Vietnam’s universities lack funds for scientific research

VietNamNet Bridge - Hanoi Medical University, one of the most prestigious schools in Vietnam, still has no  master plan on developing research teams because it lacks money to implement a strategy on science and technology development, according to its rector Ta  Thanh Van.


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Hanoi Medical University's Rector Ta Thanh Van




Van said on Lao Dong newspaper that post-graduate education in Vietnam does not boost scientific research and that universities don’t play the key role of enhancing science and technology capacity.

Statistics show that Vietnam’s investments in science & technology are modest compared with other countries. However, research institutes and universities often don’t use the money allocated to them for scientific research. 

Meanwhile, many scientists, who have many ideas, do not receive the state’s financial support.

Statistics show that Vietnam’s investments in science & technology are modest compared with other countries. However, research institutes and universities often don’t use the money allocated to them for scientific research. Meanwhile, many scientists, who have many ideas, do not receive the state’s financial support.

Every ministry, branch and local science & technology department has its own development strategy which aims to help Vietnam to obtain big achievements of international stature. However, the plans not practical.

A university lecturer in Hanoi said that for many years universities were not considered the ‘cradle’ of science & technology development. The task of carrying out scientific research was believed to be undertaken by research institutes.

“As a result, a lot of research institutes were established in the past. The problem is that in Vietnam, training and scientific research are not connected,” he said.

A report of the State Professorship Title Council shows that Vietnam has 1,600 professors and 10,000 associate professors, but only 200-300 are researchers. In Vietnam, teaching and researching in Vietnam have no close relations.

In Vietnam, the average budget allocated to train one PhD is just equal to the budget to train one university student. Experts pointed out that low budgets have contributed to the failure of the program that targets 23,000 PhDs by 2020 (Project 911). 

PhD students need to have two research articles published. The National Foundation for Science and Technology (Nafosted) provides a fund of VND1.5 billion for one research project and also requires two published articles.

The PhD training in Vietnam is described as ‘not resembling any other model applied in the world’. In other countries, PhD students can receive scholarships and stipends to carry out dissertations, but in Vietnam, they have to do this with their own money.

Only 10 percent of PhD students’ research projects can receive support from research projects at the state or ministry levels.


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Mai Chi

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