Dec 13, 2012

Vietnam - Vietnam produces many PhDs and few inventions

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VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam is the country which has the highest number of doctors in the region and has the lowest number of scientific research works.

Few scientific research works

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), Vietnam now has 24,300 PhDs and 101,000 masters, with the number of PhDs and masters increasing by 11.6 percent per annum (7 percent for PhDs and 14 percent for masters).

Dr Pham Bich San, Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA), said while Vietnam has the most professors and PhDs in South East Asia, but no Vietnamese university has been listed in the world’s top 500 universities. The number of scientific articles of the 90-million-people published on prestigious journals every year is just equal to the number of articles of one university in Thailand.

A report of MST showed that in 2006-2010, Vietnam only had 200 patents and utility solutions granted by the National Intellectual Property Office and five patents registered in the US, which means that Vietnam only had one patent granted every year. Especially, in 2011, no Vietnamese patent was registered in the country.

Meanwhile, Singapore, a 4.8 million people South East Asian country had 647 patents, Malaysia 161 patents (27.9 million people), Thailand 53 patents (68 million). The Philippines, which is believed to have the similar economic development as Vietnam’s, had 27 patents.

Dr San said that Vietnam nearly does not have any scientist with brilliant scientific life-works, i.e. those who have devoted all their lives to the scientific research and have been recognized by big international prizes.

Dr Ho Uy Liem from VUSTA has also noted that Vietnam has never calculated how many scientific research works have been conducted and how many percent of the works have been utilized in reality.

Research themes lag behind the world by tens of years

At a scientific forum organized in October 2005, Dr Dang Xuan Thi from the Mechanical Engineering Institute said that most of the scientific research works by that time had just aimed to utilize the world’s inventions and achievements in Vietnam. Meanwhile, the themes chosen for scientific research projects by Vietnamese always lagged behind the world by tens of years.

Regarding the significance of the research works, Dr Thi said that the number of works which could be utilized in reality just accounted for several percent of the total works. Ironically, a lot of works were recognized as “excellent” could not be brought into the life and they have still been left on the shelf.

Dr Dao Duy Huan from the HCM City Finance and Marketing University also said at a workshop in 2010 that the scientific research works in economics cannot be utilized in reality; therefore, they have been refused by businesses. This has caused the waste of tens of billions of dong a year to the state.

According to Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan, Vietnam spends two percent of the state budget on science and technology development every year, estimated at 13 trillion dong.

Of this amount, 90 percent has been spent on investment and development, and regular expenses, i.e. the sum of money has been paid to feed the apparatus of research institutes and scientists, or to buy equipment or machines. The other 10 percent has been spent on research projects.

Quan has also pointed out that Vietnam still cannot mobilize the grey matter from 400 universities and junior colleges with 7000 PhDs for scientific development. The lecturers at the universities now only give lectures, while they do not carry out scientific research as required.


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