Quality of PhDs questionable, say experts

After the ‘PhD incubator’, which produced PhDs en masse, was discovered, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) released a new circular to tighten training quality.

According to Nguyen Dac Trung, head of the Postgraduate Institute, an arm of the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, of the 42 PhD training programs of the school, nearly 30 programs have students meeting the high standard of having at least one scientific article published in ISI/Scopus journals.

Quality of PhDs questionable, say experts



Eighty individuals have received doctorates this year, including 30 meeting the standard of having at least one article published in ISI/Scopus journals, accounting for 36.6 percent of total doctorate candidates.

The total research works published was 476, of which 70 articles were published in ISI journals. Dr Trinh Ngoc Hai has had 14 articles published in ISI and the IF (impact factor) of the 14 articles is 18.724.

Dr Quan Thi Minh Nguyet had two articles published in Q1 journal with the IF of 9.15. One of the two articles was published in Applied Physics Letters with the IF of 3.49 Nature Index. This is a prestigious journals highly appreciated by scholars.

Eighty individuals have received doctorates this year, including 30 meeting the standard of having at least one article published in ISI/Scopus journals, accounting for 36.6 percent of total doctorate candidates.

Trung said the Hanoi University of Science and Technology sets requirements on graduates equivalent to the world’s prestigious universities in Mathematics, Engineering Physics, Electronic Materials Science, Optical Materials, Optoelectronics and Photonics. Before defending doctoral theses, PhD students have to publish at least two articles in ISI journals.

 


According to Vu Trong Nghia from the Hanoi Economics University, the school for the first time has PhD students who have ISI articles. Of the 87 individuals who have received doctorates, seven have ISI articles. Nghia believes that the number of PhD students having ISI articles will increase next year.

As for social sciences, Dr Ho Xuan Mai from the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) commented that the quality of PhD students has not changed.

Many research topics are unreasonable, with low quality and low applicability. However, for some reason, research works with such topics were still accepted by the scientific council.

“If I vote against the students of one professor today, the professor will also vote against my students tomorrow,” he explained.

He also complained about the abilities of PhD students. Not all PhD students are capable of conducting research, but they need a doctorate for job promotion, so they still try to do research.

He finds problems not only in the competence of learners, but also in the capability of instructors.

“I know some people who majored in linguistics, but guide PhDs in the field of culture,” he said.

A university lecturer in Hanoi commented that universities now want to have as many PhD students as possible, so they set lax requirements for entering students.

Mai Lan

Number of Vietnamese articles in scientific publications is growing at faster rate than other regional countries

Number of Vietnamese articles in scientific publications is growing at faster rate than other regional countries

Vietnam is the fastest growing country in the region in terms of articles in scientific publications, while Singapore, India and Pakistan have the highest output.

University lab build brands with internationally published articles

University lab build brands with internationally published articles

The physics/chemical laboratory of the HCM City University of Natural Resources and the Environment, established in 2011, is the start of many students' research paths.

 
 

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