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George Washington University

Publication Date

Spring 2009

Program Name

Viet Nam: Culture and Development


Since the outset of the Doi Moi reforms in the late 1980s, the government of Vietnam has vocally recognized the need to reform the broken system of higher education. The Ministry of Education and Training has since embarked on the compilation of a number of policy proposals, education laws, and resolutions to clearly articulate the series of changes that need to occur. Presently Vietnam rests on the edge of a recent history of spectacular economic growth and on the brink of uncertainty in regards to future developments. In order to help sustain economic growth and development, the knowledge base of Vietnam needs to be drastically expanded and universities must better prepare graduates to function and compete in the global workforce. The aim of this research is to examine the current status of higher education reform in Vietnam with particular focus on the renovation of university teaching methods. By observing university classrooms, interviewing persons involved with the reform process both within and outside of university communities, and conducting extensive secondary research, this study hopes to gain perspective into attitudes and opinions about the success and future of higher education reform. Teaching methods are of particular interest to this project, as they constitute a most foundational element of how and what students are taught and subsequently how their capacities to think and reason independently and creatively are shaped. In addition, the purpose and potential of higher education reform is examined in the context of national socio-economic development in terms of the role universities can play in promoting and contributing to Vietnam’s economic prowess.


International and Comparative Education



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