VINH LONG — The Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long will continue to send 50 eligible professionals abroad to pursue post-graduate degrees in order to supply the province's most important industries with high-quality human resources by 2020.
This is the second phase of a human resources improvement project, "Vinh Long 100," that the province launched six years ago. As part of the project, the provincial People's Committee pays VND43.5 billion (US$2 million) for at least 100 new graduates and State employees to study abroard.
The project aims to train individuals for management positions in key areas like public administration, education, healthcare and job training.
In the first phase, which lasted from 2006-11, the province sent 37 eligible professionals to study in 13 different nations and territories - mostly the UK, France and Taiwan. Now, one-third of them have returned home and work for State agencies.
Truong Thi Be Hai, vice head of the province's project management board, said that most of the candidates were recent graduates because few State officers applied to the programme.
Some areas, such as public health, had so few applicants that they failed to recruit enough participants.
She also noted that lack of foreign language competence was a major barrier preventing candidates from getting the scholarship.
Moreover, she said, job appointments for post-graduates often bear no relation to their majors at universities, so they have few opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned.
Vinh Long 100 is part of Can Tho University's human resources development initiative for the Mekong Delta region. The initiative, "Mekong 1,000," has attracted 13 regional provinces to join through offering at least 1,000 scholarships for local residents to study overseas by 2015.
Last year, the province's GDP per capital was VND28.24 million ($1,344), higher than the national yearly average income of $1,300. — VNS