Shortcut: Vietnam to shave one year off study time for college degrees

By VnExpress   November 22, 2016 | 11:00 am PT
Shortcut: Vietnam to shave one year off study time for college degrees
Students at a university in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Quy Doan
An education official says this will allow students to join the workforce faster.

Vietnam's government has approved a new educational masterplan that will cut the study time for college students by a year in a bid to scale up the workforce more quickly.

Under the plan, approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last month and made public recently, most Vietnamese colleges will reduce the duration of undergraduate courses from four to three years.

The course length for a bachelor of engineering will be cut from five to four years, and for a medical degree from six to five years.

The study time for a master’s degree will remain the same at two years, and PhD candidates will have to take one extra year, that is three to four years.

It’s not clear when the changes will take effect.

Bui Van Ga, Vietnam’s deputy minister for education and training, told VietNamNet that shortened study time would send graduates out into the workforce as quickly as possible, adding that a three-year program is the minumum standard in many European countries.

A more compact program will require changes in the curricula and how many credits students are supposed to take each semester, he said.

But some universities have voiced their concerns about the new plan.

Tran Van Top, deputy director of Hanoi University of Science and Technology, reportedly said it would be particularly difficult to shorten the study time for medical, technological and arts courses.

The number of jobless people increased to 1.08 million in the second quarter, 2.3 percent of the country’s workforce, according to figures from the labor ministry. Statistics showed that 39 percent of the unemployed are well-educated professionals, half of them with degrees or higher education.

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