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Vietnam: Universities keep the doors open to welcome postgraduates

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A lot of people, who have just graduated universities, or finished schools many years ago, now rush to attend training courses to obtain higher degrees before the State tightens the postgraduate education management.

A university degree alone is not enough for anyone to become outstanding candidates in recruitment campaigns. Therefore, university graduates try to go back to school to obtain master degrees or doctorates which would give them more advantage in the interviews for jobs.

Tuyet decided to attend a training course for a master degree, after she heard that she would receive bonus marks in the civil service examination.

Though she is not good at English enough to pass the postgraduate entrance exams, she still decided that she needs to attend the exam right now. If her plan is delayed, she would meet a lot of difficulties when the government tightens the control over the quality of postgraduate training.

Under the current regulations, one needs to have the English skills equivalent to A2 of the European standards in order to be able to attend the training course for a master degree.

Tuyet is not alone. A lot of people have the demand to attend postgraduate training courses for higher degrees, which would help them get promotion in their jobs.

Understanding well the high demand, the schools have opened a lot of training courses to satisfy the increasingly high demand, which of course, can bring them fat money.

An official of the Ministry of Education and Training has revealed that schools have repeatedly asked for more quotas to enroll postgraduates. The Hanoi Transport University, for example, enrolls up to 1000 learners for the first phase of the 2012 master training program. The Hanoi University of Education enrolls 700 learners.

Meanwhile, the Hanoi National University enrolled up to 4000 learners for master degree and 376 PhDs in 2011, while the number of full time students of the school remains unchanged, at 5500.

A recent report shows that Vietnam has 20,000-25,000 masters trained every year in Vietnam. Meanwhile, experts have warned that since the training scale gets bigger, the training quality has decreased.

Dr. Ngo Kim Thanh from the Hanoi Economics University affirmed that it is now a growing tendency in Vietnam to study to obtain master degree. A university lecturer with the doctor degree is assigned to guide 10 postgraduates to write their master theses a year. This is really a heavy workload, which cannot ensure the high training quality.

Since experts have voiced their concern about the quality of postgraduate training, the Ministry of Education and Training has stated that it would keep a tightened control over the training.

The Hanoi University of Technology, for example, has checked the postgraduate training courses of the school and released the decision to stop two learners who were attending the training courses for doctor degrees.

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Quang from the Hanoi Economics University has noted that a lot of people register for training courses just to obtain degrees. Meanwhile, they do not attend the classes, do not fulfill the exercises. Especially, some of them still can give 1000 teaching hours at a university or do their private business.

A senior official of the Hanoi Economics University said the school is going to set up a set of standards to be referred to when assessing the quality of master or doctor theses.

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