VietNamNet Bridge – Associate Professor Dr Do Tat Ngoc, Chief Secretariat of the State Professorship Council, said that in order to bring new blood into the workforce of professors and associate professors, the requirements for professorship will be amended and will include some exceptional provisions for young teachers and scientists.
In 2010, Vietnam has 71 professors and 507 more associate professors. Of these, the oldest associate professor is now 75 years old, and the youngest 32 years old. The youngest professor is now 46 years old already. What are your comments about the age of professors?
Vietnamese professors are too old. The professors at the age of 50 and over, who received their title in 2010, account for 95 percent. 76 percent of professors are aged 50-59, and 19 percent are aged 60 and above. As for associate professors, the number of people at the over 50 years old accounts for 56 percent, over 60 years old accounts for 3.7 percent, and only 11 percent of them are under 50 years old.
As Professor Tran Van Nhung from the State Professorship Council has said, of the 9000 Vietnamese associate professors and professors half of them have retired and passed away.
Professor Dinh Tien Cuong became a professor in France in 2005 when he was 32. Do you think that the requirements on professors set by Vietnam are too high?
We cannot say if Vietnam’s requirements are easier or more difficult than that in other countries. We also gave the title to a professor when he was 35.
In Vietnam, in order to become an associate professor, one must have had their doctorate for three years. He also must chair scientific research projects and guide others to defend MA and PhD theses. The requirements set by other countries are also very high.
What do you think should we do to bring new blood to the force of Vietnamese associate professors and professors?
The answer is that it is necessary to enforce exceptional rules for young people. The Ministry of Education and Training and the State Professorship Council are drafting the decision on giving professor titles and the draft will be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.
Young teachers and scientists who have excellent scientific achievements can be given the title of professor or associate professor, even if they still do not have some other requirements such as the length of service.
An instructor who has the title of professor said that there are a lot of talented and deserving people who still cannot become associate professors or professors. What are your comments about this?
It is a truth, but I think we have accept this, because we have rules. Teacher Nguyen Khac Thuan, a well known teacher at a university in the south, is an example. He wrote 300 books and he is a prestigious historian. However, he does not have MA or PhD degree. Therefore, he has not been granted the title of professor.
Some people say that the professorship council now mainly considers the length of service of people to decide to grant the professorship, while it does not pay much attention to the scientific dedications?
It is not true. If so, one will have to spend more than 10 years to become an associate professor, not six years as currently stipulated. It will take decades years to become a professor, not just 10 years. Meanwhile, with the current regulations, a talented teacher can become a doctor at the age of 28, become associate professor at the age of 31-31 and then become professor at the age of 35.
What percent of the 9000 professors and associate professors who have titles are taking management work instead of teaching or doing scientific research?
The number changes every day. 420 our of 578 professors and associate professors who have titles this year are teaching at universities (72.6 percent), while 158 come from research institutes.
Source: Tien phong