Contributing toa lack of studies related to generic skills (gs) assessment, especially in non-western university contexts, this article reports a study that explored practices and challenges of assessing students gs in the business administration programmes in six vietnamese universities. Content analysis of interviews with 41 teachers of skills subjects and specialised subjects revealed that teachers were organising different formative and summative gs-assessment activities. Unfortunately, the analysis indicated that their gs-assessment practices were fragmented across subjects in the curriculum. Teachers beliefs regarding their roles in the university, teachers expertise and several contextual factors were found to influence their assessment practices. The article argues that leadership should be exercised more effectively in order to remove obstacles and engage teachers with assessing gs, which will yield washback effect on students learning of these skills. 2017 Informa uk limited, trading as taylor & francis group.