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An evaluation of the quality management system of transnational undergraduate programmes in a Vietnamese university

As one of few studies about transnational education in Vietnam, this study is an evaluation carried out to provide an in-depth look into the quality management mechanisms applied to transnational undergraduate programmes (TNUPs) of a Vietnamese university (University A). The primary purpose of this evaluation is to hear the voices of undergraduate students, who have directly experienced, or are directly experiencing, the transnational education service provided by a particular university. The study aimed to answer an overarching question: What factors impact stakeholders’ evaluations of the quality of TNUPs in a Vietnamese university? The conceptual framework comprises three key research elements. These are the research context including educational, administrative and cultural context, research theorising including transnational education, quality management and evaluation, and research methodology including the Context-Input-Process-Product (CIPP) model and evaluation methods. The aspects explored in each element of the framework play important roles in investigating the quality management system of TNUPs. These elements are interrelated because they all work towards the common goal of the research that is answering the overarching question. The study adopted the Context-Input-Process-Product (CIPP) evaluation model of Stufflebeam (2004) as the evaluation methodology. The CIPP model was used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of TNUPs, figure out the important features of quality TNUPs in stakeholders’ viewpoints, and encourage understanding and interrelation among stakeholders. Based on the CIPP model, the methodology consists of four foci: context, input, process, and product evaluations. The data was collected via two sources: interviews with participants including students, students’ parents, alumni, administrators, and quality assurance officers of University A, and analysis of documents relating to TNUP quality management in Vietnam. The data was analysed by applying both inductive and deductive analysis approaches. Deductive analysis used the CIPP model as a guide for coding data, and inductive analysis allowed me as the researcher to employ open coding, which is not dependent of the preliminary categories based on the CIPP model. The integration of these analytical approaches provided me with information to build a framework for the research findings, helping me to answer the research questions effectively. The research findings relate to the criteria for TNUP self-evaluation as introduced by the Vietnam National University (VNU) in its instruction on checking and assessing the quality of transnational programmes in the VNU, and follow through planning, application, and final judgement processes. The findings propose that the TNUPs of University A have positive features that should be maintained, such as enrolment requirements, output standards, the recruitment process, the enrolment process, and the support of administrators to students. However, these TNUPs have issues that need to be improved. These issues include teaching and learning resources, programme length and contents, assessment and feedback systems, the work of teaching and administrative staff, and tuition fees. The findings also suggest that the quality management mechanism of University A and Vietnamese cultural values affect stakeholders’ viewpoints about TNUPs. Based on the findings, my research recommends a model of quality management for TNUPs with the hope that it could better serve the demands of TNUP stakeholders. The study is helpful as an external evaluation process involving University A stakeholders to review its quality management mechanism of TNUPs. The study’s findings support University A to identify necessary changes to redevelop its quality management model appropriately. The research findings provide constructive research information for other universities in Vietnam that also offer TNUPs. Other institutions can learn from University A’s experience in administrative and academic aspects. Such valuable information can also contribute to the development of transnational education in Vietnam generally.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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