University in VN gets shortened

Update: November, 15/2016 - 09:00
Students from the Hà Nội Medical University practise giving health examinations to patients. University curricula will be shortened by up to one year based on a new framework of the national education system. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — University curricula in Việt Nam will be shortened by up to one year, according to a new framework of the country’s national education system recently approved by the Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.

According to the new framework, Việt Nam’s 12-year general education will be left as it is, while higher education will be shortened from between four and six years to between three and five years.

Undergraduates in Việt Nam currently take on average four years to earn a bachelor’s degree, five years to earn a bachelor of engineering degree, and six years for a bachelor of medicine degree.

The new framework looks to reduce these periods to three, four, and five years respectively.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bùi Văn Ga said that the shortening of university time would help put fresh graduates into the workforce as quickly as possible.

The old framework for the national education system had been based upon the 2005 and 2009 laws on education. But the global picture of education had evolved so much over the past years that it demanded adjustments in the country’s education system to catch up with other countries, Deputy Minister Ga said.

The current credit-based system employed by most Vietnamese universities already allows students to compress their time in university by up to one year by registering for more courses in each semester.

Deputy Minister Ga said that shortening the curricula was not equivalent to cutting down on the amount of knowledge students get from their tertiary education, but rather reflected a change in the method of delivering the same knowledge to students.

Parts of the new framework that do not violate the country’s current laws on education would be effective immediately, while those that do would be implemented later, after the said laws have been revised, Deputy Minister Ga said, addressing legal concerns surrounding the new framework.

Agreeing with the new framework, Bùi Đức Triệu, head of the Training Division under the National Economics University, told the Dân Trí e-newspaper that the changes was completely suitable with the country’s present condition, and the country should make the changes earlier.

In fact, in the past five years, a number of students of the university could graduate after three years and a half, he said.

Expressing worry about the changes, Trần Văn Tớp, deputy director of the Hà Nội University of Science and Technology, said that to shorten university curriculum, two factors should be considered including the training career and the universities’ infrastructure.

Economic and social sciences universities could re-design their curriculum to make it more suitable to the new framework, but with medical, pharmaceutical, technological and arts universities, it would be quite difficult to shorten the training period, he said.

The Hà Nội University of Science and Technology could not reduce its present curriculum, because four years to earn a bachelor’s degree and five years to earn a bachelor of engineering degree was a suitable time for the knowledge that students should study, said Tớp.

Phạm Thị Mai Anh, a student from the Hà Nội University, said that shortening the university timetable was possible if students were really determined and arrange their schedule effectively.

Students should ask for advice and consultancy from lecturers at universities to have a good plan right at the beginning, she said.

“Graduating from university early brings young people more opportunities to develop, confirm their capacity and employers will highly appreciate students completing their studying curriculum early,” said Anh. — VNS