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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
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Vo Van Tuan et al. "DEVELOPMENT OF PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN VIETNAM". Meždunarodnyj naučno-issledovatel’skij žurnal (International Research Journal) № 3 (81), (2019): 162. Tue. 23. Apr. 2019.
Vo, Van Tuan & Phan, Quoc Lam (2019). RAZVITIE CHASTNYH UNIVERSITETOV VYETNAMA [DEVELOPMENT OF PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN VIETNAM]. Meždunarodnyj naučno-issledovatel’skij žurnal, № 3 (81), 162-165.
Vo Van. Tuan. DEVELOPMENT OF PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES IN VIETNAM / Van. Tuan. Vo, Quoc. Lam. Phan // Mezhdunarodnyj nauchno-issledovatel'skij zhurnal. — 2019. — № 3 (81). — С. 162—165. doi: 10.23670/IRJ.2019.81.3.033




Научная статья

Vo Van Tuan1, Phan Quoc Lam2

1 ORCID: 0000-0002-2192-4478,

Университет Ван Ланг, Хошимин, Вьетнам;

2 ORCID: 0000-0002-2587-9571,

Университет Винь, Винь, Вьетнам

* Корреспондирующий автор (urimm[at]


Процент частных университетов во Вьетнаме составляет 25,5% от общего числа. Частные университеты имеют статус развивающихся, что не соответствует целям государства. Качество обучения в частных университетах ниже ожиданий рабочей силы общества. Необходимо увеличить соотношение частных вузов до 40%, усилить их автономию, повысить качество обучения, планировать, а также инвестировать в развитие ключевых частных университетов страны.

Ключевые слова: частный университет, качество, обучение, автономия университета, Вьетнам. 


Research article

Vo Van Tuan1, Phan Quoc Lam2

1 ORCID: 0000-0002-2192-4478,

Van Lang University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam;

2 ORCID: 0000-0002-2587-9571,

Vinh University, Vinh City, Vietnam

* Corresponding author (urimm[at]


The system of private universities in Vietnam accounts for 25,5% of total universities. The developing status of private universities has not met the target of the country. The training quality of private universities did not meet the expectation of the labor force of society. It is necessary to increase the ratio of private universities to 40%; to increase the maximum autonomy for private universities; to promote the quality of training; to plan and invest in the development of a number of key private universities.

Keywords: Private University, Quality, Training, University autonomy, Vietnam.

The developing status of private universities in Vietnam

Currently, Vietnam has 60 non-public universities accounting for about 25.5% of the total number of universities and institutes in around country (235 universities, institutes collectively referred to as universities, excluding schools of security and defense) [6]. Figures are represented in Table 1.


Table 1 – Number of private universities in Vietnam over time

Years 1994 2000 2005 2010 2017
Number of private universities 5 16 20 51 60
The rate in higher education 8,6% 18,2% 16,9% 26,7% 25,5%


On the scale of training, the number of students of private universities increased rapidly: in the school year 2005-2006, students in private universities were 138.302, accounting for 12.71% of the students in the whole country; there were 243,975 students in the 2016-2017 school year, accounting for 13.80% of the total number of students in the country. The participation of the system of private universities has contributed to satisfy the learning needs of the people and provide for the Nation many laborers who have a university degree.

1.2. Limitations and reasons

1.2.1. The number of schools

After 25 years of establishment and development, the number of private universities has increased rapidly and accounted for a significant proportion (25, 5%) in the higher education system [5]. However, the speed of development is uneven. The highest growth rate is the period of 5 years from 2005-2010 with the birth of 30 schools (accounting for half of the current number of private universities). But from 2010 -2017 only nine new schools were established. Not to mention, in those years, some schools were dissolved, stopped training. On the other hand, despite the increase in the number of schools, the proportion of the private universities in the higher education system has decreased (from 26,7% in 2010 to 25,5% in 2016).

1.2.2. The training scale

The training scale of schools is very different: the least student school has 135 students and the most enrollment school is 24,932 students. In the last five years, the number of new entrants is unstable and tends to decrease [9]. Meanwhile, the number of students dropped out quite high. Although the number of schools increased, the number of graduates of private universities has tended to decrease. Therefore, the training scale of these schools will not reach the target by 2020 having about 40% of students who will study at the private universities. The training scale of the private universities has not developed in recent years for some reasons: lack of confidence in the training quality; tuition fees are much higher than public universities; the system of public universities has grown so fast that it attracts candidates [3].

From the perspective of international integration, the development of the system of private universities in Vietnam does not follow the development trend of the developed countries in the region and in the world. For example, Japan has 599 private universities in total 780 universities accounting for 76.79%; the rate of students in private universities is 77.6% [8]; Malaysia has 67 universities, of which 47 are private universities, accounting for 78.33%, the number of students is over 50% [4].

1.2.3. The training activities

Up to now, private universities have been trained in many fields but most of the schools choose to train the sectors which attract to learners easily and do not require much investment. These schools hardly offer training in traditional social sciences and engineering (mechanical, biological, metallurgical). The number of training disciplines varies greatly between schools. The enrollment sector accounted for only about a quarter of the licensed sectors. In some training schools, the training is not serious, not standard. [2]

Regarding the training quality: There is a current inconsistency in the evaluation of the training quality of the private universities. The official surveys showed that basically, the training quality of the private universities corresponds to the requirements. The number of graduates who have jobs in the past year is about 80%. However, most of the training quality of private universities have not been highly appreciated. Vietnam does not have any private university in the world’s prestigious university rankings, while Malaysia has five private universities ranked in the QS World Ranking 2018, with 11 universities are ranked in the QS Asia 2018 rankings [7].

One of the basic reasons is that private universities have much lower input quality than public universities. This reason has an origin from the unbelief of the labor market of the society in the quality of the private universities.

1.2.4. The scientific research

This is a field that is less focused and invested in the private universities. Beside some universities that have relatively strong research activities, the number of topics and scientific publication of the private universities is not much. There are 50/60 private universities that have not implemented State projects and 26 private universities that have not sponsored or invested in research activities [11]. In general, scientific research is an important field for universities, but it is very weak in private universities. The main reason for this weakness is that schools lack basic, long-term strategies. On the other hand, this is an area where investors do not want to invest because they do not bring about immediate economic effect. Another reason is that private universities are almost outside the scientific research programs and projects of the State, Ministries, and Localities [3]

1.2.5. The international cooperation activities and training cooperation

Most of the private universities have paid attention to the international cooperation activities and training cooperation, but the results are not high. The schools have strong international relations, which are large schools. Content of international cooperation activities mainly focuses on training link, cultural exchange, student exchange, and foreign language teaching. Only a few universities have scientific research cooperation (14,6%), program transfer, training link. The main causes are newly established, unbranded universities, lack of international integration strategies and limitation of investment in this activity. The training linking activity, especially the international degree training at the private universities, despite many efforts, the results are not high. There are only 7 private universities, which offer foreign trained degrees, and have 8 private universities that have specialized English language training. [2]

1.2.6. The enterprise connection

The enterprise connection is an activity that is emphasized in the private universities, but the effectiveness is not high in most schools: it is not linked the enterprises to the training of the school, not signed the training contracts with enterprises. The basic reason is that many schools do not have a strategy in this activity because some investors have not seen the long-term relationship and the great role of enterprises with the development of the school. [3]

1.2.7. The activities to ensure the training quality

This is a very important activity for private universities because it contributes to removing the bad impression of society about the quality of private universities. However, the qualitative testing in private universities is very limited. Currently, only five schools are certified the qualitative accreditation. About self-assessment, there are 45 universities that have completed the self-assessment report, but many reports have not met requirements [10]. The number of schools, which reach out to quality and rank with international qualitative accreditation, is not high. This situation has caused by not enough attention of MOET to the private universities and most schools are not fully aware of the importance of this activity.

1.2.8. The resources of the private university

– Regarding material facilities: The majority of private universities have training facilities that are scattered with the small scale; there are 1/5 numbers of schools that do not have land and five schools that have to rent 100% facilities. Most of the schools are poorly equipped with libraries, lack of study materials, and lack of academic support services; canteens are not ensured, and toilet areas are not clean and clear.

– On finance: Besides a number of schools under the ownership of large corporations, many private universities have contributed capital from many shareholders with complicated components that are difficult to unify in terms of training strategy as well as the development of the school. Even some schools have negative financial issues; internal conflicts adversely affect the activities. Structure of revenues and expenditures of schools is quite similar: the main source of income is tuition (accounting for 61.17% of total revenue); the main expense for regular activities such as salaries, electricity, water, and equipment maintenance (59.79%), an important share in the dividends to shareholders. Therefore, financial of the private universities is based on training activities, so the risk is very high, the expenditure on other activities without training and development of the school is very little. This is also an important difference between the private universities in Vietnam compared with many countries. In developed countries, the private universities are mostly non-profit. At the same time, 100% of the private universities in Vietnam are profitable and are educational businesses. [2]

– Human resources: Human resources have been formed and developed, but the quality has not met the requirements. The full-time staff has enough followed to the regulation but it is divided: the staffs, who have academic titles and degrees, are usually elderly people; almost young lecturers have bachelor degrees. In many schools, there appears to be inconsistency among older teachers and young teachers. [3]

The role of the Scientific Council of the private universities is quite fuzzy, therefore this is a concern. The board of directors of a school often has members who are members of state agencies, which sometimes makes it difficult for the school.

In above there are some limitations and basic shortcomings of the private universities in Vietnam. According to the Vietnam Association of Colleges and Universities, the private universities in Vietnam have limitations. The objective cause is due to the implementation of mechanisms and policies as well as in the state management. The subjective reason is that implementation of the commitments that stated in the school establishment plan is still slow and difficult, and meet many difficulties; there are some regulations on enrollment and finance, which have not been fully complied with by the school. [3]

In a word, the private university system plays an increasingly important role in the higher education system in Vietnam, especially in the context of increasingly difficult public funding. However, the development of this system has not met the needs, expectations of society and the target that the State has set. This situation has many objective and subjective reasons. Therefore, in order to develop the Vietnamese private university system rapidly and sustainable, it is necessary to implement a system of innovative management solutions.

  1. Some solutions for the development of private universities in Vietnam

2.1. Increasing the scale of the private university system

In order to develop the Vietnamese private university system in line with the trend of the region and the world, it is necessary to increase the training scale of this system by over 40% (currently it is only over 13%). To this end, the State management agencies in charge of education should thoroughly implement the preferential policies for private universities as stated in many resolutions of the Party, the State and the Government, especially the preferences about land and finance, quickly bringing the Law of Higher Education 2018 and real life.

In order to develop a private university system, it is necessary to rearrange the system of public universities in a streamlined and efficient manner. Accordingly, the reorganization of public universities is of low quality, reducing the training scale of two national universities, three regional universities and 15 other universities belonging to the national key research universities. These are the planned universities with the main research tasks. It is necessary to create conditions for fair and healthy competition between private universities and public universities. This enhances the autonomy of public universities. To terminate to fund directly from State funding for the operation of public universities, the fund transfers for students to borrow in the long-term to pay tuition fees. This is the most important solution because it not only creates fairness among different types of universities but also between students of these universities.

The state should clearly orient for the formation and development of the non-profit private university system because this type of school is a true and lasting development and creates equality among students in the private university and the public university.

2.2. Planning and investing in the development of a number of key private universities

To build many universities which are ranked in the rankings of prestigious universities in the region and in the world, such as the assertion of quality and competitiveness, integration of the whole system of Vietnamese higher education Nam as well as each school. To do this, the government needs to plan the universities. Select universities that have the potential to be ranked in the region and in the world in order to allocate a large financial task and investment. At present, some private universities have built up domestic and foreign brands such as Duy Tan University, Thang Long University or Nguyen Tat Thanh University. Some other schools have a strategic vision and big potential for the resources to implement that vision. The important issue is not a direct investment but indirectly through lending policy, through research topics and projects – technology application … This helps to improve the quality of universities in the country. It enhances the ability of Vietnamese youth to study abroad in place instead of studying abroad in a foreign place. – A form of indirect investment for the development of private universities in particular and higher education in general.

One important measure is to create conditions for foreign investors to invest in private universities in the forms of building international universities, buying or contributing capital to the existing private universities.

2.3. Increasing the maximum autonomy for private universities

At present, the speed of development of the private universities is limited by many regulations, especially in the field of enrollment, development of training disciplines and intervention of Ministries, sectors and local authority in the operation of the school. Therefore, it is necessary to give autonomy and maximum self-responsibility to the private universities so that they can take advantage of mobility and flexibility, activeness and positive in competition with public universities, foreign universities and timely adaptation to the new requirements of the economy – society that the Industrial Revolution 4.0 created.

2.4. The private universities should promote the quality of training

For long-term development, the private universities in Vietnam must always determine that they must compete not only with universities in the private university system but also with prestigious public universities in the country and prestigious universities in Asia. In order to do this, private universities in Vietnam need to re-establish their vision and new development goals in line with international integration and compete with universities in the region and in the world, gaining a place in the regional and world rankings, on the basis of offering solutions that are fundamentally and comprehensively transformed in all aspects.

In order to do that, universities have to continuously improve the quality of training through basic works: identifying the strategic vision of the school’s development; determining the development model of the school; linking activities of the school with the scientific and technological revolution of the world and the labor market; strictly implementing commitments on quality and rational investment in scientific and technological activities, international cooperation and business relations; building and standardizing the staff of managers and lecturers; actively participating in bidding for research projects and topics of scientific research at all levels; focusing on building qualitative culture in particular and the school culture in general; promoting qualitative assurance activities that focus on evaluating and publicizing the results of internal quality assessment; to actively accelerate the accreditation of the school and specialized major; to actively participate in international prestigious rating and assessment.

It is important to have effective financial management. Schools must convince investors to reduce their immediate income to invest in medium-term and long-term goals.

Конфликт интересов

Не указан.

Conflict of Interest

None declared.

Список литературы / References

  1. On the development of higher education system, the solutions to ensure quality assurance and improve of education quality: Report No. 760 / BC-BGDDT/Ministry of Education and Training (Vietnam). – Hanoi, 2009. – 23 p.
  2. On research results of non-public universities: Summary report HCMC/ Ministry of Education and Training (Vietnam). – Ho Chi Minh, 2017.
  3. Summary Report of 20 years of developing non-public higher education model in Vietnam (1993 – 2013)/ Vietnam Association of Universities and Colleges, 2013.
  4. Annual Report Malaysia Education Blueprint (2013-2025) [Electronic resource]. – URL: (accessed 20.11.2018)
  5. Suggestions for drafting the Law on Higher Education [Electronic resource].-URL: (accessed 13.12.2018)
  6. Vietnamese universities set international standards for training programs [Electronic resource].-URL: (accessed 24.12.2018)
  7. QS World University Rankings [Electronic resource].-URL: (accessed 21.12.2018)
  8. The Role of Private University in Modern Education/ Pham Thi Ly Newspaper of Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. -2018.
  9. On Fundamental and Comprehensive Higher Education Reform in Vietnam for the period of 2006 – 2020: Resolution No. 14/2005/NQ-CP/ Ministry of Education and Training (Vietnam). – Hanoi, 2005.
  10. Survey on the Actual Situation of Vietnam Educational Development in the Context of Free Market and in Front of the Requirements of Globalization: Paper presented at the Government Office of the Vietnam Educational system in the Context of Free Market and Globalization conference. – Hanoi, 2009.
  11. Top Private universities in Vietnam. [Electronic resource]. – URL: (accessed 03.11.2018)

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