Universities in Vietnam are to reduce the duration of undergraduate courses from four to three years.
Under a new framework for the national education system approved by the prime minister, Nguyen Xuan Phu, the study time for a master's degree will remain the same and PhD training will increase by one year.
Currently, undergraduates spend four years gaining a bachelor's degree, five years for a bachelor of engineering and six for a medical degree. Under the new system the course lengths will be cut to three, four and five years respectively.
Bui Van Ga, Vietnam’s deputy minister for education and training, said the changes would help get new graduates out into the workforce as quickly as possible and bring the country more into line with the rest of the world, VietNamNet Bridge reported.
He added that course curricula would not be reduced but that there would be changes in how the courses are delivered.
In the existing system, undergraduate students are able to speed up their courses by one year by taking more classes each semester.
But some universities have raised concerns about the new schedules.
Tran Van Top, deputy director of the Ha Noi University of Science and Technology, said that it could be possible to re-design economic and social science courses for the new framework but it would be difficult for medical, pharmaceutical, technological and arts courses, according to the VietNamNet Bridge article.