Vietnam is a dynamic member of the community of Southeast Asian nations. Consistent with aspirations across the region, it is seeking to develop its higher education system as rapidly as possible. Vietnams approach stands out, however, as being extremely ambitious. Indeed, it may be at risk of attempting to do too much too quickly. By 2020, for example, Vietnam expects its higher education system to be advanced by modern standards and highly competitive in international terms. This vision faces many challenges. The economy, though growing rapidly, remains reliant on the availability of unskilled labour and the exploitation of natural resources, and decision making in many areas of public life continues to be hamstrung by a legacy of over-regulation and centralised control. A large number of goals and objectives have been set for reform of the higher education system by 2020. The success of these reforms will have a major bearing on the future quality of the system. This sober assessment Vietnams global competitiveness forms a backdrop to the subject matter of this book, that is, the state of Vietnams higher education system. The book provides a comprehensive and scholarly review of various dimensions of the higher education system in Vietnam, including its recent history, its structure and governance, its teaching and learning culture, its research and research commercialisation environment, its socio-economic impact, its strategic planning processes, its progress with quality accreditation, and its experience of internationalisation and privatisation.

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