Perceived Changes to Quality Assurance after AUN-QA Programme Assessment: Voices of Quality Assurance Practitioners, Academic Staff, and Students


  • Van-Son Huynh
  • Huong Thi Pham
  • Minh-Hong Thi Nguyen
  • Phuong Vu Nguyen


accreditation; external quality assessment; quality enhancement; teaching and learning


Quality assurance in Vietnamese higher education has been turning to a new page since it was made in recent years. Foreign accreditation is accepted in Vietnam, and, among foreign accrediting agencies, AUN-QA is more popular. This study examines the extent to which quality assessment by the AUN-QA could lead to changes in Vietnamese universities. This study adopted a basic qualitative approach to explore various stakeholders’ perceived changes with AUN-QA assessment with convenience and purposeful sampling techniques. Qualitative data were collected through interviews with various stakeholders such as students, academic staff, and quality assurance practitioners, followed by thematic analysis. The findings suggest that the AUN-QA quality assessment appeared to be the driver of positive changes, varying from accepting external quality assurance to learning the principles of constructive alignment in curriculum design, teaching and learning approaches, and student assessment. When the principle was learnt, superficial and minor changes were reported. The impacts were also evident in forming a culture of evidence (to demonstrate compliance with the external assessment). There were a few instances whereby changes were perceived as “perfunctory” because institutions used copying strategies for external assessment. Less evidence in the findings with not much discussion related to regular improvements and the dependence on individual academic staff for quality can be seen as directions for actions to be taken not only for the participating universities but also for other universities in Vietnam. The findings suggest that external assessment if applied appropriately to trigger stakeholders’ perceptions, could contribute to quality enhancement.



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