Universities told to earn their bread on technology transfer, not tuition

In Vietnam, universities focus on training activities, but pay inappropriate attention to scientific research.

In developed countries, research and training are equally important fields for many universities.

Reports all show that investments in research and the income from the activities are very modest in Vietnam. A survey conducted by the Hanoi National University and Ministry of Science and Technology (MST) in 2011-2015 found that 80 percent of universities’ research facilities were laboratories, while the number of production workshops and spinoff companies was very inconsiderable.

Universities told to earn their bread on technology transfer, not tuition

The survey also found that income from research and technology transfer was very modest, amounting to a small proportion of total revenue. The schools lived on the number of research projects, not the products created during the research.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc said at a workshop on developing science and technology at higher education facilities that more than 90 percent of revenue of universities is from tuition.

“I heard that Chinese Tsinghua University earns $900 million from science and technology activities, while ROK National University earned $300-400 million. The figures show the income of Vietnam’s universities is too small,” Phuc said.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc said at a workshop on developing science and technology at higher education facilities that more than 90 percent of revenue of universities is from tuition.

He went on to say that universities need to invest more in research to improve the income from science and technology transfer by developing research teams at universities.

“Research-oriented universities have to live on scientific research, not on tuition,” PHuc said.

According to Pham Pho, former rector of the Sai Gon Economics and Technology Junior College, universities have been carrying out research that depends on the funding from the government.

 

A budget in science and technology development is allocated every year to ministries and branches. Researchers conduct their work modest money. They just try to finish the research as soon as possible to receive pay, and don’t care how the results of the research works will be used for.

Ambitions

Phuc said Vietnam’s universities have integrated more deeply into the world and have made progress in research, moving up in rankings of international and Asian schools.

Regarding international publications, Vietnam ranks fourth in ASEAN after Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Its number of scientific articles published in prestigious journals has doubled from five years ago. However, the figure is small compared with other universities in the world.

Kham Pha cited a report as saying that there are 900 research teams throughout the country which include thousands of scientists from education establishments.

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Linh Nhi

 
 
 
 
 
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