Higher Education Participation Inequities For Giay And Hmong Vietnamese Thirty Years After Doi Moi

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Higher Education Participation Inequities For Giay And Hmong Vietnamese Thirty Years After Doi Moi

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This study investigated Giay and Hmong young adults’ perspectives on Vietnam’s contemporary education policy reforms and the sources of higher education inequities that are negatively impacting their communities. Specifically, this study investigated participants’ schooling experiences from basic education to higher education. The study employed counternarrative inquiry, and methods for data collection included interactions via videoconference, semi-structured interviews, participants’ written reflections on their interviews, and virtual focus groups. Nancy Fraser’s (1998) theory on social justice and the requirements of three dimensions – redistribution (economic), recognition (cultural), and representation (political) – framed this study. Results indicated that the redistributive nature of Vietnam’s education policy reforms are inadequate for advancing higher education equity. Participants experienced various forms of cultural disrespect throughout their schooling. Their narratives also showed that Giay and Hmong people lacked political representation which resulted in education policies that mis-identified sources of higher education inequities. Factors that negatively affect performance included poverty, an issue that influenced every aspect of participants’ education-related decisions and assessments of their schooling experience. One of the significant barriers to education engagement was communities’ perception that investment in education had very low returns. This belief stemmed from observations of post-graduates returning to their home village unemployed. Based on these findings, the following three interventions are recommended to redress higher education inequities; (1) procedural consideration for policy development to include political representation, (2) reforms in pedagogical practices to ensure cultural respect and dignity for all, and (3) socioeconomic interventions that increase employment opportunities for Giay and Hmong post-graduates. These recommendations were formed from participants counter stories and are necessary to advance higher education inequities in Vietnam.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. September 2022. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: Joan DeJaeghere. 1 computer file (PDF); xi, 190 pages.

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Tran, Thuan. (2022). Higher Education Participation Inequities For Giay And Hmong Vietnamese Thirty Years After Doi Moi. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/258898.

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