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International accreditation helps to improve higher education quality




Deputy Mission Director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Bradley Bessire delivers an opening remark at the forum. — Photo Khánh Vân 

HÀ NỘI — Domestic and foreign experts discussed the value and benefits of international accreditation and recognition for higher education at a forum held in Hà Nội on May 27.

The forum was co-organised by the “Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology” or BUILD-IT project, Arizona State University, and the Hà Nội University of Industry.

At the forum on International Accreditation and Recognition Value and Success Showcase, experts in academia, industry, and government explored the importance, the successes, and the challenges of raising the profile of academic institutions through international recognition and accreditation.   

Participants also looked at an introduction to a structured approach and key factors leading to successful ABET programme accreditation or AUN-QA programme evaluation, experienced increased capacity development for international accreditation and via a keynote address and panel sessions highlighting Vietnamese successes in obtaining AUN-QA evaluation or ABET accreditation.

Proven models and key success factors were highlighted, all within the Vietnamese context.

The event also provided guided exploration of necessary steps and preparations towards successful international recognition of programmes, based on the recently developed “playbook” or quick start guide.  

A key part of international accreditation recognition is quality and seeking continuous improvement. 

Nguyễn Huy Phúc, Head of Office of Testing & Quality Assurance at the Industrial University of HCM City said: “Quality assurance is not a destination, but it is a journey to further continuous improvement.

“And the most important aspect is to build a culture of quality assurance institutionally so that all stakeholders can see that quality assurance activities are not of a single unit or individual, but of a collective, from the programmes to the faculties and departments and the institution as a whole.” 

For the past seven years, the BUILD-IT project has been helping Vietnamese universities implement robust systems to attain international accreditation and recognition. The tools and techniques BUILD-IT teaches for accreditation and assessment become part of institutional processes and contribute to improving quality of teaching and learning.  BUILD-IT’s goal is to enable sustainability of quality STEM education in the long-term, in part by increasing the breadth of programs seeking and achieving international accreditation and recognition.  

Since the inception of BUILD-IT, 86 partner programmes have achieved international/regional accreditation and recognition. 

This forum showcased some of those programmes and their institutions by bringing together a national audience focused on implementing best practices for international recognition, such as ABET accreditation or AUN-QA evaluation.  

Dr. Phạm Trần Vũ, the Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering at HCM City University of Technology, the first university in Việt Nam to achieve ABET-accredited programmes, said: “Accreditation, after all, helps us to have better insights into quality assurance in education.”

Deputy Head of International Cooperation Department at Cao Thắng Technical College (the second higher education institution in Việt Nam to achieve ABET accreditation), Nguyễn Thị Thanh Bình, added: “Accreditation is not for certificate only, but for the real benefits to the stakeholders along the way.”  

To leverage seven years’ worth of programmes, workshops, seminars, and training sessions, BUILD-IT created its Playbook Series to assist to sustain BUILD-IT’s value long after the project ends in 2023.  

Topics in this playbook series include Institutional Accreditation, Project Based-Learning, Digital Immersion Learning, Program Accreditation (AUN-ABET), Industry Advisory Boards, Women in STEM, Maker Innovation Network, and Faculty Development and Active Learning.

BUILD-IT anticipates that the playbooks will become recognised resources and utilised for university and higher education planning. These tools can help build scale – reaching additional universities and engineering programmes throughout Việt Nam for sustainable and nationwide change. —



Police probe suspected child abuse case in Vietnam’s Ha Tinh Province



Police in Ha Tinh Province, north-central Vietnam are investigating a case of suspected child abuse after a video clip spread on social media showed a half-naked man beating a teen girl with nothing on.

In the four-minute clip, the unclothed girl was hung against the ceiling of a house with a string that tied her hands while the man was beating her with a rod.

The video has triggered deep indignation among the online community after it was posted on Friday morning.

The incident took place at a house in Cuong Gian Commune, located in the province’s Nghi Xuan District, as far as Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper had learned.

Hoang Van Ha, chairman of the commune’s administration, confirmed to Tien Phong that the incident occurred in the locality, adding local police have launched an investigation into it.

The girl in the clip is N., 11, and the man beating her is her father, N.V.T., 36, Ha said.

N. is the second child in her family of three siblings and N.’s mother is now a guest worker in Taiwan, according to local authorities.

“The incident happened a few days ago. After the video clip appeared, local authorities and police came to T.’s house for verification but he had left,” Ha said.

T. works as a seaman and often drinks alcohol and beats his children, Ha added.

Local police are continuing to investigate this suspected child abuse case.

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Torrential rain sinks streets, houses in northern Vietnamese province



Multiple streets and houses in Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam were severely inundated following a heavy downpour on Thursday evening.

The provincial steering committee for natural disaster prevention and rescue told Tien Phong (Youth) newspaper on Friday that local authorities were dealing with the aftermath of the rain and calculating the total damage it had done.

The downpour that lasted for over an hour started battering Lao Cai City, which is the provincial capital, and several districts in Lao Cai Province at around 8:00 pm on Thursday.

A tree is uprooted during the downpour in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

A tree is uprooted during the downpour in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

Many streets including Tran Phu, Tran Hung Dao, Le Thanh, Nhac Son, An Duong Vuong, and Pho Moi were submerged by rainwater, while numerous cars and motorbikes broke down as well.

Uprooted trees were recorded on Ham Nghi Street and at Goc Mit Market and Thang Binh Park.

Flooding in local neighborhoods occurred quickly, leaving residents little to no time to react.

A resident pushes his motorbike on a flooded street in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

A resident pushes his motorbike on a flooded street in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

Many people reported having their homes, electrical appliances, and motorbikes damaged by the inundation.

Bac Cuong Ward in Lao Cai City suffered the heaviest damage with three neighborhoods sunk by the downpour.

The heavy rain also caused landslides in several areas across the province.

The National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting previously reported that torrential rains would lash northern Vietnam from Thursday until the end of this week.

Houses are submerged by a heavy downpour in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

Houses are submerged by a heavy downpour in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, August 4, 2022. Photo: L.Cai / Tien Phong

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Vietnamese province revamps public bus service after limbless man ignored by drivers



The Department of Transport of the north-central Vietnamese province of Nghe An has ordered a revamp of local public bus routes after a limbless man spent two hours repeatedly failing to flag down a bus, apparently because drivers were simply ignoring him.

A viral video posted online on Thursday showed Huynh Thanh Duc, 51, a resident of Ha Tinh Province, telling a local in Hoa Thanh Commune, Yen Thanh District, Nghe An Province that he stood at a bus stop waiting for a bus from 7:00 am to 9:00 am on Wednesday.

Duc, who is quadruple amputee, was dropped off at the bus stop by his child at around 7:00 am that day to catch bus No. 5 from Yen Thanh to Vinh City, the capital of Nghe An.

Three No. 5 buses passed while Duc and his child waited, but none stopped.

Duc’s child wound up having to leave to attend to an urgent matter, and shortly after a fourth No. 5 bus drove by without stopping for Duc.

A local named D., who filmed the viral video, helped Duc wave a bus down and help him aboard.

The video of the incident draw huge public attention and stirred mixed opinions, mostly criticism.

A video of Huynh Thanh Duc attempting to catch bus No. 5 in Hoa Thanh Commune, Yen Thanh District, Nghe An Province, Vietnam, August 3, 2022. Video: Tien Phong

In their initial response to the incident, the operator of the No. 5 bus route explained that Duc stood a bit too far from the bus stop to be noticed and showed no signs of needing a ride.

However, according to D., it is common for passengers at the stop to wait in the shade of the nearby tree, rather than right at the stop. 

They only run to the bus stop once the bus arrives. 

Unfortunately, Duc was not able to leave the shade for the bus stop due to his disability.

On Thursday afternoon, Nguyen Van Hai, deputy director of the Nghe An Department of Transport, requested that his subordinates revamp service on all public bus routes in the province following the incident.

Nghe An currently has more than 300 buses which run a combined 1,300 trips per day at a frequency of about 15-35 minutes per departure.

Vietnamese law stipulates that priority has to be given to public transport passengers with disabilities, including prioritized seating, free or discounted fares, and assistance with boarding and deboarding.

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