Oct 25th, 2018

Effective school management for TVET institutes in response to opportunities and challenges in the autonomy era

Ho Chi Minh city, 23/10-26/10 and Hanoi, 29/10-2/11/2018 - “While autonomy is an issue of increasing importance, it is crucial for TVET institutes to enhance their management capacity to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities that it brings”, Ms. Khuong Thi Nhan, Programme Manager of National Target Programmes, the Directorate for Vocational Education and Training (DVET), emphasised at the opening of the workshop “Effective school management for TVET institutes”. The two training workshops were organised in Dong Nai province and Hanoi by DVET with the support of the Programme “Reform of TVET in Viet Nam”.More than 50 leaders and mid-level managers from TVET institutes as well as representatives from central and local governments participated in the three-day trainings.

The Law on Vocational Training which came into effect in 2015 anticipates an unprecedented level of institutional autonomy for TVET institutes in Viet Nam. Greater freedoms around funding, staffing, programme development, enrollment, employer partnership and strategic management shall in future create a new operating environment where TVET institutes can respond to challenges and opportunities in a more swiftly manner, and proactively test new ways of working that could potentially result in an increased uptake of demand-led, higher-quality TVET provision.

However, with greater autonomy come new tasks and responsibilities that TVET institutes have to take on. First of all, while state budget resources remain an important source of funding over the past five years, it is critical to diversify sources of income to finance expenses non-eligible for state budget allocations or to fill in state budget shortfalls. Another challenge is the development of employer relationship. TVET institutes need to have sufficient capacity and arguments to engage effectively with employers to enhance sound market intelligence to inform TVET provision, negotiation of partnerships where employers actively engage in training programme development and provision as well as in examinations and certification and institutionalised partnerships with professional associations, companies and other relevant stakeholders. Last but not least, in order to smoothen TVET institute’s operations, there needs to be a cost-effective model that includes sound methods for cost-calculation and mechanisms for cost-sharing between different stakeholders.

During the three-day training workshops, participants got updated on the Vietnamese regulatory framework on institutional autonomy and analysed its ramifications on the TVET operational level. Under the facilitation of Prof. Dr. Gebhard Hafer, a German expert in school management and three multipliers who had been well-trained to disseminate the acquired knowledge and skills, participants got to know good management practices to ensure the cost-effectiveness of TVET provision at the institutional level.  During interactive plenary discussions and working group sessions, they also explored possibilities to diversify TVET sources of funding and different mechanisms to engage with industry. A further training scheme on specific management topics for TVET institutes was also developed as the next step to improve the management capacity of Vietnamese TVET institutes.

“The workshop has brought me a lot of useful insights, including good practices from German inter-company training centres. These knowledge and experience suggest many possibilities for application in the context of my institute to improve our school management in the autonomy era”, shared Ms Hong Thi Thanh Thuy, Vice Rector of Ho Chi Minh City Vocational College.

The activities were held within the field of activity “Policy Advice and System Reform” as part of the Vietnamese-German “Programme Reform of TVET in Viet Nam”. The programme is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) together with the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).