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Vietnam pursues goal of ‘universities of international stature’

Last update: 07:10 | 03/11/2017

VietNamNet Bridge - The government four years ago set a goal to have at least one Vietnamese university listed among the world’s top 200 by 2020.


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According to John Molony from Deakin University, there are three well-known higher education accreditation organizations in the world. Vietnam still has no university listed in the global ranking of the three organizations.

This year, five Vietnamese schools were listed in Asia’s top 500, including two national universities (Hanoi and HCMC) in the top 200.

There are three well-known higher education accreditation organizations in the world. Vietnam still has no university listed in the global ranking of the three organizations.

Do Van Dung, president of the HCMC University of Technology & Education, commented that few Vietnamese schools appear in Asia and world rankings because accreditation organizations sets criteria suited to conditions in developed countries, not suited to Vietnam’s schools.

Some Vietnam’s schools have introduced themselves as research-oriented schools. However, he believes that Vietnam still does not have such schools if referring to international standards. 

He said that about 80 percent of Vietnamese scientific articles published in international journals are written by Vietnamese overseas postgraduates jointly with foreign professors.

Some of the postgraduates had a high number of articles when they were overseas. However, after returning to Vietnam, they did not have more research works because of unfavorable conditions.

According to Dung, in many cases, universities ‘borrow’ lecturers from each other when publishing scientific articles.

A lecturer who worked for the HCMC University of Technology & Education and was on the school’s payroll has been found publishing an article under the name of another school. The lecturer has resigned from his post. 

A university lecturer in Hanoi said such a case happens at many universities in Vietnam. Some lesser known schools ‘borrow’ lecturers from other schools in an effort to improve their prestige and ranking.

He said that in Vietnam, it is difficult for schools to develop as research-oriented universities. 

Under current regulations, research-oriented schools must have one lecturer for every 15 students. Meanwhile, schools can only collect no more than VND150 million a year in tuition from 15 students, which is not high enough to pay to one lecturer. One needs at least VND15 million a month to cover basic needs, or VND180 million a year. 

“90 percent of university lecturers now live on teaching and they don’t have time for research,” he said.

Dung said he fears the goal to have one university listed among the world’s top 200 is unattainable. 

In the latest news, five Vietnam universities, namely Hanoi National University, HCMC National University, Hanoi University of Science & Technology, Can Tho University and Hue University have been listed in QS Asia’s 400 leading universities.


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