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Ministry mulls more colleges for institute status

The Ministry of Education and Sports has plans to upgrade four more private colleges in Vientiane to institutes so they can resume bachelor degree courses, but they need to do more work to attain this status.
This was the conclusion made by the National Council on Higher Education at a meeting held last week.
The four colleges aiming to raise their status are Logos College, Soutsaka College, Souksavath College, and Xaysombath College.
Director General of the ministry’s Department of Higher Education, Associate Prof. Dr Saykhong Xaynasinh, told Vientiane Times the council would continue to collect information about the colleges’ circumstances.
He did not speak directly about the competence of the four colleges but said the ministry would collect more information about their achievements, curriculums, teaching quality, public trust, popularity, and the results of past studies on teachers and students.
According to Associate Prof. Dr Saykhong, the four colleges had to improve in several areas, including upgrading their facilities, to comply with the standards set by the ministry.
Two private tertiary educational institutions have been awarded institute status by education authorities this year. They are the Rattana Institute of Business Administration and Sengsavanh Institute of Business and, in that capacity, they can offer bachelor and higher-level courses.
An institute is recognised as having higher standards than a college with regard to the curriculum, educational infrastructure, equipment, facilities, and teaching skills. Colleges may only teach higher diploma courses.
There are now four institutes - two are state-run and two are privately owned.
Of the more than 800 private colleges in Laos, 400 are members of the Private Education Consultant Association.
If successful in attaining institute status, Logos College will be renamed the Logos Institute of Foreign Languages, Sutsaka College will become the Sutsaka Institute of Administration and Technology, Souksavath College will become the Souksavath Institute of Economic Administration, and Xaysombath College will be the Xaysombath Institute of Technology.

By Somxay Sengdara
(Latest Update December 31, 2019)

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