Postgraduate researchers in Vietnam are facing tougher requirements to get a PhD after criticism that it has been too easy in the past.
The Ministry of Education and Training has introduced new regulations that they hope will help boost the standard of their PhD graduates to the level of others in the region, according to a report in VietNamNet Bridge.
Previously critics have suggested that people who obtain a PhD in Vietnam are “paper doctors”. The phrase comes from a poem by Nguyen Khuyen, a famous 19th-century poet and scholar, who coined the term to befit people who lacked in talent and secured degrees my bribing people.
The new regulations include a compulsory requirement for a PhD graduate’s foreign language skills to be at the level where they can read documents in a foreign language. They must also have published articles in scientific journals before defending their thesis.
PhD graduate Mai Khoa commended the changes and said that getting work published in international journals will help ensure that research findings are discussed and recognised by other scientists.
Dr Khoa added that poor English language skills have previously held Vietnamese researchers back from publishing journal papers and taking part in international scientific workshops.