Students at a practice session at a university in HCM City​ (Photo VNA)

- An amended higher education law should create a clear legal environment for public universities to become autonomous, representatives of universities have urged.

The largest barriers to achieving autonomy are in the areas of personnel and finance, they said.

There are 23 public universities in the country slated to operate independently at different levels.

Speaking at a conference on autonomy policies held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 25, the university representatives said new regulations should allow them to attract investment from the private sector and carry out training services that could diversify their sources of revenue.

Ho Thanh Phong, rector of HCM City International University, said that preferential policies and tax incentives should be offered to private investors.

Do Van Dung, rector of the HCM City University of Technology and Education, said the outdated mindset about management should be changed and that the government should manage only 50 percent of university affairs.

Other representatives said that tuition should be calculated based on the quality of training and the amount of revenue needed for expenditures.

Professor Pham Phu of the HCM City University of Technology said the cost to educate each student was still too low, around 1,000 USD each year.

This should be raised to 2,100 USD per student annually, Phu said, adding that students would have to pay tuition representing 50 percent of the total.

He said the Government should also develop a larger fund to provide loans for poor students.

Nguyen Van Phuc, deputy minister of education and training, said that the amended law would institutionalise regulations on university autonomy and help universities operate more effectively. – VNA