Oct 27, 2012

Vietnam - MOET to lower floor marks to rescue private schools

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VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) has released a new decision offering school admission preferences to the students from the three difficult areas. The new policy aims to increase the number of students following university education in some special areas.

Under the recently released decision which will become a policy to be applied nationwide from 2013, the students in the northwest, central region and the west of the southern region would still be able to enroll in universities, even though the marks they got from the latest university entrance exams were lower than the floor marks stipulated by MOET, if they can satisfy some requirements.

The decision is believed to aim to rescue private universities, which are seriously thirsty for students. Since the schools cannot find enough students, they may have to shut a lot of training majors.

The private schools have been in danger for the last many years, because students prefer state owned schools to private schools. Meanwhile, the students accepting to study at private schools have too bad exam results with the marks lower than the floor marks stipulated by MOET.

The floor marks are the minimum marks students must have in order to be eligible for admitting to any universities in Vietnam. Therefore, lowering the floor marks for students from some special areas would help bring more students to private schools.

New policy raises controversy

The Can Tho University said it has found enough students by receiving the students, who registered to study at the school as their second choice (those students, who fail the exams to their initially registered schools, would be able to enroll in other schools if they can satisfy the requirements set up by the schools). Therefore, it does not need to look for more students.

The representative of the school said that most of the students who failed the university entrance exams, have found their ways so far; either they go to junior colleges (3-year training) or vocational schools.

He has warned that with the unexpected policy, a lot of students would give up junior colleges or vocational schools to register to study at private universities. In general, university degree is always the top priority for students. If so, this would put big difficulties for schools, because this may make the schools’ training plan upset.

Meanwhile, some schools in the Mekong Delta have got embarrassed with the new policy, saying that MOET has not given guides in details about how to implement the new policy.

A training officer of a school in Mekong Delta said the unexpected policy laid down at this moment, therefore, would not bring high benefits to students and schools.

“It should have been made public sooner, before the enrolment season started, so that students could have had more choices,” he said.

Under the new policy, the students in the three difficult areas, when admitting to universities, would have to learn additional knowledge for one semester in order to improve their knowledge.

However, the ministry has not shown how to organize the training courses for the subjects and who would supervise the training, and how much in tuitions the schools can collect from students.

Hoang Xuan Quang, MA, Deputy Headmaster of the An Giang University, also said that the school has finished the enrolment season after successfully enrolling 2500 students, fulfilling 95 percent of the plan.

Therefore, Quang said, the school would not apply the new policy right now. However, he has expressed the worry that the new policy would put difficulties to the school’s training plan.

Tien Phong

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