Colleges, institutes and other private tertiary education providers in Laos will be able to resume awarding bachelor degrees for accredited courses for the first time since 2013 provided they can meet official standards, local media reported Tuesday.
Private colleges'permission to award bachelor-level degrees was withheld and a review was ordered by the country's Ministry of Education and Sports in 2013 amid concerns over the quality of tertiary education being provided in the rapidly-developing South- East Asian nation of some 7 million.
The ministry has specified 10 standards and 50 indicators but is prepared to reauthorize institutions to award bachelor-level degrees for the 2015-2016 academic year provided at least seven standards and 35 indicators have been met.
More than 100 education providers have been reviewed since audits commenced with 20 now undergoing the final stages of the ministry's evaluation process, director of the ministry's Quality Assurance Centre Vanxay Noraseng was quoted by Vientiane Times as saying. "Improving the standards and quality of these institutions is part of the ministry's national education reform initiative, encouraging them to meet the standards of the ASEAN region," Vanxay said.
The number of institutions permitted to offer bachelor degree programs is expected to be announced at the annual National Education Administrators Meeting set for June.