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Hanoi National University (HNU) vice director Vu Minh Giang told VIR: “The Government Inspectorate’s recommendation to quash their degrees is wrong. We may report this problem to the government to make it clear.”
His words, follow the Government Inspectorate’s Inspection Conclusion No1376/KL-TTCP which recommended that the prime minister rescind more than 2,000 Bachelor and MBA degrees from HNU’s training programmes in cooperation with some foreign partners from 2006-2010 because they were not in line with the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) regulations.
For example, 16 out of HNU’s 20 training programmes was found to not have documents confirming their foreign partners’ legal status and 12 programmes lacked required project details.
Also, the bachelor's degree programme at HNU’s Centre for Educational Technology and Career Development with the US’s Griggs University required students to have a minimum university admission score from the MoET. However students’ dossiers in the programme failed to include their scores.
Besides, some of HNU’s foreign partners like Griggs University were found by the Government Inspectorate to be substandard. “Griggs University’s training programmes have yet to be verified. […]. Local authorities need to make clear its history, targets and training programmes,” said the conclusion.
HNU must also pay nearly VND21.4 billion ($1 million) to the state coffers which it illegally earned from these programmes, according to the conclusion.
But Giang retorted: “The Government Inspectorate has no understanding of HNU’s roles and functions in implementing foreign-related training cooperation activities, as well as HNU’s foreign partners. We want to work with the Government Inspectorate to make clear all relevant problems.”
He said HNU was directly managed by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, not the MoET and was allowed by the government to have its own rights in implementing training cooperation activities with foreign partners.
“Foreign partners grant degrees so they have their own ways of recruitment and different training programmes. Thus it is quite irrational when the Government Inspectorate said these programmes were not licenced and managed by the MoET,” Giang said.
Griggs University was one of the US’ leading universities, he said.
“Moreover, the Government Inspectorate forcing us to pay VND21.4 billion ($1 million) to the state budget is quite baseless, because even we don’t know where this sum comes from,” he said.
He said the inspection was “abnormal and lacked objectiveness”.
For example, though the inspection must be conducted within 60 days, it was shortened without any explanation. Moreover, one of the inspectors named Nguyen Manh Cuong was drawn from the inspection group by the Government Inspectorate’s vice head Nguyen Van San due to Cuong’s mistakes during the inspection.
Also under its conclusion, the Government Inspectorate proposed the prime minister comprehensively inspect all local universities’ training cooperation activities with foreign universities or educational establishments.
Inspecting 94 foreign partners’ 118 training programmes in cooperation with 18 local universities, the Government Inspectorate found that though diplomas of these many programmes were granted by foreign partners, these programmes were organised in Vietnam and they were not licenced by the MoET.
For instance, the training cooperation programmes between Ho Chi Minh City University of Technical Education and Singapore’s TEG International College and the US’ Texas University, between Ho Chi Minh City Economics University’s Korea-Vietnam Information and Technology Education Centre and South Korea’s Woosong were not licenced by the MoET.