September 01, 2015 11:18
Nearly 70 universities and vocational colleges recorded failing marks in an evaluation by the Education Ministry and will face a cut in state subsidies, scholarships and student loans.
The ministry evaluated 163 universities and 135 vocational colleges in efforts to streamline institutions amid an expected drop in the number of entrants due to a persistently low birth rate.
Six four-year universities and seven two-year colleges scored the bottom grade, and students who enroll there will not be eligible for state scholarships or tuition assistance.
Critics say the measure is toothless while related laws are still pending before the National Assembly, and authorities need the power to force private vanity projects or commercial degree mills to close. On the side of the universities, several have complained about the objectivity of the government's evaluation.
The government wants to streamline universities and colleges amid forecasts that the number of high school graduates will decline from 560,000 in 2013 to 400,000 in 2023.
The plan is to slash new university acceptances by 40,000 between 2014 and 2016, another 50,000 between 2017 and 2019 and by 70,000 during 2020-2022.
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