Education chiefs in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, plan to almost double the number of postgraduates working in the city by 2005.
The city's department of science, technology and environment this month announced proposals to increase the number of skilled workers to 40 per cent of the local workforce by 2005.
As part of the reform package, the education department will send 300 students to study for masters and doctorate degrees at overseas universities. The authorities also made a plea for foreign lecturers to teach in Vietnam.
Dao Van Luong, director of the city's education department, said: "The city will increase the number of students studying and working abroad and... establish foreign high schools."
Professor Luong said that Ho Chi Minh City lagged behind other world cities in the proportion of educated workers in the local economy.
Out of a population of more than 5 million, the city has a mere 7,800 postgraduates, 230,000 graduates and 210,000 trained workers and technicians.
"The city will need 15,000 postgraduates, 300,000 graduates and 400,000 technicians and skilled workers by 2005 to meet the development demand of the region," Professor Luong said.