Year: 2019

Author: Phung, Duc

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

There has been widespread international concern over the training quality and employability outcomes of transnational Higher Education (HE) though it has been an evitable trend with different benefits to involved stakeholders. Vietnam has emerged as a dynamic spot for a variety of the Joint Training Programs, especially the Joint Programs (JPs). Despite numerous positive changes in the quality assurance and regulation aspects, this type of internationalization at home is seen more about providing greater HE accessibility to high school leavers rather than improving education quality under the impact of commercialization. However, optimistic reports on the graduation outcomes and employment rate of the JPs from the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Labour – Invalids and Social Affairs reveal a different view on this education program. Vietnamese literature shows there is hardly any research investigating in-depth the effectiveness of the JPs in Vietnamese universities, especially in terms of enhancing their graduate employability. This study aims to explore how the JPs are implemented in Vietnam, and to what extent their implementation contributes to enhance the graduate employability. The research will adopt qualitative approach based on the constructivist paradigm, employing combined data collection methods: document analysis and interviews, based on Tomlinson’s conceptual framework of graduate employability capitals. It targets two Vietnamese universities that have implemented the JPs. For each program, 3 teachers, 10 students, 5 graduates and 5 respective employers of these graduates will be invited to evaluate the graduates’ competence and performance. In addition to interviews, documents about the JPs implementation will be collected, including policy documents, curricular and the employment outcomes such as graduation and employment rates. The results show that the JPs offered students more opportunities to develop their employability capitals due to presence of international academic, imported curriculum and an exchange-year to the counterparts’ countries. The main findings of this research are explained in the light of Vietnamese socio-cultural aspects and in relation to at-home internationalization. Theoretically, it contributes to a limited literature about the JPs, especially in a Vietnamese HE context. Practically, this research focuses on seeking the facilitators from the JPs as a pervasive response to equip undergraduates both generic and specific competencies. Significantly, this study is expected to change the prejudice against the JPs and give implications for improving their graduate employability, therefore, could contribute an insight into enhancing Vietnamese graduate employability.

Keywords:Joint Programs; employability, employability skills; higher education; Vietnamese universities