The Law on Higher Education, which took effect in 2012, requires university-level lecturers to have master’s degrees or degrees of higher education except for specific majors. However, according to the Ministry of Education and Training, at many universities, about half of the permanent lecturers hold bachelor’s degrees.
This includes Vo Truong Toan University, a public tertiary educational institute in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang. More than 64 percent of its permanent lecturers hold bachelor’s degrees.
Nguyen Tat Thanh University of Vietnam Textile Corporation in HCM City has 45 percent of its permanent lecturers holding bachelor’s degrees. Only 10 percent hold master’s degrees. The figure for Tra Vinh University is 37 percent.
As many as 126 out of 276 permanent lecturers employed by the Hanoi Industrial Textile Garment University hold bachelor’s degree.
Many universities have certified these lecturers even though they fail to meet standards of lecturers’ quality.
Tran Ai Cam, deputy director of Nguyen Tat Thanh University told Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper that besides university level, the school also offers training at college level. More than 500 lecturers holding bachelor’s degrees are teaching at college level.
Only lecturers with master’s degrees or higher are allowed to teach at university level, he said.
In fact, only 14 percent of students of Nguyen Tat Thanh University are trained at college level. In 2017, the university did not recruit any students at college level.
Associate Professor Nguyen Xuan Hoan, vice principal of Food Industry University in HCM City said that 130 bachelor-holding lecturers of the university teach college students.
“From now until 2020, the university will stop college-level recruitment. Bachelor-holding lecturers who do not learn to gain higher degree will have to change their position or leave job. It is impossible to have bachelor’s degree holders teach university students,” he said.
A representative of Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University said the university is standardising lecturer recruitment. Some who don’t have master’s degree are newly-recruited or have been lecturing for a long time.
Associate Professor Nguyen Hoi Nghia, director of education quality verification of HCM City’s National University said that the universities have many reasons to explain the shortage of qualified lecturers. Some explained that permanent staff members are teaching as assistants, not lecturers or they are only in charge of a laboratory, not teaching.
Others claimed that it is hard for some majors to recruit high-quality teachers.
Nghia said that this fact is hard to accept and will affect the quality of tertiary education.
“The State has clear standards but universities have not followed them,” he said.
According to experts, while the number of new majors and new universities keeps rising, the number of qualified teachers trained every year cannot meet demand. This has led to bachelor holders teaching university students.
“The Ministry of Education and Training must manage universities to stop the size of training increasing so fast that the number of qualified lecturers does not keep up with this increase,” Nghia said.