Nguyen Xuan Thang said on the sidelines of a national education conference held on June 8 that co-operation with international partners will help universities raise their standards.
But he cautioned that Vietnam should adapt those standards to the local context.
Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga said the ministry is working with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs on several reform measures.
They include a new training qualifications, a decree on educational stratification and the ranking of universities, and detailed policies for international integration.
Many universities are taking initiatives to improve their training quality, teaching staff, research faculties and international-co-operation activities.
Two national universities were recently included on a list the top 200 universities in Asia, according to Phan Thanh Binh, director of Vietnam National University at HCM City (VNU-HCM City).
Assoc Professor Nguyen Hoi Nghia, deputy director of VNU-HCM City, said that the university has signed more than 200 agreements with reputable universities in other countries.
VNU-HCM City has been gradually modernising its training programme according to international standards, he said, adding that it has used the "Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate" framework for educational quality assurance.
VNU-HCM City is a member of the ASEAN University Network (AUN), Francophone University Association and Asia-Pacific Association for International Education.
The criteria used by the AUN and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology for education assessment are also being used.
In addition, the Vietnam University-Hanoi (VNU-HN) has carried out many advanced programmes for gifted students and international research programmes.
However, Binh of VNU-HCM City said that integrating internationally with other institutions has been done without any specific roadmap, and that educational stratification has not been carried out well.
In particular, the number of management and teaching staff using English fluently was low, he said.
Ga added that the government's average allocation of funds per student in Vietnam was only US$500, which is low compared to other countries in the region.
The conference was held by VNU-HCM City in co-operation with the National Council for Education and Human Resources Development. It attracted more than 200 domestic and foreign educational experts.