“PhD Production Plan: Will Project 89 Go a New Way?”

Ph.D. diploma. Image courtesy of VietNamNet Global

A question and a suggestion.

1) Why does Viet Nam need so many new Ph.D.s? It’s a research degree. Many faculty positions focus almost exclusively on teaching undergraduates. In those cases and in most fields, a Master’s degree will suffice. A Ph.D. is only necessary if the individual is teaching graduate students and/or engaged in research in her/his field. (The time and resources needed for faculty to conduct quality research is another matter.)

2) The government should have a plan in place for each recipient to ensure that the state is reimbursed for the cost of the scholarship if s/he does not return home. I’ve seen too many young Vietnamese take advantage of the largesse of their government only to take a teaching or other position overseas. This includes placing a lien on family property, garnishing family wages, etc., if necessary. There needs to be accountability from day one. If they choose to work overseas for the long term or emigrate, they should return the investment the state made in them and their future.

My two cents based on extensive experience with these proposals and programs.

Shalom (שלום), MAA

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