Working Paper 93
Teaching and Learning Reforms in Vietnamese Higher Education: Students’ Experiences
Published July 2023

Student experiences are important resources to inform the improvement of the quality of higher education teaching, learning and management activities. In the case of Vietnam, a series of teaching-learning reforms have been conducted since the 2000s, amidst many other reforms in the higher education system, following the Higher Education Reform Agenda (2005). All changes as a result of such reforms may affect students’ experiences with their university education. Unfortunately, there have not been any studies about teaching-learning reforms in Vietnamese higher education, taking into students’ experiences to enhance educational quality or to inform the reform directions. This paper reports a synthesis of 10 empirical studies that explored the experiences of approximately 4,300 students across Vietnam with different teaching-learning reforms occurring in their universities. In particular, the paper focuses:

• building a learning environment support provided to first-year students
• the operation of the credit-based training system
• the implementation of a student-centered teaching approach
• the use of ICT in teaching and learning
• the effectiveness of imported programs
• the use of student-centered assessment practices
• the implementation of internship programs
• the execution of extra-curricular activities to develop students’ employability skills
• the added values of Vietnamese higher education

The results suggested overall positive student experiences with the teaching-learning reforms. The studies also revealed several obstacles to the reforms related to students’ learning attitudes, teacher beliefs and expertise, and leadership and management capacity. Some socio-cultural and systemic factors were identified as inhibitors to the reforms. Based on the results, the paper discusses and develops a framework for teaching and learning reforms that place students’ learning experience in the heart of on-campus and off-campus activities, setting “ecologies” conducive to students’ learning.