Higher educational programs in Vietnam to be standardized


The Prime Minister has just issued Decision No.436 about an implementation plan for developing a National Educational Level Framework in Vietnam for tertiary education in the period from 2020 – 2025.

Students of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology in their practice lesson. (Photo: SGGP)

Students of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology in their practice lesson. (Photo: SGGP)

This plan aims at building a standardized framework for university training programs of different majors and sub-majors in various industries, ensuring the training quality improvement in the future.

The National Educational Level Framework in Vietnam will have 8 levels: Level 1 – Primary 1; Level 2 – Primary 2; Level 3 – Primary 3; Level 4 – Secondary; Level 5 – College; Level 6 – Graduate; Level 7 – Master; and Level 8 – Doctorate.

The Ministry of Education and Training stated that this Level Framework is consistent with other international frameworks as well as the ASEAN level reference, which are the most important to develop appropriate training programs and ensure qualification reliability.

The observance of this framework will be the agreement between human resources training organizations, employers, state management units, research institutes on policy and industry development, socio-economical growth. This collaboration will result in the consensus in identifying two sets of criteria, namely job skill standards and training standards, for each educational level.

According to the Law of Work, the national job skill standards are criteria on professional knowledge, practical skills, and implementation capacity of an employee in his or her daily tasks. These standards are prepared by corresponding state agencies of each industry and approved by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

Meanwhile, the training standards are detailed criteria on the output of each major, a part of the National Educational Level Framework.

Educational experts expressed that this framework is essential for state management units, training organizations, job associations, employers, and students as well.

To state management agencies, the National Educational Framework is a critical tool to ensure the standardization of qualifications and maintain the public’s trust to these papers. It is also an essential basis for the forecast about human resources demands and planning, as well as job training and tertiary education developments.

The framework might be useful in educational exchange programs between countries based on the educational level recognition and establishment of life-long studying policies via alliance mechanisms.

Dr. Hoang Ngoc Vinh, member of the Consultation Team under the National Committee on Education Reform during 2016-2021, stated that a comprehensive plan can sufficiently reflect tasks to complete.

Yet, since this is a comprehensive plan to form a national educational level framework, it would be much easier and more convenient to cooperate with the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs to develop a national plan for identifying output criteria and allocating study load for the approval of ASEAN countries and the world about training levels.

It is required that universities complete their own program standards no later than the fourth quarter of 2024. However, scientific and technological advances, along with swift changes of labor markets and employers, demand the work force to upgrade their levels day after day. Therefore, it is worrying that when the program standards are approved, they cannot last long before having to be upgraded.

Since the national educational level framework will create a significantly positive change in training programs among universities when being applied and will encourage abroad studying, Dr. Vinh added that this framework should not be a pure administrative document but a guidance for the systematic unity of state management units, employers, and learners.

Former Vice Principal of Ho Chi Minh City University of Finance and Marketing Hua Minh Tuan commented that universities should promote their autonomy ability to cooperate with management agencies, associations, and businesses to implement this comprehensive plan.

Simultaneously, they should actively compare their output with the National Educational Level Framework to perfect their own one, better answering the labor market’s demands. They might even need to reform their curriculum, organize new programs, or apply other legal solutions to finish this improvement.

Managers and experts voice two issues in implementing the plan, namely finance and human resources. The Ministry of Education and Training is suggested to establish a team to prepare a detailed plan based on the Prime Minister’s plan and to select a suitable approaching strategy to ensure that the proposed standards by universities always correspond with scientific-technological advances and the labor market’s demands for a successful globalization process.

By Thanh Hung – Translated by Thanh Tam

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