Hanoi university removes height requirements for students following ministry's criticism

By Duong Tam    June 7, 2024 | 05:00 pm PT
Hanoi university removes height requirements for students following ministry's criticism
Students' heights are measured during a session to assess their emotional intelligence at the Hanoi School of Business and Management in March 2024. Photo from the school's Facebook page
The Hanoi School of Business and Management (HSB) has adjusted its admission criteria, removing the requirement that said candidates must be at least 1.58 m tall for females and 1.65 m tall for males.

The school under the Vietnam National University in Hanoi made the decision on Friday, following a directive by the Ministry of Education and Training.

HSB is admitting 500 students this schoolyear for four undergraduate programs: Business and Technology Management, Marketing and Communications, Human Resource and Talent Management, and Management and Security.

The school has sparked controversy in recent times as in addition to academic requirements, it demanded that female applicants be at least 1.58 m tall while male applicants over 1.65 m, and both must have good physical strength and eyesight.

Most argue that this regulation is unnecessary and discriminatory.

Even specialized schools, such as the military and police, require similar or lower standards, with men needing to be 1.64-1.65 m and women 1.54-1.58 m or taller.

The Education Ministry previously urged Vietnam National University in Hanoi to promptly direct the HSB to review its criteria and admission conditions to ensure that fundamental principles in admissions are upheld.

"The school must ensure that no candidate loses the opportunity to apply due to regulations unrelated to qualifications and abilities, except for those specified by the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of National Defense," the directive stated.

The ministry's request is based on university admission regulations.

The Education Law also stipulates that all citizens, regardless of personal characteristics, have equal opportunities for education.

As per the latest decision, HSB now only applies the height standard to those applying for Management and Security. The reason is that the field "is strategic for the career of training talents, contributing to the construction and protection of the nation."

If not met, candidates will be considered if they have special talents.

HSB, a fully autonomous school under Vietnam National University, Hanoi, has been financially independent since its establishment in 1995. All its training programs are internationally accredited, and the school sets its own tuition fees.

In an interview with VnExpress on Wednesday, a school representative stated that the school aims to train excellent leaders, managers, and executives for both the public and private sectors.

In addition to academic and skill factors, HSB believes that physical fitness and appearance play a significant role in building a professional and confident image for future leaders. The school only makes exceptions for candidates who do not meet the physical criteria if they have special talents.

Applicants to HSB must also achieve a minimum IELTS score of 4.5 or equivalent and pass two preliminary rounds before reaching the admission round. The preliminary rounds include assessing the application and emotional intelligence.

The projected tuition fees for the next academic year at the HSB are VND70 million (US$2,747) for the Management and Cybersecurity, and Business and Technology Management programs, while the other two programs will cost VND60 million.

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