Vietnamese higher education and the issue of enhancing graduate employability

June Tran


The rapid change in the graduate labour market in the globalizing era calls for responsiveness from the higher education systems all over the world. Enhancing graduate employability has become a topic of both concern and debate in higher education worldwide. However, the issue is somehow different in Western developed countries and in Eastern developing countries in terms of the way higher education teaching staff perceive the issues, the way universities approach the issues and also the way university practices have been designed to enhance graduate employability. This article aims to illustrate the differences by addressing the issue of enhancing graduate employability in Vietnam compared with that in the literature from developed countries such as US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. It is suggested that while not all academics in Western higher education systems support the idea of accepting enhancing graduate employability as one of the university missions, their teaching practices, in general, support the development of graduate generic attributes, which are claimed to be essential and necessary for graduates to enter the labour market, to succeed at work and in life. By contrast, in the Vietnamese higher education system, where the main mission for universities is still limited to producing an educated labour force for the industry, however, the traditional teaching and learning method and the lack of connections between university, research institutions and the internal industry all hinder the effort of the whole system in preparing students with the necessary skills and knowledge required by the contemporary labour market.


higher education; graduate employability; Vietnam; Western countries

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