Vietnam Time

1/24/2018 2:20:11 PM

It’s time to pay PhD students

The Ministry of Education & Training (MOET) and PhD training establishments have tightened control over PhD student enrollment, but experts say this is not enough to ensure quality.

MOET has tightened control over PhD student enrollment

According to Nguyen Dinh Duc, head of the training division of the Hanoi National University,  instructors are paid VND1.5 million a year to guide one PhD student, while the total cost for training one PhD student is VND7.5 million a year.

“Such a low cost cannot be seen in any other country,” Duc said.

Le Trung Thanh, head of the Postgraduate Training Institute under the Hanoi Economics University, said the investment is tens of thousands of dollars a year for one PhD student in other countries.

In Vietnam, PhD students follow training courses and work every day. In other words, they study part time. Meanwhile, in other countries, PhD students are paid during the study period.

In some countries, expenditures for PhD training comes from three major sources – the state budget, schools and income from research works carried out by professors.

In general, PhD students in these countries get income from projects of their assigned guiding professor which allows them to carry out research.

In Vietnam, with ‘in-service’ study, doing research is ‘extra work’ because they still have to fulfill tasks assigned to them at work.

“When instructors don’t have money to pay PhD students, the students have to prioritize to take other jobs to earn money, while studying is just a secondary job,” Nguyen Nam Tran from the HCMC University of Natural Sciences said.

“Once PhD students are busy working to earn a living and cannot spend full time on  research, they won’t be able to conduct high-quality research that can be published internationally in ISI/Scopus system,” he said.

Young university lecturers were not eager for the government’s scholarships under Project 911 that targets 23,000 PhDs by 2020 because of the small amount of money, low stipends and many requirements.

HCMC National University recently announced it will pay money to postgraduates and PhD students who join scientific research projects.

In fact, the pay policy has been applied in unofficial ways at some schools. However, the official application of the policy at a prestigious school like the HCMC National University is good news for PhD students.

Duc said that he uses money from his scientific research projects to give financial support to PhD students. However, in Vietnam, not all professors have research projects. The budget for research comes mostly from the state./.

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