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Civil servants rush to study for doctorates to avoid staff cutbacks

 VietNamNet Bridge – Many people are studying for doctorates, or racing for professorships, not so much to obtain deeper knowledge in their fields, but just for a little extra job security.

VietNamNet Bridge – Many people are studying for doctorates, or racing for professorships, not so much to obtain deeper knowledge in their fields, but just for a little extra job security.


Prof Dr Nguyen Huu Tri, former Head of the Administration Science Institute under the National Administration Academy, has reached this conclusion after tens of years in his post in senior management.

In a society where the employees’ academic titles are put before any other virtue, it is understandable that many would try to obtain as high an academic title as possible in the hopes of better job promotion.

Vietnam is now moving towards extending the length of service of its civil servants. It is expected that women will [be allowed to] retire at an older age than the current 55. Meanwhile, the State has decided that the employees with high academic titles will have their working durations extended.

PhDs, for example, can work for five years longer than other civil servants. Associate professors can have an additional working life of seven years, with professors allowed 10 years.

“The rule motivates people to try to obtain high academic titles in order to be able to extend their service length and receive more money from the State,” he commented.

This is also the reason why Tri does not think recently initiated staff cutbacks by the Ministry of Interior Affairs will succeed. “I don’t believe that we can succeed with the staff cutbacks campaign, because no new solution has been found,” he said.

In fact, while state agencies have attempted to implement staff cutbacks on many occasions in the past, Tri says these efforts have failed because they did not follow the right track. “After four separate sets of staff cutbacks, the state’s apparatus grew twice as large as it initially was,” he commented.

“The leaders of the agencies, when taking their offices, always believed it was necessary to have more employees to handle the increasingly high volume of work,” he explained. “As a result, they recruited more employees to offset the ones who had been sent to other agencies in the previous staff restructuring,” he added, pointing out that with this approach, the state’s apparatus ended up larger and larger.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga, when asked about the link between the PhD training plan and the currently run personnel cutbacks, said: “It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior Affairs to deal with the personnel cutbacks”.

“The Ministry of Education and Training is still following the PhD training program while complying with the current regulations and the roadmap set up before,” Ga said.

Tri believes that there are many ways to take full advantage of talented workers. The State can extend labor contracts with selected qualified employees, while there is no need to extend the additional working years for all the employees with high academic titles.

“If the State only considers the academic titles of its employees, while neglecting their abilities and contributions, it will not be able to select the most talented,” he said.

K. Chi


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