 5 percent of the relevant age group), by 2013 the student enrolment figure had reached 2.2 million (representing about 25 percent of the relevant age group). This expansion has been made possible by Vietnam’s impressive economic transformation over the period, and it is consistent with a strong national commitment to the value and importance of higher education. However, not all is well with the higher education system in Vietnam. Its quality is variable, and there is a widely held view that, despite the heavy financial investment being made, the system is not achieving its full potential. A significant problem is that many of the organizational and cultural characteristics of the Soviet period of influence prior to the mid-1980s continue to be felt, and these inhibit its development. This chapter draws upon recent data on the system’s performance to provide a critical appraisal of its current state of its development.
Source: Ly T Pham and Hayden M. (2015). Vietnam’s Higher Education System In Transition: The Struggle To Achieve Potential (Chapter 9, p 147-162). Asia: The Next Super Power, Springer. Rajika Bhandan and Alessia Lefe1bure eds, AIFS Foundation.