Local universities will not run new classes in many disciplines this academic year since very few candidates apply for them.
Quang Nam University, based in central Vietnam, will not offer fine art courses at the junior-college level in the 2012-13 school year because of low numbers of applicants, whereas the president of Dong Thap University, located in the Mekong Delta, says the institution has shut down two undergraduate courses and one junior college-level major for the second consecutive year due to the same reason.
Another central-part establishment, Phan Chau Trinh University is considering condensing twelve university and junior college courses it planned to offer this year into four, as only several dozens of students have registered for those so far.
Da Nang University, the biggest in the central, has recently closed down the information system discipline at one of its member schools because just a minute number of applicants could make it during the selection process.
Similarly, An Giang University, also in the Mekong Delta, has halted six degree and associate’s degree programs for this year as not enough candidates signed up for them, while Phu Yen University – which is based in the central part – met with nearly the same fate with four majors to be closed, namely literature, history, Vietnamese studies, and biology.
Tan Tao University, an Amercian-style private school situated in Ho Chi Minh City’s neighbor Long An Province, has had to cut six of its eight disciplines even though it offered 500 full scholarships to lure applicants.
Experts have long complained that the discrepancy between the number of schools and applicants is to blame for this problem first and foremost.
While many new universities are founded each year, the number of applicants have only rise marginally, they said.
An Mekong Delta university official once said many students rejected certain majors because of poor job prospects after graduation.
Assoc Prof Dr Nguyen Thien Tong, vice president of Mekong University in the southern province of Vinh Long, blamed the situation on the country’s master plan for the development of higher education.
The tendency to upgrade junior colleges to universities had created a large number of seats and worsened the situation, Dr Tong specified.