50 percent of PhDs in Vietnam are civil servants
VietNamNet Bridge - A recent report shows that 50 percent of titled professors and PhDs are working at state management agencies. 


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According to Nguyen Van Nam from the Vietnam Trade Institute, the proportion was 70 percent two to three years ago.

Vietnam has 11,000 professors and associate professors, but only 4,440, or 40 percent, work as lecturers. There are 24,000 PhDs, with only 16,514 working as lecturers.

Vo Kim Son from the National Academy of Public Administration said the high percentage of PhDs and professors working in state agencies can explain why Vietnam is among the countries with the highest number of PhDs in the region, but with the lowest number of research works.

The figures show that lecturing and carrying out research is not considered a critical task for professors and PhDs.

He said that Vietnam is among very few countries with such high numbers of PhDs and professors working in state management. However, in their development strategies, local authorities still strive for 100 percent of civil servants with a doctorate.

Vietnam is among very few countries with such high numbers of PhDs and professors working in state management. 

“This is quite odd. The people with deep professional knowledge are usually weak at management,” he commented. “They are trained to become scientists and lecturers, not to become management officers.”

Son went on to say that those who take the management work not only have to have good knowledge and skills, but also experience and good management methods.

Vo Van Sen, president of the HCMC University of Social Sciences, at a meeting with the then HCMC Mayor Nguyen Thanh Phong in late December 2016, has pointed out many problems in training intellectuals in the city in recent years.

Sen affirmed that management doesn’t need PhDs and master’s degree graduates, but people with practical experience.

“Many people study for doctorate just to get a promotion, because Vietnam attaches much importance to degrees,” he said, adding that PhDs only have two major tasks – conducting scientific research and lecturing.

Nam from the trade institute said that Vietnam should not take pride in the number of deputy ministers with PhDs five times higher than Japan. Despite the high number of PhDs, people still complain about the qualification of civil servants.

“I have big worry about the quality of civil servants. It is just like a parabola diagram with the quantity on the rise, but the quality nearly at zero,” Nam said, adding that this is the consequence of a cadre development policy.


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Dat Viet

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