What are “Centers of Excellence in TVET” – (CoEs)? What are “high quality vocational institutes”? What is the difference between CoEs and “high quality vocational institutes” and “normal TVET institutes”? And how can the six criteria for the high quality vocational institutes stated in Decision 761/QD-TTg dated 23/5/2014 by Prime Minister be adjusted to better meet the reality and contribute to the fulfillment of the TVET development strategy until 2020. These questions were the main topics of the “Scientific Discussion on Criteria for High Quality Vocational Institutes/CoEs” that was jointly organized by the Vietnam Vocational Training Accreditation Agency (VVTAA) under the General Directorate of Vocational Training (GDVT) and the “Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam” – (GIZ TVET Viet Nam) on 15 July 2016 in Ha Noi.
Participants of the scientific discussion included Assoc. Prof. Dr Cao Van Sam, Deputy Director of GDVT, Dr Phan Chinh Thuc, former Director of GDVT and currently the Vice President of Viet Nam Vocational Training Association and Vocational Social Work, Ms Britta Van Erckelens, Deputy Director of the GIZ TVET Viet Nam, representatives from GDVT departments and experts from GIZ, AFD, governing ministries of the vocational institutes and the industry sector, as well as representatives from vocational colleges.
In his opening speech, Assoc. Prof. Dr Cao Van Sam – Deputy Director of GDVT confirmed the importance and the necessity of the revision of the criteria for high quality vocational institutes stipulated in the Prime Ministers Decision No. 761/QĐ-TTg dated 23/5/2024. Furthermore he expressed his trust in the effective cooperation with GIZ TVET Viet Nam due to GIZ’s experience in implementing three projects on high quality vocational institutes/CoEs in Viet Nam.
In her welcome speech, Ms Britta van Erckelens expressed her thankfulness for the trust of GDVT in GIZ TVET Viet Nam and for the successful cooperation with GDVT in general, VVTAA in particular. Development of CoE in TVET is one focus of the GIZ TVET Viet Nam. In 2011 a CoE concept paper was jointly developed in the frame of the Vietnamese-German cooperation describing the criteria of CoE for Viet Nam in order to develop the supported institutes and assist Viet Nam to implement the TVET development strategy 2020. “The goal of the scientific discussion is to discuss these criteria from a point of practical experiences and scientific research undertaken by VVTAA. The question to answer is: What do we want to achieve?” She stressed that Vietnam needs to train demand-orientated labour force for the market in Viet Nam and South East Asia. Therefore, the cooperation between TVET institutes and the business sector is highly important. Developing CoE means to aim at an international level to become part of an international network. “Today’s scientific discussion is a chance to set a course for the development of realistic criteria for the high quality vocational institutes and outstanding CoEs”, she emphasized.
Subsequently, Dr Pham Vu Quoc Binh, Director of VVTAA presented the results of the scientific survey on the assessment of 45 TVET institutes (selected in the Decision No.761/QĐ-TTg) based on six criteria for the high quality vocational institutes stated in the Decision No. 761. To ensure exact and reliable results, the survey was carried out in six steps: 1) study and develop guidelines on self-assessment; 2) self-assessment by schools; 3) external assessment; 4) finalization of reports by schools, 5) review synthesis conducted by VVTAA; 6) report to management of GDVT. The results of the survey clearly showed the shortcomings of the high quality vocational institutes’ criteria and included proposals for revision of the criteria.
Following the presentation of Dr Binh, experts from Germany (Mr Markus Kamann) and France (Mr Stephan Veran, AFD expert) presented the CoE model in Germany and France. The CoEs in Germany and in France focus on the demands of the economy in terms of training materials/equipment and training implementation. They are mainly connected to the industry in their respective region. Criteria for CoEs in Germany and in France have the following common characteristics: They are open and general so that criteria don’t have to be revised every year.
Linked to the introduction of the CoE model in Germany and France as inputs for the discussion, the presentation of Mr Nguyen Khanh Cuong, Rector of the LILAMA2 Technical and Technology College (LILAMA2 College) provided an overview of the CoE model that LILAMA2 College is developing in cooperation with GIZ TVET Viet Nam. With this CoE model, LILAMA2 College aims to 1) provide well-qualified work force that are able to work in national and international enterprises through implementation of cooperative training (development of occupational standards, training curricular in cooperation with industry sector according to German standards, implementation of training with enterprises, a German organization assess and certificate.) and 2) act as a hub in TVET in Viet Nam and in the region to advice other CoEs in the TVET system. In order to reach these objectives, currently LILAMA 2 College focuses on six pillars including quality assurance system structure, leadership & management, business sector cooperation, curriculum, lecture and physical resource.
In the afternoon, the participants contributed many valuable ideas and comments in two group discussion sessions: 1) Position, functions and roles of high quality vocational colleges and 2) proposed criteria and indicators for high quality vocational colleges. It was widely agreed among the participants that the proposed key criteria consist of 1) trained and competent teaching and management staff, 2) effective organizational structure and management, 3) demand-driven training delivery, 3) close cooperation with the industry sector and 4) safe and friendly training and learning environment. The participants also proposed indicators illustrating the requirements for high quality vocational institutes and potential CoEs.
At the end of the scientific discussion, Dr Pham Vu Quoc Binh and Ms Britta van Erckelens showed their deep gratitude and appreciation to the participants’ contribution and affirmed that the success of the scientific discussion is a good start for the study and revision of the criteria for the high quality vocational institutes. GIZ’s consultant will study the results of the discussion and other relevant documents to propose a draft of revised criteria. According to the schedule, the revised criteria will be piloted in 5 or 7 vocational colleges before being finalized by November 2016.
Study and revision of the criteria for the high quality vocational institutes is one of two fields of activities in expansion cooperation agreement that VVTAA and GIZ TVET Viet Nam signed on the same day of the scientific discussion.