VietNamNet Bridge - Educators and scientists believe that schools should be given the right to appoint their own professors and grant titles to teachers in the future.

Professor Nguyen Minh Thuyet

Ton Duc Thang University has appointed its professors, which has stirred controversy in Vietnam. While this is considered normal in other countries, it is “unusual” and “illegal” in Vietnam, where the professorship titles can only be granted by the national professorship council, not schools or private institutions.

It is still unclear if Ton Duc Thang can implement its plan on accrediting professors. However, educators have taken full advantage of this occasion to call for the reform in the accreditation process applied to Vietnamese schools. 

Ton Duc Thang School, which broke the law by accrediting its professors, was applauded by many educators, who said the school’s moves were in line with international practice.

“I totally agree that schools should accredit professors and associate professors for science missions,” said Professor Nguyen Duc Dan from the HCM City University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

“All universities, no matter whether they are top-tier or bottom-tier, should be given the right to appoint professors and associate professors themselves,” he said.

Dr. Nguyen Cam from HCM City noted that in other countries, only universities grant professorship titles to their lecturers and researchers, because the appointment aims to implement the schools’ science missions.

Schools accredit professors based on their standards. Unlike Vietnam, in other countries, if the professor cannot fulfill his or her duties, the professorship title will be removed.

Cam believes that the accreditation mechanism used in other countries is reasonable and could be followed by Vietnam, provided that the University Education Law is amended.

Professor Nguyen Van Tuan, a visiting lecturer at New South Wales University in Australia, said on Tien Phong that Vietnam should change its view and consider professorship as a position, not title, and give the right to universities to accredit professors.

Meanwhile, Professor Nguyen Minh Thuyet, former deputy head of the National Assembly’s Committee, was cautious when asked to comment about the accreditation mechanism.

“I think in the long term, universities should be given the right to accredit their professors and associate professors because schools have the right to self-determination. However, in the immediate time, it is necessary to consider the issue thoroughly as Ton Duc Thang, the pioneer in the field, is not a school in the top-tier group,” he said.

Thanh Mai