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Businesses still face shortage of highly qualified staff

VietNamNet Bridge - Universities, businesses and leaders of the Ministries of Science & Technology, Education & Training all say they face difficulties in enrolling postgraduates. 
VietNamNet Bridge - Universities, businesses and leaders of the Ministries of Science & Technology, Education & Training all say they face difficulties in enrolling postgraduates.


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According to Hoang Minh Son, rector of the Hanoi University of Science & Technology, the demand for highly qualified workers comes from two sources – businesses and universities. 

Seventy eight percent of businesses in a survey listed the quality of the labor force as the most important factor for them to consider when choosing places for investment. 

The production cost and policies related to the business environment were the second and third most important factors.

Seventy eight percent of businesses in a survey listed the quality of the labor force as the most important factor for them to consider when choosing places for investment. 

Son said demand for workers with post-graduate qualification is high. Tertiary education establishments alone need 17,000 more PhDs to satisfy the requirement to have 50 percent of lecturers with a doctorate. It is expected that the goal will be obtained in six or seven more years.

However, while the demand is high, the number of people wanting to follow postgraduate education is on the decrease. That is why universities, including prestigious ones, are finding it hard to enroll students for postgraduate courses.

The Hanoi University of Science & Technology, for instance, five years ago could enroll 2,000 master’s students a year, but the figure has dropped to 500-600. At least 80 percent of them obtain a master’s degree.

With the school’s training capability (it has 800 lecturers with doctorate and produces master’s degree graduates in 40 majors), 500-600 is a modest figure, which is 1/10 of its tertiary education scale.

As for training PhDs, the school enrolled 100 PhD students a year in previous years, but only 35 last year.

The same situation was reported by the HCMC University of Science & Technology. Its vice rector Mai Thanh Phong confirmed that the number of students attending postgraduate training courses has decreased. 

Previously, the school enrolled 1,300-1,400 postgraduates a year, but the figure now is 500-600 only.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Science & Technology Bui The Duy believes that the demand for workers with master’s degree and doctorate is not that high. 

Duy said only some large corporations which have R&D divisions need highly qualified workers, while 98 percent of businesses are small and medium sized and do not have high requirements for workers.

Son cited a survey of the HCMC National University as reporting that more prestigious schools are finding it more difficult to enroll postgraduates. Do Van Dung, rector of the HCMC University of Technology Education, agreed.

Experts said schools need to reform their training programs. In some countries, 50 percent of PhD training programs are carried out online, while in Vietnam, PhD students still have to go to class.


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