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University autonomy is regarded as the necessary condition to implement advanced university governance practices to improve and enhance the quality of higher education. It should be paid attention to how to grant autonomy to higher education institutions and how these institutions exercise autonomy to ensure the purpose of improving the efficiency and quality of higher education; at the same time, to ensure the fairness and accountability for society. Accreditation is one of the approaches in education management for higher education institutions to ensure their quality, while ensuring accountability for their quality to society. This paper focuses on the relationship between university autonomy and accreditation. First, the study presents practical issues regarding university autonomy, including the literature review of university autonomy across the world and in Vietnam. Second, the paper analyses the relationship of university autonomy with the affirmation of higher education institutions’ academic prestige. Third, the study analyses the accountability of higher education institutions, in which accreditation is implemented by institutions as a means for their accountability. Finally, the paper proposes four groups of recommendations for the state management organisation, accreditation agencies and higher education institutions to effectively implement university autonomy with Vietnamese higher education institutions for accreditation.
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