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Vietnamese students still lack soft skills

Employers all say Vietnamese university graduates are weak at soft skills, while schools have been blamed for not equipping their students with these skills.

At a recent workshop organized by the network of former students of the Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST), Ta Hai Tung, director of the Institute for Information Technology and Communications, put emphasis on the weak point of Vietnamese students – poor soft skills and English skills.



Tung said the institute has joined forces with HUST’s former students who are working in Silicon Valley to provide opportunities to excellent students fimor internships at Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

Forty excellent students were chosen and attended the interviews with the giant firms. But only three were chosen because they were good at foreign language and soft skills, and algorithm skills as well.

Many Vietnamese students have deep professional knowledge, but are poor at English. Others have good English, but are weak at soft skills.

Employers all say Vietnamese university graduates are weak at soft skills, while schools have been blamed for not equipping their students with these skills.

An analyst said the soft skills of many Vietnamese students are so poor that they don’t know how to write emails, applications for jobs or prepare a CV.

“There are big differences between Vietnamese and American students. The latter can attend training courses in soft skills,” he said.

In fact, many schools admit that their students are weak at soft skills, but said students need to seek separate training courses on soft skills, rather than rely on curricular lessons at schools. They said that teaching soft skills is not the job of universities.

One of the reasons that has caused schools to hesitate to open skill training programs is the lack of money. The training will be costly, while schools are not allowed to raise tuition.

Meanwhile, Hoang Minh Son, rector of HUST, said the training of soft skills has been integrated into compulsory learning subjects and training programs at his school. The training helps them improve the skills of presenting problems, solving problems, and working in teams.

Other mportant soft skills which cannot be integrated into learning subjects and need to be taught in non-curricular hours can be learned in online classes or they read the documents on soft skills online.

Regarding career skills such as work planning and methods of working in different fields, fourth-year students will get training support when the school cooperates with enterprises.

“Large corporations usually run programs to train soft skills in professional training methods,” he explained, adding that the internship programs provide great opportunities to students to get familiar with real working conditions and gain experience. 

Linh Ha

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