Government policy and changes to higher education in Vietnam, 1986-1998 : education in transition for development? [article]

Elizabeth St. George, University, The Australian National, University, The Australian National
In the late 1980s the Vietnamese higher education sector was facing a crisis in terms of financing, relevance to the wider community, and its future direction. Not only did the government have insufficient finance to maintain the current system, the system itself no longer appeared to meet the needs of the country, and its employment needs in particular. In light of the difficulties facing higher education at this time, this thesis examines the changes to Vietnamese higher education and higher
more » ... ducation policy between 1986 and 1998, and argues that the Vietnamese government began to place a new emphasis on the education sector as a means to achieving government development goals. In light of this new emphasis the government showed a definite trend towards the decentralisation of responsibilities away from the central government, in matters of finance, administration and curriculum, and in favour of the universities themselves. Universities themselves were also keen to take up new opportunities offered by the new openness in the country and initiated a number of their own innovations, with differing degrees of acceptance by the government. In summary, this thesis attempts to do three things. First, it seeks to document the changes that have taken place in higher education in Vietnam between 1986 and 1998, focussing particularly on the changes to government policy. Second, it seeks to examine those changes in the light of international thinking about the relationship between higher education and development, and particularly the state-centric and neo-liberal models of higher education. Finally, it evaluates the relevance of the state-society dichotomy for understanding the changes that have taken place in higher education and particularly higher education policy, and concludes that an alternative approach to the subject may yield a more comprehensive analytical framework within which to understand higher education and development in Vietnam.
doi:10.25911/5d723a967f449 fatcat:i52653zkw5ckddjrlj4gwaxulu