Oct 27, 2012

Vietnam - Education crisis in Vietnam

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VietNamNet Bridge – Although Vietnam boasts the highest number of Ph.D s in Asean countries, it shows little evidence of original or innovative ideas.

Pham Bich San, Deputy Secretary-General of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) said the country's education system is in a severe state. Vietnam has no university in the top 500 universities in the world, and the number of research works conducted in the whole country is no higher than outputted by a single university in Thailand.

Despite this pathetic record, Vietnam still has the highest number of doctorate's and professor degrees in the South East Asian region.

"We don't have professors or scientists who devote entirely to science and research." San said.

Former head of VUSTA Ho Uy Liem agreed that research was limited. "We obsess about degrees and achievements but when the actual works call, we have heaps of reasons for failures."

Liem also said Vietnam has never collect data on how much research work was actually being done and whether such work had been applied in real life. Some people just repeat the same research topics and still receive praise.

Tran Dinh Long, Chairman of the Vietnam Seed Association said the Vietnam Academy of Agriculture Science already had 18 branches. The irrigation sector has eight institutes, 38 schools, 18 associations and 19 professional associations. But the associations can't co-operate with each other to produce worthwhile research.

Meanwhile some of the most useful and innovative machines and ideas are invented by farmers.

San said the government should pay scientists on the basis of real results and people should decide the practicality of their products.

Research labs and the education system are being separated and experts have proposed reconnecting, giving students the chance to be exposed to real research work.

Dao Trong Hung, an official at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology said relating to market demand would be good for the science sector. If that happened, capital for research will not only come from state budget but also from enterprises or foreign investors.


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