VietNamNet Bridge - Ton Duc Thang University, a people-founded school in HCM City, has stirred controversy after appointing its own professors and associate professors.



Dr. Le Van Ut, head of the school’s science & technology development management division, said the titles show the professional positions of the lecturers and researchers of the school. 

The titles have been granted by the professorship council which considered the capability of lecturers and researchers based on scientific research work published in international journals.

He went on to say that the appointed persons will be dismissed if they cannot fulfill their duties.

Experts have raised their objection against the move, saying that it violates current laws. 

Dr. Mai Hong Quy, President of the HCM City Law School, said it was illegal for any school or education establishment to grant professorship titles.

Vietnamese universities can only follow foreign schools and grant professorship titles to its lecturers and researchers if there is no regulation on the issue, he said. 

Meanwhile, currently valid legal documents show this is a job of the national professorship council, not schools.

Under current laws, professors and associate professors are titles which can be granted only by the State’s Professorship Council, while the titles are valid all over the country, not only for schools or agencies where professors or associate professors work.

The Prime Minister’s Decision No 20 stipulates that the State’s Professorship Council is established by the Prime Minister and it takes the responsibility of recognizing and canceling the professorship titles.

Dr Nguyen Dong Phong, President of the HCM City Economics University, said the granting of professorship titles in Vietnam must be in accordance with the current laws.

“Ton Duc Thang was wrong when appointing professors and associate professors itself,” he said.

An analyst commented that while this is common in other countries, it is illegal in Vietnam. 

“I know many schools in the world like Harvard appoint professors and associate professors themselves. However, in these countries, there is no state professorship council. Such a national council exists in Vietnam as stipulated by law,” he said.

Since professors and associate professors are recognized by the national council, the titles are valid throughout the Vietnamese territory, not just at specific schools or education establishments.

Bui Manh Nhi, chief secretariat of the State’s Professorship Council, in an interview with VietNamNet, also said that the professorship titles given to Ton Duc Thang University lecturers and researchers were not legal.