Accreditation of Viet Nam’s higher education. Achievements and challenges after a dozen years of development

Published date04 September 2017
Date04 September 2017
AuthorHuu Cuong Nguyen,Colin Evers,Stephen Marshall
Subject MatterEducation,Curriculum, instruction & assessment,Educational evaluation/assessment
Accreditation of Viet Nams
higher education
Achievements and challenges after a dozen
years of development
Huu Cuong Nguyen,Colin Evers and Stephen Marshall
School of Education, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigatethe development of Viet Nams approach to higher
education quality assurance during the past dozen years since its establishment, focusing on the
achievementsand challenges.
Design/methodology/approach This is a desktop analysisstudy. The paper analyses the policies and
practices related to the development of Viet Nams higher education accreditation system by reviewing
Findings The research has found out that there are several achievements, including: the
development of the accreditation framework; establishment of accrediting agencies; completion of
almost universitiesself-assessment reports; implementation of external assessment exercise at some
institutions, a few of which were awarded accreditation certicates. However, there remain a number of
challenges related to the independence of the accrediting agencies, human resources, accreditation
standards and criteria, institutionsawareness about accreditation and the pace of accreditation
Research limitations/implications The primary limitationof this study is the research methodology
which merelyrelies on document analysis. It would be more credibleif the ndings could be triangulated with
data takenfrom other sources such as interviews withkey stakeholders.
Originality/value On the basis of the analysis of achievementsand challenges at both macro and micro
levels, discussion and recommendationsare made for future policy-making and management in the eld of
higher educationaccreditation.
Keywords Challenges, Quality assurance, Higher education, Accreditation, Achievements
Paper type Viewpoint
The term accreditationoriginated in the USA and accreditation systems based on the
American model havesubsequently been established in many countries worldwide(Harman
and Meek, 2000). The main purposes of such systems are to ensure quality in higher
education, accountability, transparency and facilitation of student mobility (Brown, 2004;
Global UniversityNetwork for Innovation, 2007;Lim, 2001).
In a complex and diverse region such as the Asia-Pacicwhich exhibits linguistic,
political, economic and cultural diversity the quality assurance mechanisms one encounters
are also diverse (Global University Network for Innovation, 2007). In addition to the quality
controls of the education ministries, higher education councils and professional accreditation
bodies, there are approximately 25 accreditation systems at the national level currently
operating in the region. Apart from two systems, which are particularly well-established with
origins in the 1940s and 1950s (Japan, 1947; The Philippines, 1957), a few have been in existence
since the 1980s (for example, South Korea in 1982; Hong Kong in 1990), but most have been
Viet Nams
Received 25 November 2016
Revised 26 February 2017
Accepted 19 June 2017
QualityAssurance in Education
Vol.25 No. 4, 2017
pp. 475-488
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/QAE-11-2016-0075
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