An Exploratory Inquiry into the Adoption of Performance Based Accountability Policies for Public Universities in Vietnam

  • Chau Tran My

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This study analysed the adoption of Performance Based Accountability (PBA) policies of higher education and suggested the implications for Vietnam higher education system. Previous research has indicated that the adoption of PBA policy as a New Public Management (NPM) for national government to monitor results of higher education institutions in order to improve quality of research and teaching in higher education. Although the adoption PBA in higher education has proven successful in many developed countries, the theoretical and practical issues related to PBA in the context of Vietnam as a developing country have yet to be any in-depth research regarding the function and systems already in existence. Indeed an exploratory inquiry on the adoption of PBA policies will enable the exploration of the factors within the Vietnam’s higher education. For this purpose, the Accountability Triangle theory was approached as the theoretical framework to better understanding the issues.

This research employed the mixed methods by utilising a combination of a nation-wide quantitative survey as the main data collection and the subsequent qualitative interviews to enable in-depth analysis of the survey’s results. The data analysis showed that PBA policies have been evaluated as an effective funding reform with the positive impacts on strengthening quality of research and teaching in the Vietnamese higher education, while the relations of the seven factors and the adoptions of PBA policies were examined. Data from the study can support policy makers in higher education funding management and to identify an adaptable policy for state budget allocation. The study performed with a systematic review, in-depth analysis and the reviewed results, examining the influences that elicit the adoption of the PBA policies within the higher education in Vietnam. The major finding of this study is that PBA policies have the positive impacts in improving quality of research and teaching, efficiency, equity and transparency of state funding allocation. Another finding also revealed that State Priorities including Governance Structure and State Agencies have the most influences into the adoption of PBA policies, while the factors of Market Forces encompassing Tuition Level, Economic Condition and Entrepreneurial Activities have the second strongest influences, then the factors of Academic Concerns the lowest influences into the adoption of PBA policies in higher education. The study also identified the lacks of the expertise management mechanisms of in the Vietnamese higher education system, such as the state supervision, institutional autonomy, accountability of quality assurance, and budgetary process.

Overall, the explorations from this study have led to the in-depth understanding of the adoption of PBA policies in the Vietnamese higher education system. The findings have provided theoretical, methodological and practical implications that might be applied in the study of state- university-market relationships. This study also contributed new insights into the adoption of PBA policies in higher education, especially in the context of Vietnam as a developing country in order to develop strategies of higher education in the future.
Date of AwardOct 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorEmel Thomas (Supervisor), Richard Rose (Supervisor) & John Visser (Supervisor)

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