Vietnam ministry denies subject ban plan at private schools

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Contrary to earlier reports, the Ministry of Education will not prohibit private universities from providing degrees in law, journalism and education, officials said Friday.

They said all schools in the country would be treated the same.

It was a “technical” mistake that a draft decree released Tuesday by the ministry stated that private universities would not be allowed to teach courses in those disciplines, Deputy Education Minister Pham Vu Luan was quoted by local news website VietNamNet as saying.

Tran Thi Ha, head of the ministry’s Higher Education Department, confirmed the information.

She said the draft decree version seen on the ministry’s website Tuesday was not the official one. It included proposals that had been collected during the drafting process, she said.

The ministry has published the more recent version of the draft decree for public comment and consultation, Ha said.

“Public and private universities are treated the same in every way. There are no regulations that only apply to one and not the other.”

“All universities can offer those courses as long as they are qualified,” she said.

However, Ha noted that it was difficult for private universities to provide law, journalism, education and medical degrees as many did not meet the requirements governing facilities and staff.

Nguyen Hong Dao, deputy chairman of privately held Binh Duong University, said although the demand for those specialized courses was now really high, most private universities in the country cannot offer them as they have yet to meet the qualifications.

Vietnam now has 376 universities and colleges, including 40 universities established or upgraded from colleges during the 2006-2007 period.

Source: Agencies

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