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Foreign language skill requirements make it difficult to produce PhDs
  • | Vietnamnet | May 15, 2012 01:09 PM
Universities complain that some unreasonable regulations have prevented many people to enter the training courses for doctorates. 

Some months ago, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) discovered a heinous mistake made by many universities. The schools did not require the learners with master degrees to attend the entrance foreign language exams, which was a violation of the MOET’s regulation on PhD training.

MOET then forced the schools to organize the entrance exams once again for the thousands of candidates, the lightest penalty for the schools, which of course cost schools much money.

However, the National University still has not organized a foreign language exam for the candidates who have master degrees. MOET has sent a dispatch to the school requesting it to strictly follow the regulations.

“We must obey the constitution and laws, and things must be done in accordance with the laws and regulations,” said Hoang Thi Lan Phuong, Deputy Director of the University Education Department under MOET.

Tang Van Nghia, Postgraduate Faculty’s Dean of the Hanoi University of Foreign Trade, said the school has organized an exam for 103 candidates, and all of them got high marks from the exam.

However, Nghia said that schools have got embarrassed when applying the regulations on the requirements on learners.

According to Phuong, the postgraduates attending training courses for doctorates do not have to attend exams, if they can show one of the following certificates or degrees in foreign languages: the B1 or 3/6 level certificates in accordance with the EU’s standards; the certificates granted by a competent international testing center; the certificates granted by domestic universities which have foreign language training. 

In other cases, candidates can show the foreign master degrees or university degrees, or the degrees granted by foreign language universities.

“How many judges and how many officers working in the judicial system can meet the requirements on English skills to be able to attend the training courses for doctorates?” questioned Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, Head of the Postgraduate Division of the HCM City Law University.

President of the HCM City Law University Mai Hong Quy said that the scientific council of the school spends a lot of time discussing about PhD training.

The problem is that if following the current regulations, many people, who need to be trained for doctorates, cannot meet the requirements on foreign language skills. Meanwhile, young learners, who can meet the foreign language requirements, still do not have urgent need to attend the training courses for doctorates.

Quy said that young law bachelors can easily satisfy the requirements on foreign languages, because they need to get 450-470 TOEIC marks to be able to graduate the school. However, not many people aged 40 and over can have foreign language certificates as requested by MOET.

As a result, a paradox has existed. Those people, who really need training, would not be able to attend training courses. Meanwhile, the people, who satisfy the requirements, do not want to attend the courses.

Quy went on to say that the strict regulation has generated a lot of wrongdoings, and that it would be very difficult to deal with the situation, if schools do not have flexible approaches in the issue.

The HCM City Law University is providing training courses to learners at different levels, including masters and PhDs to satisfy the demand of the local departments of interior affairs, provincial people’s committees, provincial party committees in the south.

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