Applying advanced standards of quality assurance at International University, Vietnam National University HoChiMinh city

The “Internal Quality Management System” is being applied at International University. This was standardized into two models
: Total Quality Management-TQM & Internal Quality Assurance-IQA. The content below will describe and analyze the primary results after applying this system


The Total Quality Management (TQM) was applied for the whole systems at International University (IU) since 2007. This model was designed by Assoc. Prof. Ho Thanh Phong. The model was described as the figure below:


Figure 1: Model for Total Quality Management at International University, designed by Ho Thanh Phong, 2007

Explanation for the model:

(1) The IU statement of vision, missions and objective goals is the “Magnetic needle” for the IU development in term of five years, approaching to term of ten year.

(2) Base on the development staregic plan, IU buid up the management system for conduting activities in two fields of education training and administration.

(3) According to the student – center approach, student (5) is the focus of this system. Faculty staff (3), facility (4) and curriculum (6) helping to carry out the vision, mission and objective goals

(4) Interaction between faculty staff (3) and curriculum (6): Faculty play the role as designer, carrier and reviewer for curriculum improvement

(5) Relation between facility (4) and curriculum (6): facility and infrastructure are built up and upgrading following the changing of curriculum

(6) Feedback system on teaching quality of faculty and facility are considered for the improvement by faculty and Board of Rectors.

(7) The ABET and AACSB standards were applied for designing expected learning outcomes and content of curriculum.

(8) The output of IU is the high quality human resource working in industry. To industry, in helping to match the quality human resource and the industry need, employers should give their feedbacks on the curriculum quality as well as opportunities in connecting training and research or with practical context of manufacturing and management.

(9)  The educational quality of IU has got some accreditation achievements with national standard (MOET) and regional standard (AUN). Following these activities, nonstop improvement would be carry out for approaching the international standard like ABET, AACSB. The quality goals of IU have been developed as the figure below:


Figure 2: Quality goals of International University (Ho Thanh Phong, 2008)

(10) Instruments for applying Total Quality Management (TQM):

  1. Process, Procedure
  2. Academic Quality Assurance System
  3. Feedback system
  4. Customers services
  5. Factual Decision Making system
  6. Evidences collection


After approaching AUN-QA through experiencing the AUN Actual Quality Assessment for Computer Science and Engineering Program, School of Computer Science and Engineering in December of 2009, IU has gradually standardized the Academic Internal Quality Assurance system of IU following AUN model (see Figure 3).


Figure 3: AUN-QA Model for IQA System (Ton Vroeijenstijn, 2006)

This model includes Monitoring Instruments, Evaluation Instruments, Specific QA Instruments and Special QA Processes for academic quality assurance and research at IU. These are:

  1. Monitoring Instruments



  • The Office of Academic Affairs and School/Department manages academic results of students through the transcript and Academic advisor handbook.
  • The Office of Academic Affairs and School/Department statistics the annual pass rate, dropout rate, transferring rate of students.
  • Center of Education Quality Management (CEQM) collects, analyzes and folders the feedbacks with hard copies and soft copies. These feedbacks are used for the improvement of academic curriculum.
  • The Office of Research & Development manages scientific research topics, updates and uploads publications of IU.


  1. Evaluation instruments for research, academic and customers services



  • Course evaluation form: conduct at the end of 100% course of each semester.
  • Faculty feedback form: this is used as a solution for school/department, conducted annually. Faculties can give their feedbacks on management and distribution workloads of school/department; academic curriculum and syllabus; supporting activities for teaching, facilities, library and working environment.
  • Manager staff evaluation: this is conducted twice a year by the Board of Rectors.
  • Lecturer and Researcher Evaluation: this is conducted twice a year, based on the teaching workloads, research results and students’ feedbacks.
  • Staff Evaluation: the staff will be evaluated twice a year by their head of the office, based on the performance results, attitude, communication and solution for working improvement.
  • The feedbacks on student service/ customer service, youth union, social activities are conducted through email, message system and at the first meeting week at the beginning of academic year. Lecturers and students always have chance to meet Heads of the offices or Board of Rectors for their direct feedbacks.


3. Quality Assurance processes


All procedures of Quality Assurance are applying at IU:

  • Procedure of Composing and issuing program expected learning outcomes and syllabus outcomes.
  • Procedure of improving Academic curriculum
  • Procedure of composing and grading tests
  • Procedure of staff recruitment and criteria for recruitment
  • Procedure of testing, guarantee and upgrading facilities
  • Procedure of quality assurance for customer services


4. Quality Assurance Instruments



  • The development strategic plan for new term of five years is always issued at the end of previous term. Based on that, each office, school and department  will develop their development strategic plan after the discussion meeting. Each unit uses SWOT analysis for their plan, presents their achievement and develops new plan for next term.
  • As AUN-QA guidelines, each program which has at least 03 cohorts of graduate would have registration for the AUN Actual Quality Assessment.
  • The transparent information are public on IU website and school/department website. All stakeholders are delivered all necessary information related to academic curriculum through Student’s Handbook and many other channels.
  • Since 2011, the quality assurance system has been applied within ABET standard for Engineering programs and AACSB for business program. The Center of Education Quality Management has created “Handbook for Applying ABET standard at IU”.



Creating the international learning environment for Vietnamese in “regional studying abroad” in field of engineering and management is the missions of IU. Besides that it shows a new higher education governance model. The transferring to independent financial system helps IU maintaining the high quality human resource for acomplishing all mission in management and teaching. This was proved by the continuous achievement of AUN assessment results, 04 programs of IU are successfully completed the AUN Actual Quality Assessment: Computer Science and Engineering Program of School of Computer Science and Engineering with score of 4.61/7 (2009); Biotechnology Program of School of Biotechnology with score of 4.7/7 (2011); Business Administration Program of School of Business with score of 4.8/7 (2012) and Electronics and Telecommunications Program of School of Electrical Engineering with score of 4.7/7 (2013, AUN – DAAD).

This could be seen that the quality assurance culture of IU has been built and grown up base on the harmonization of tradition and internationalization. The student center approach and high quality education are the commitment of IU to students. The Development strategic plan, term 2011-2015 once again confirms the educational goal of IU is nurturing student as “an enthusiastic, capability, dynamic, creative and positive integration graduate”. The education quality of IU is building from the cognition of lecturer and learner about their relation. Although IU supply the international studying environment but we always try to bring not an image of “customer student” to students but the traditional Vietnamese education. Learners are taught to keep respecting to lecturers, maintain traditional culture. Additional to this, the financial supporting help all staffs of IU even the foreigners lecturers have positive motivation for working here. It contributes to development of the quality assurance culture of at IU.

Another important factor of quality assurance culture of IU is the objective evaluation performance for the staffs. The evaluation was done based on the KPIs (Key performance Indicator). For example, to lecturer evaluation form, section of « teaching performance results » takes 10/120 points, publications takes 30/120 points. The evaluation process is totally agreed by all IU staffs after many discussion meetings, and is done twice a year. Therefore, the evaluation results will affect one salary until the next evaluation term.

The applying of “Internal Quality Management System” is standardized into two models: Total Quality Management-TQM & Internal Quality Assurance-IQA at International University. These models primarily brought some achievements to IU. However, this model still lacks of one item for administration management field.  For the long term of development, this is obviously necessary to develop one for IU.


  • Ho Thanh Phong, 2007, Total Quality Management Model
  • Ho Thanh Phong, 2008, Quality Goal of International University
  • Ton Vroeijenstijn, 2006, A Journey to uplift Quality Assurance in the ASEAN Universities.