Ministry petitions for unchanged tuition to share financial burden with students

Many universities and colleges’ announcements of rising tuition fee have made students worry; therefore, the Ministry has called for unchanged fees.
Ministry of Education and Training, unchanging tuition fee, share financial burden with students, Covid-19, natural disasters Ministry petitions for unchanging tuition fee to share financial burden with students
According to the Department of Planning and Finance of the Ministry of Education and Training, the Decree No. 86/2015 on the collection and management of tuition fees for educational institutions and the policy of tuition fee exemption has clearly specified the framework and ceiling tuition fees for public higher education institutions.
Under the decree, self-financing public and government-funded high educational facilities have to cover recurrent expenditure and expenses on facility upgrade by themselves, and public educational institutions cannot cover recurrent and investment expenses by themselves. The Decree prescribes an average annual tuition increase of 10 percent. Public university institutions that autonomously implement reform of their operating mechanism under the Resolution No. 77/2014 shall comply with the operation mechanism pilot scheme approved by the Prime Minister.
The government will just stipulate the tuition fee framework for public preschools and high schools, according to the Law on Education 2019 and Decree No. 86 while the specific fee rates for each year shall be determined by provincial people's councils in accordance with the actual living conditions of the regions and the annual increase in tuition fees must base on the consumer price index announced by the State.
All educational institutions must publicize their training costs, fees and other service charges for the courses in each academic year along with the enrollment notice on the website according to regulations, noted by the Ministry of Education and Training.
The Ministry of Education and Training said that many families care about tuition fees ; therefore, schools must publicize training costs, fees, enrolment charges and other service collection in the courses for an academic year to learners transparently. Schools must be responsible for deducting a portion of their tuition revenue to support students from low-income families.
Many students expressed their concern that they could not attend some schools as planned because the tuition fees exceeded their family's financial ability.
The Ministry of Education and Training said that the Ministry of Education and Training has currently submitted a draft decree to replace Decree 86/2015 to the Government. From 2020 up to now, the Covid-19 epidemic and natural disasters, storms and floods in many localities have affected the development of the country and affected people's income; hence, in its draft decree, the Ministry petitioned for unchanging tuition fee to share difficulties with parents and students.
Above all, the draft decree has included more beneficiaries of the policy of exemption and reduction of tuition fees and added many new policies with the aim to ensure all disadvantaged groups can access and benefit from exclusive education. Moreover, the new draft decree focused on supporting schoolers in distant and underprivileged regions to access education.
In addition to the new policies, the policies on tuition fee exemption and reduction, tuition fee support and other regulations in Decree 86/2015 will remain the same for the 2021-2022 school year.
The Ministry of Education and Training has directed educational institutions to keep the tuition fees stable for the forthcoming academic year as well as explain tuition fee collections. At the same time, that ministries, branches, People's Committees of provinces and cities were asked to increase the appraisal and supervision of revenues and expenditures .
Regarding the ceiling tuition fees for self-financed schools and private schools, the Ministry of Education and Training said that the ministry has coordinated with ministries and agencies to collect opinions of localities and education and training institutions across the country. This new draft Decree on tuition fees with many new policies is of great significance as it links tuition fees not only with the degree of financial autonomy of public schools but more importantly, with the results of the quality assessment of education and training of public education and training institutions.
Specifically, the draft Decree stipulates that public schools which have been granted financial autonomy have not yet passed the quality accreditation, they must not collect fees exceeding a regulated tuition fee cap. Local or international financial-autonomous schools passing the quality accreditation are entitled to collect tuition fees of up to 2-2.5 times higher than their above-mentioned peers.
According to the current regulations in Decree 86, non-public schools including preschools and high schools are allowed to decide on their own fee collection rates but they must publicize the tuition rates for each school year while higher educational facilities and vocational training schools must announce expected tuition fee for the whole course for an academic year.
The draft also stipulates that the maximum increase in tuition fees per academic year does not exceed 10 percent for preschool and high schools and not more than 15 percent for universities. Particularly, the tuition fee for the 2021-2022 school year must not exceed the tuition fee for the 2020-2021 school year already collected by the training institution.
The draft decree also adds detailed policies for students who are eligible for tuition exemption or reduction while studying at private educational institutions. These students will receive grants equal to tuition fee in public schools.

By Phan Thao - Translated by Anh Quan

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