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Access and equity in higher education: A case of minority students in Northwest Vietnam
Start Date: 4/3/2019Start Time: 12:00 PM
End Date: 4/3/2019End Time: 1:00 PM

Event Description
The global inter-independence and demographic shifts have critically accelerated higher education reforms across Asia. In response to this current trend, Vietnam has undergone various renovations in tertiary education, including diversifying and decentralizing education, changing curriculum and evaluation, and advancing teacher education in order to satisfy the diverse demands of the job market. However, issues of social and regional access and equity for minority students in tertiary education in Vietnam remain under-researched. In an attempt to address these concerns, this study aims to explore factors affecting minority students' equity access in Northwest Vietnam. The study draws upon Bourdieu’s (1986, 1991) social reproduction theories to understand how education capital in higher education can either support or create disadvantages for minority students in obtaining socio-economic and political equity and social integration. Using a case study research design, this study is based upon data from document analysis, and interviews with different stakeholders including minority students, managers, and lecturers in a leading university in Northwest Vietnam. The results indicate that students’ opportunities to access and obtain equity to higher education are significantly influenced by linguistic, financial, socio-cultural, and geographical factors. Using Bourdieu’s social reproduction theories to explore these factors further indicates that minority students can only access fragile forms of socio-economic, cultural, and linguistic capital within and outside of the higher education setting. Such forms of capital can pose tremendous threats to minority students’ aspirations, access, and equity in higher education. To this end, the study provided suggestions to improve access and equity issues in higher education for minority students in Vietnam and beyond.
Dr Nga Ngo is a lecturer in the Faculty of Foreign Languages at Tay Bac University, Vietnam. She obtained a PhD in Education from the University of Sydney in 2017. Her research interests bridge the areas of language and culture. She also undertakes projects on teacher education, higher education, and graduate employability focusing on disadvantaged population in Vietnam. Her current research under the Fulbright Vietnamese Scholar at Stanford University focuses on the challenges that ethic minority students face in higher education.
This Colloquium is co-sponsored by the Fulbright Scholar Program.
Contact Information:
Name: Anthony Hopkins
Phone: 215-895-0900
Email: ajh357@drexel.edu
Drexel University School of Education
Korman Center Room 201
3315 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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