Education & Training Ministry sets stricter requirements to produce ‘authentic PhDs’
VietNamNet Bridge – “I am sure that doctoral training quality will improve. There will not be many candidates who can meet the requirements to be trained for a doctorate and not everyone can become a PhD students’ instructor,” said MOET Deputy Minister Bui Van Ga.
What inspectors have found at the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) – one lecturer leading 44 PhD students and one PhD produced every 1.76 days – has raised worries about the quality of doctoral training in Vietnam.
On education forums, members have said that it is too easy to obtain a doctorate in Vietnam and that many PhDs are just ‘paper doctors’.
‘Paper doctor’ refers to people who do not have real talent and get doctorates through the ‘underground way’.
Ga admitted that loose control in the last few years has led to problems in doctoral training. While students in technical majors have to meet strict requirements in numbers of experiments and research works, easy requirements were set for students majoring in social sciences.
Nghiem Vu Khai, deputy chair of VUSTA, commented that the training quality has been loose for a long time.
He said that PhDs must conduct personal research. “I know there are specific characteristics in training doctoral students in social sciences, but I believe that every PhD student needs to have his or her own research and arguments,” he said.
No more ‘paper PhDs’ will be produced as MOET has issued new regulations on doctoral training which sets stricter requirements on PhD students and instructors.
Ga said that that no more ‘paper PhDs’ will be produced as MOET has issued new regulations on doctoral training which sets stricter requirements on PhD students and instructors.
The new regulation sets strict requirements on input students.
Regarding the requirement on foreign language skills, for example, candidates for doctoral training must show certificates granted by international institutions or foreign language majoring schools, instead of certificates one can easily obtain from numerous foreign language centers.
“The new regulation sets concrete quantitative requirements, not just general requirements like in the old regulation,” he said.
“I can say for sure that the new requirements are very high. Some schools have shown their concerns that they may not find enough students because not many people will be able to meet the requirements,” Ga said.
Prof Nguyen Lan Dung, a renowned scientist and educator, confirmed that the new regulation sets very strict requirements which many people will not meet.
Khai from VUSTA commented that in the digital era, information technology should be used to improve training quality. Professors in HCMC, for example, can instruct PhD students in Hanoi and overseas professors can guide students in Vietnam.
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