VietNamNet Bridge – Under the draft university education law, Vietnamese students can reduce the actual duration of studying at universities, allowing them to obtain a bachelors degree after just 1.5 years of studying.
In the draft university education law for which the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) is now soliciting public opinion, the duration for university training may last from 1.5 years to six years, while the duration for junior college training from 1.5 years to 3 years. People have to spend 1.5-2 years studying to obtain a masters degree, while they have to spend 2-4 years to obtain doctorate degree.
The draft regulation that students can obtain bachelor degree just after 1.5 years of training has surprised many people, who believe that the training plan is unfeasible.
Professor Pham Phu, a well known educator in HCM City, said that in many foreign countries, universities are following a 4-year bachelors programs. During the four years of studying, students will have to complete 120 credits. Meanwhile, the current number of credits in Vietnam is 140-160. If students fulfill the education training program within 1.5 years, they will have to complete 100 credits a year. “It is unfeasible. How can they arrange time to attend lectures?” he questioned. “I think only one out of one million people has the capability of completing 100 credits a year.”
Professor Nguyen Canh Toan, former Deputy Minister of Education and Training, thinks that by setting different durations for university education, MOET aims to create most favorable conditions for students to control the duration of studying themselves, depending on their conditions and capabilities.
Meanwhile, Deputy President of the Hanoi University of Technology Nguyen Canh Luong calls this “mission impossible” and “unimaginable”.
Looking into the issue from the angle of the Education Law, Professor Nguyen Xuan Han said the regulation does not come in line with the provision No 38 of the law. The law clearly stipulates that a university education must be carried out in 4-6 years depending on the major, applied to people who have finished high schools or intermediate schools; in 2.5-4 years applied to the people who have finished a training program of the same major at intermediate schools; and in 1.5-2 years applied to the people who have finished the training program of the same major at junior colleges”
Knowledge is limitless
Professor Pham Minh Hac, former Minister of MOET, said that in developed countries, such as the US or Germany, a university education program lasts any given number of years. Russian tends to reduce the training duration to five years. Though in the UK, the duration has been shortened to three years, no country in the world can train bachelors within a record time of 1.5 years.
Hac said that he received university education in Russia, where he could see only one person who could fulfill the 5-year university education program within three years – Professor Nguyen Xuan Han. He stressed that the persons like Professor Han are very rare.
“I agree that the university training duration can be shortened depending on teachers and students’ capabilities. However, obtaining bachelor degree after 1.5 years of studying is an impossible goal. No other country in the world is applying such a program,” Hac said.
Professor Dr Nguyen Minh Thuyet, Deputy Chair of the National Assembly’s Committee for Culture, Education and the Youth said that 60 years ago, general education last 9 years and university education last two years only. At that time, the volume of knowledge was smaller, while the requirements on knowledge and skills on university graduates were lower.
Meanwhile, students nowadays must study a wider range and volume of knowledge and therefore they need more training time. “It is impossible to set up such a short duration for university education,” he stressed.