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Number of PhD students declining because of stricter requirements

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Vietnam needs more university lecturers with doctorates, but the Ministry of Education and Training says that training will not come at any cost and that quality should be the most important factor.

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The numbers of university lecturers with doctorate in 2011-2017

Experts also affirmed that though the figure of 24,000 PhDs is cited as proof for the ‘oversupply’ of PhDs in Vietnam, the demand for more PhDs for universities exists.

An MOET (Ministry of Education and Training0 report showed that in the 2016-2017 academic year, Vietnam had 16,000 university lecturers with doctorates, which accounted for 22 percent of total lecturers.

According to Nguyen Dinh Duc, head of the training division of the Hanoi National University, 22 percent is low compared with Malaysia, where 75 percent of university lecturers have a doctorate, and the US, where the proportion is even higher.

He went on to say that the improvement of the lecturing staff is an important factor that will help upgrade the training quality and quality of graduates.

“Therefore, producing more PhDs for universities is an important and urgent task,” he said. A survey by MOET found that in 2018-2025, universities in Vietnam will need 21,404 PhDs to be trained locally and 14,468 overseas.

In order to have 30 percent of PhD lecturers by 2030, Vietnam will have to produce 1,000-3,000 more PhDs each year.

Vietnam is stepping up PhD production. However, a problem exists that of 1,000 PhDs produced every year, only one third are university lecturers.

Meanwhile, analysts have warned about the reduction in PhD students. This is attributed to the new regulation on PhD enrolment and training policy which sets stricter requirements on PhD students.

PhD students must satisfy higher requirements on foreign language skills when attending the entrance exam. Also under the new regulation, PhD students must have at least 2 articles published in international journals to be eligible to defend dissertations.

PhD students must satisfy higher requirements on foreign language skills when attending the entrance exam. Also under the new regulation, PhD students must have at least 2 articles published in international journals to be eligible to defend dissertations.

According to Le Trung Thanh from the Hanoi Economics University, the school planned to enroll 150 PhD students in 2016-2017. In the first enrollment campaign, organized in October 2016, before the regulation was released, 130 PhD students were enrolled.

Meanwhile, in the second campaign, organized in May 2017, after the new regulation took effect, the school could find only 20 PhD students.

Hanoi National University could only enroll 140 students in 2017, or half of the planned figure, Duc said. 

Nguyen Thao

Source: VietNamNet

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