With the aim of deriving practical recommendations from German experiences for Vietnamese TVET institutes facing operational, personnel and financial autonomy, the workshop “Scope of Operation of TVET Institutes: Requirements, Rules and Autonomy in Germany” was held on 2 November, 2017 in Hanoi. The workshop was jointly organized by the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training (DVET) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, in the frame of the Vietnamese-German “Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam”. During his opening remarks, Dr Truong Anh Dung, Deputy Director of DVET, said “In order to reform and improve the TVET system, autonomy is considered a breakthrough. It is the objective of the Vietnamese government to meet the demands of the market and enhance efficiency”.
While regarding full financial autonomy of TVET institutes as critical, the “Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam” strongly advocates the flexibility of TVET institutes to develop employment-relevant training offers in cooperation with the business sector. “In order to pursue this challenging new path, TVET institutes must be given more rights and freedom”, Dr Horst Sommer emphazised in his opening remarks. “Autonomy is only one element in the TVET system. If we turn one element in the system, we have to consider that it shifts the whole system. Therefore, the question concerning roles and responsibilities, freedom and scope of operation, balance between over-regulation and laissez-faire has to be brought forward today.”
Following an overview and orientation by Ms Khuong Thi Nhan, Deputy Director, Department of Planning and Finance, DVET, over the autonomy process in Viet Nam, German experts Tilo Jänsch and Eicke Beckmann provided hands-on practical experiences concerning the operation and financial management of TVET Institutes in Germany.
The German system cannot be copied but lessons can be learnt. Participants of the workshop embraced the chance and entered into a lively discussion with the German experts. Thereby, concrete issues concerning the implementation of demand surveys in the business sector, the development of tailor-made training courses for the business sector, continuous further training of TVET teachers and in-company trainers and quality management were addressed.
The most important concern, agreed by all attendants, is financial autonomy. German experts emphasized that although TVET in Germany is jointly financed by the business sector and the state, the German government massively supports TVET Institutes, with 7.7 Billion € in 2016. Mr Ngo Xuan Thuy, Rector of Quy Nhon Vocational College, who currently pilots the autonomy mechanism, confirmed that “autonomy cannot be carried out solely by TVET institutes and being financed by student fees. Support, and especially financial support from the government is needed.”
Dr Truong Anh Dung affirmed that the Vietnamese government will financially support TVET Institutes on their path to autonomy. “While autonomy has to be implemented gradually and full autonomy is not possible, the independence of TVET institutes in many aspects will increase self-responsibility and thereby reduce the dependence on public finance and benefits. While at the system level lessons and experiences learnt today will be applied to improve the policy framework and development of guidelines, at the institutional level, TVET institutes will have to adapt and implement required initial actions” he concluded the event.