The University of Economics and Business - VNU moves forward to international standardization of its academic programs

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Thanh - Vice Rector of University of Economics and Business - VNU
On 6-8th December 2010, the University of Economics and Business - VNU hosted an external assessement of the bachelor program on international economics (honors). The Asean Uuniversity Network (AUN) secretary board announced the assessment results. On this occasion, we has discussed with Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Thanh, UEB Vice Rector.

- How could you briefly introduce the quality assurance program run by the Asean University Network (AUN - QA)?

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Thanh: The AUN was established in 1995 aiming to promote the development of human resources through higher education in the ASEAN. Till December 2010, there have been 27 universities from ten ASEAN countries becoming AUN members.

The quality assurance of higher education academic programs (according to the AUN-QA) was iniated by the AUN to boost the ASEAN universities to improve their academic program quality, trust each other, able to partner with worldwide universities, and recognize each other’s academic outcomes.

- Why did the University of Economics and Business - VNU choose the international economics program to be accrediated?

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Thanh: For the past six years, the bachelor program in international economics (honors) has been the only one at the University of Economics and Business. In 2011, the bechalor honor program in financing and banking become the second. We expected that the international economics program be able to achieve the levels of advanced ones available in the ASEAN region and the world. Resources had been invested in student recruitment, training and evaluation to make the program international. The international economics program was chosen for external assessment served two purposes: Firstly, the assessment would show what this program is ranked in the Asean region; Secondly, it helped us to know what constraints the program should improve better its quality and achieve the quality of similar programs right in the Asean region. Moreover, we considered it an experiment so that other programs of the University of Economics and Business can learn from for international quality assurance.

- What benefits did the program’s stakeholders gain from the assessment?

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Thanh: As I mentioned previously, the biggest benefit of the quality assessed with the AUN-QA standards is the improved quality of the program itself. Thanks to the assessment, the program’s pros and cons were pointed out as it was makred on a scale of 1-7 point. And so was its quality. The University as well as the Faculty of International Business and Economics would prepare measures to improve it, accordingly.

Therefore, the ones who were initial benefitiaries of assessed program are students, lecturers and employers. Specifically, students will be able to access a continuously updated program with for instance the training framwork, subjects, personnel involved in lectures, support, etc. are all adjusted on time; employers will be able to find a better human resource; lecturers must improve their professional competences when working for the proram.

- Before the AUN results were informed, how had the Vietnam National University assessed the honor bachelor program in international economics implemented by the School?

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Thanh: In 2009, the University’s international economics bachelor program (honor) was accrediated with the Vietnam National University, Hanoi’s quality assurance standards. The self-assessment results and external assessment of the program were ranked the first level (equally to international standards) by the Vietnam National University, Hanoi. So, it is possible to say that the program’s quality is very good and at international level as it has met the AUN-QA quality assurance standards. Currently, as it was informed by the AUN, the program was given a mark of 4.69.

- What does this mark of 4.69 mean?

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Thanh: The AUN-QA quality assessment consists of 18 standards and 74 items, each is assessed on 1-7 point scale: 1 = nothing available (no materials, no plans, no evidence); 2 = planned only; 3 = material available, evidence is not clear; 4 = materials and evidences available; 5 = clear evidence of effectiveness in the concerned field; 6 = good quality; and 7 = excellent. On this scale, 1 is the lowest, 7 is the highest and if a program is marked 4.0 it has met the AUN quality assurance standards. The mark of 4.69 that the program in international economics got affirmed its assured quality. Moreover, among the Vietnamese bachelor programs accrediated by the AUN, Vietnam National University of Hanoi and Vietnam National University of Ho Chi Minh City, it was one of the best.   

- What does the University of Economics and Business - VNU plan for the coming years after the program in international economics was accrediated?

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Thanh: A part from the bachelor program in international economics, the School has planned to upgrade the bachelor program in business administration to international standards and to be accreadiated by the AUN soon. The University has always had a long-term plan to boost domestic and international accreaditation of its programs at program and university levels.

After this assessment, the University goes on investing resources in its programs to make it integrate with regional and international universities with similar programs.

- Thank you!

Mai Anh - Cong Hong

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