Educators doubt int’l joint programs using Vietnamese translation

Vietnamese educators have warned students against enrolling in joint programs that use Vietnamese translations for English lectures

A sample of the PhD degree conferred by the Philippines’ Bulacan State University and information on other master's and doctoral programs

Local educators have expressed their worry about the quality of master’s and doctoral programs Vietnamese universities run in cooperation with international partners. An education official advised against signing up for these courses due to their easy admission.

At the moment, Vietnamese students can easily register for such programs and obtain a degree from a foreign school, as course runners have waived English proficiency requirements, even though instructors often speak in the foreign language during lectures.

Translations will be provided and students will be allowed to defend their theses in Vietnamese via English interpreters, program consultants explained.

One such program is the doctoral program in the Ho Chi Minh City branch of the Hanoi-based Foreign Trade University, which has a partnership with the Philippines’ Bulacan State University.

A program consultant told a Tuoi Tre reporter, who was pretending to be interested in a PhD course in business administration, that English will be the medium of instruction during the program in which enrollees will occasionally study at campuses in Hong Kong, the Philippines, and other countries.

Translations will be available throughout the program so candidates should not be worried about their English proficiency, the consultant said, adding that the two schools are recruiting students for a new course to begin next month.

Another consultant, Cuong, elaborated that candidates do not need to meet any requirement for English proficiency to be admitted to the program.

“You can defend your thesis in Vietnamese and pay an interpreter to help you with the translation work,” Cuong said.

The Philippine university will confer degrees on all students when they finish their studies, she said.

A student enrolled in one such course said that it takes two and half to four years to complete a PhD course. Those who cannot speak English well can choose to study under the guidance of a Vietnamese professor, he added. 

Dai Nam University, located in Hanoi, is also partnering with Bulacan State University to run similar PhD courses, with the same admissions and training policy.

Tuoi Tre has discovered that two other universities in the capital, the Vietnam University of Commerce and the Hanoi University of Business and Technology, are joining hands with three Taiwanese higher education institutions to teach English master’s programs via Vietnamese translations.

‘Don’t pursue these programs’

A university’s vice president said that graduates from these programs should not opt for the teaching profession because earning a degree this way cannot ensure proper qualifications.

“It would be worrisome if these people were allowed to teach,” he said.

An education ministry official agreed with the educator, saying point blank that it will be “dangerous” for students to be taught by these masters and doctors.

“Their teaching will bring consequences to generations of students,” Nguyen Xuan Vang, director of the international education arm under the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training, said.

Vang advised that students should not enroll in these courses even though foreign schools will grant degrees, as their quality is still in doubt.

“Don’t pursue these programs that use Vietnamese translations for English instructions,” he insisted.

A government decree says that the specialized modules of programs Vietnamese universities run in coordination with their international partners, which are in charge of conferring degrees, must not be taught in Vietnamese or via Vietnamese translation.



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