Report on Curriculum Reform at the National Economics University, Hanoi, Vietnam
The National Economics University (NEU) has undergone dramatic changes in the 1990s. It has expanded from teaching a few thousand students annually to teaching tens of thousands in 1998. At the same time, the subject matter being taught has changed. Economics under central planning was very different from the economics of market economies. A third aspect of change, although this has moved less quickly, has been changes in the method of teaching to adopt more of the “Western model” of library-focused and research-based learning. After a decade of reform, the NEU can count many achievements, but many challenges remain. This report is an input into that ongoing reform process. The report is based on a survey of all the departments and faculties of the NEU, and has incorporated the thoughts and opinions of the many people who contributed to that survey, and who have discussed reform issues with the authors over the past year. It is a synthesis of all their ideas, although the recommendations, and responsibility for them, are those of the authors. The report begins by profiling the changes which have occurred at the NEU since 1986, and then the present organisational and teaching structure (chapter one). This provides the descriptive background for the subsequent analysis. We then focus on the challenges of the ongoing transition process for the NEU (chapter two). These are divided into two basic types: ·Physical constraints (human and physical resources), and; ·Institutional reform (teaching methods, research focus, course structures and content). Throughout the analysis we draw upon the survey results, although reform recommendations not covered in previous chapters are discussed in appendix one. The final chapter draws together the recommendations and conclusions to suggest some “next steps” for the curriculum reform process at the NEU.
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