Student feedback mechanisms : the case of a Vietnamese public university
Tran Dinh Thanh, Long (2015)
Tran Dinh Thanh, Long
MDP in Research and Innovation in Higher Education
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Student feedback system – a critical element of internal quality assurance – is of growing concern in the Vietnamese higher education community. Although, in 2008, the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam required all the universities in the country to put in place student feedback mechanisms, the practice of these tools are still unclear. This thesis focuses on exploring the actual execution of student feedback mechanisms inside Vietnamese state-funded universities and puts forward recommendations for further improvement. The twin research aims are met through an extensive study of relevant literature and an implementation of empirical work. The latter is carried out with a university through a qualitative case study using semi-structured interviews and documentary review. At the case university student feedback is executed through the use of two channels - student evaluation of teachers and meetings of students and university staff. Student participation in the first channel is compulsory and is seen as part of the procedures, so the input is generally of little value. The meetings in the second channel usually take place like a “blame game” rather than a constructive conversation. The main conclusions drawn from this research were that the utilization of student feedback mechanisms in the case university is regarded as bureaucratic procedures rather than a useful tool for training quality enhancement, and that both university staff and students are not well aware of the importance of student feedback to the quality management as a whole. The author recommends that the university’s board of management make efforts to raise the awareness of the importance of student feedback mechanisms, and to create formal guidelines and procedures which clearly define duties of each sub-unit of the university in tackling student feedback input.
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