Vietnam sprints to produce PhDs
VietNamNet Bridge - The Ministry of Education and Industry has decided that Vietnam needs to have an additional 20,000 PhDs by 2020. 


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Director of the Ministry of Education & Training’s University Education Department Nguyen Thi Kim Phung reported at a conference  that 13,587 PhDs had been trained in 2016-17, an increase of 25 percent compared with 2015-16. 

The figures were 105,801 and 12.8 percent, respectively, for MA training.

In the 2016-2017 academic year, Vietnam had over 70,000 university lecturers, up by 4.6 percent over the previous year. This included 17,000 lecturers with doctorate (+21.4 percent) and 43,000 lecturers with master’s degree (+6.6 percent).

In the 2016-2017 academic year, Vietnam had over 70,000 university lecturers, up by 4.6 percent over the previous year. This included 17,000 lecturers with doctorate (+21.4 percent) and 43,000 lecturers with master’s degree (+6.6 percent).

To implement the PhD training plan, Vietnam will need to produce 1,500 PhDs a year from now to 2020.

Meanwhile, a report showed that within 10 years, in 2001-2010, Vietnam could train 4,000 PhDs only, but within six years, in 2010-2016, it trained 10,000 PhDs, or 2.5 times more than the number in the 10 years before.

Commenting about MOET’s plan to produce PhDs, analysts doubt that the plan will be fulfilled. 

They note that though Vietnam has the highest number of PhDs, its scientific research achievements are very modest in South East Asia.

An MST (Ministry of Science & Technology) report shows Vietnam now has 24,300 PhDs and 101,000 MAs, an annual growth rate of 7 percent and 14 percent, respectively, compared with 1996.

Prof Dr Duong Duc Tien, a lecturer at the Hanoi University of Natural Sciences, said what Vietnam needs to do is to train qualified persons who can make great contributions to the country’s development, not train PhDs, because the number of PhDs doesn’t reflect the quality of training and the country’s development plan.

“Why do we need to set a goal and have to endeavor to reach that goal?” he asked.

“I don’t think Vietnam’s science & technology will make a big leap if we have 20,000 PhDs,” he said, adding that developed countries don’t have as many PhDs as Vietnam.

Tien went on to comment that intellectuals trained in Russia, China and socialist republics many years ago still have not been used fully. He said that many of the intellectuals, aged 60 or more, have retired. 

However, such professionals with good abilities can conduct research until they are 70 or 80 years old, and unfortunately are not being used. 

Tien said many of his students have refused opportunities to become lecturers or researchers after graduation.

“They now prefer opening cafes to working at laboratories, as cafes bring bigger money,” he said.


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Thanh Lich

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