ASEAN criteria needed to boost higher education

The Ministry of Education and Training on July 26 encouraged universities to try to meet the ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) criteria for quality assessment.
The Ministry of Education and Training on July 26 encouraged universities to try to meet the ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) criteria for quality assessment.

The AUN-QA criteria are necessary to improve the quality of higher education in the country, according to Dr. Pham Xuan Thanh, deputy head of the General Department for Educational Testing and Accreditation under the Ministry of Education and Training.

Thanh spoke at a conference on the AUN-QA system held in HCM City by the Vietnam National University-HCM City (VNU-HCM).

These criteria act as a benchmark against regional and global standards, Thanh said, adding that the AUN-QA criteria used must be relevant to the universities in the country.

He asked two national universities in HCM City and Hanoi to open more training courses on the AUN-QA system to help schools nationwide better understand the criteria.

The VNU-HCM has also been training assessors who will help the ministry and AUN carry out a training plan on developing assessors of AUN-QA criteria in the country, he added.

Dr. Nantana Gajaseni, executive director of AUN, said that once universities in Vietnam apply the quality assurance system, they will have more opportunities for cooperation with other universities and ASEAN.
As of now, 21 training programmes at member universities in two national universities have been recognised under the AUN-QA criteria by the ASEAN University Network.

The AUN-QA system, established in 1998, includes a network of 26 member universities, including several featured in the world's top 500.

It is based on criteria like pedagogic attitude and teaching strategy; quality of lecturers and coordinators, students and assistants; infrastructure, facilities and programme design; human-resource development activities; feedback from the relevant objectives; and outcomes.

Dr. Nguyen Hoi Nghia, deputy director of the VNU-HCM, said that the AUN-QA criteria have been the basis for the assessment of training programmes at his university. It is used to help change the training model and meet regional standards.

Dr. Vu Dinh Thanh, rector of the VNU-HCM’s University of Technology , said that the university's electronic and telecommunications as well as manufacturing engineering programmes were recognised under the AUN-QA criteria.

Using such criteria has helped improve the university's methodology and lecturers' qualifications, he said, adding that the university plans to have more training programmes to achieve the AUN-QA criteria in the upcoming academic year.

Nguyen Khanh Son, deputy head of Can Tho University's Quality Assurance and Accreditation Centre, said that his university has also used the criteria. The university's 61 training programme have been internally assessed since 2009.

Two training programmes received external assessment from the ASEAN Universities Network under AUN-QA and ASEAN-QA, a cooperation project between AUN and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Son said.

Once these programmes receive quality certification from AUN, the university will find it easier to work with counterparts in the region as well as elsewhere, he said.

Some universities in the Mekong Delta, including Tra Vinh, Bac Lieu and An Giang provinces, have begun a plan to apply the AUN-QA criteria.-VNA

See more