VietNamNet Bridge - If universities are given the right to accredit professors and associate professors, Vietnam could see a “professor boom”, experts have warned.


Universities have been struggling for the right to independently grant professorship titles after Ton Duc Thang University announced the appointment of professors and associate professors.

They believe that accrediting professors is the job of universities, not the state, and instead of national professors appointed by the state, there should be professors who implement duties assigned by schools.

While educators still argue, analysts have warned that Vietnam would see a ‘professor boom’ if schools are allowed to accredit professors. This would lead to the so-called ‘professor inflation’, which would not be good for the education sector.

“If the State gives autonomy to schools at this moment, the number of professors will surely soar. This is unacceptable. The national quality of professors must be respected,” said Bui Manh Nhi, chief secretariat of the Vietnam National Professorship Council.

Mai Trong Nhuan, former director of the Hanoi National University, noted that in developed countries, schools have the right to appoint professors themselves, but they always set limits on the number of professors. 

“Many excellent individuals are not accredited to the post of professor simply because there are no vacancies at schools,” he explained.

An official of the state’s professorship council said he worried that schools would not follow strict procedures to accredit professors, which would then lead to ‘professor inflation’. If so, the professorship title would no longer be significant. 

The official revealed that of the candidates nominated by schools for the 2015 professorship titles, some candidates got 2.7 score only out of the required minimum score of six.

“Under the current mechanism, professorship titles can be granted only by the national professorship council. If schools also have the right to appoint professors, Vietnam would have an abundance of professors,” he noted, adding that there are more than 300 universities in the country.

Nhuan believes that now is not the right time to give schools, especially the less prestigious and newly founded ones, the right to appoint professors. 

He warned that the schools’ self-appointed professors would not have necessary qualifications and virtues.

“Only when people’s intellectual standards are improved should we allow most prestigious schools to appoint professors. This should be implemented on a trial basis first before it is done on a large scale and under the supervision of the national professorship council,” Nhuan said.

Vu Van Hoa from the Hanoi Business and Technology University also said that the number of professors would ‘mushroom’ in Vietnam if all schools have the right to appoint professors.

“There must be professorship titles granted by the state only,” he said.

Tien Phong