This is the first time that research universities have been mentioned in the revised Higher Education Law and the decree guiding the implementation of the law.
A research university is understood as a school which focuses on research as a central part if its operation. Under the decree, universities must have six criteria to be recognized as research institutes.
Of these, two criteria are very difficult for Vietnam’s universities to achieve.
They must have 100 articles a year published in famous scientific journals. Every permanent lecturer of the university must publish articles in prestigious publications.
The number of master and PhD students in the last three years must not be lower than 20 percent of total enrolment scale and have 20 doctorates a year at minimum.
|Nguyen Dinh Duc from the Hanoi National University, while applauding the legalization of the research university model, warned that the members of schools of the university cannot satisfy these two criteria.|
Nguyen Dinh Duc from the Hanoi National University, while applauding the legalization of the research university model, warned that the members of schools of the university cannot satisfy these two criteria.
The Hanoi University of Natural Sciences, a member school, for example, can satisfy the criterion about the number of internationally published articles, but cannot satisfy the requirement on postgraduate training.
International universities in developed countries need high-quality students. They are offering scholarships to attract students, including Vietnamese. Therefore, it is difficult for universities in Vietnam to enroll postgraduate students.
If compared with the total enrolment scale, the postgraduate training of the University of Natural Resources just accounts for 14.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the University of Social Sciences, another member school of the Hanoi National University, has the number of postgraduate accounting for 17 percent, but its number of internationally published articles is modest.
While the requirements on research universities are high, the benefits remain unclear.
In the decree, the benefits of research universities are vague: research universities are prioritized to implement scientific and technological tasks.
In reply to Duc, Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha said research universities serve creative innovation.
He said that the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) will join forces to draft a decree on scientific research activities. And schools will see the benefits they can expect when becoming research institutes.
A survey by a research team from the Hanoi National University found that in 2015-2019, only 20 schools had 100 or more articles published in ISI/Scopus each year.
The university will become an international innovation center of the Vietnam National University, Hanoi.
Vietnam National University-HCM City (VNUHCM) had more than 2,500 scientific articles published in domestic and international journals as of October, according to its recent report.