Vietnam faces shortage of university professors
VietNamNet Bridge - Even though the State Professorship Council announced that the number of candidates meeting standards for the title of professor in 2017 was twice as many as the year before, educators say that Vietnam still lacks professors.


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An MOET (Ministry of Education & Training) report shows that by the end of 2016, Vietnam had over 11,000 professors and associate professors. In 2017, 1,226 candidates were recognized as meeting standards for professorships.

However, only one-third of professors and associate professors now work for universities, which means that each university has only 20 professors or associate professors. The ratio to the total number of university instructors is also low, 7 percent in 2017.

Hanoi National University is leading in the country in the number of internationally published scientific articles. According to the Web of Science, the university has 405 professors and associate professors, accounting for 28 percent of total lecturers, much higher than the average level, but modest compared to many other countries. 

Hanoi National University is leading in the country in the number of internationally published scientific articles. According to the Web of Science, the university has 405 professors and associate professors, accounting for 28 percent of total lecturers, much higher than the average level, but modest compared to many other countries. 

MIT in the US, for example, has 605 professors, accounting for half of total lecturers. The ratio is 33 percent for Lincoln, a medium-tier school in New Zealand.

Le Viet Khuyen, former director of the MOET Higher Education Department, said Vietnam has numerous professors and associate professors, but has few “knowledge transmitters”.

The State Professorship Council denied that Vietnam has too many professors, saying that the ratio of professors remains modest. 

Professors’ research

The number of internationally published scientific articles in 2017 was about 5,000, a slight increase of 17 percent in comparison with the year before, while the number of professors and associate professors increased sharply by 60 percent.

In the last three years, only four Vietnamese scientists have been listed among the top one percent of the world’s most influential scientists. 

Of the four scientists, only Nguyen Xuan Hung of the HCM City University of Technology is working as a lecturer and researcher in Vietnam. Hung is now a PhD and associate professor.

According to the Web of Science, each Vietnamese professor or associate professor had an average of 0.3 scientific research works each year published in ISI/Scopus journal.

Hanoi National University had 540 published articles in 2016-2017. This means that each professor and associate professor had 1.3 scientific research works published, lower than the expected four to six articles for professors and three for associate professors.

In Vietnam, professors/associate professors, after the appointment, will hold the titles for life.


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Tien Phong


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