Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vietnam needs standard studies

HA NOI — The recent increase in the number of universities offering degrees in Vietnam Studies is being blamed by some for the inconsistent curriculum between schools and the difficulty recent graduates have finding jobs.

Professor Tran Le Bao pointed out that, at some schools, students taking Vietnam Studies courses are being primed to enter the tourist industry after graduation.

"It shows that the subject is just a cover for the tourism sector, which is a popular focus right now," Bao said.

Most Vietnam Studies curriculums are designed by professors who specialise in diverse topics like literature, history, geography, and linguistics.

Because every university has Vietnam Studies professors with different specialities, schools across the board have vastly different core requirements for the subject.

Experts at the third international conference on Vietnam Studies, held in Ha Noi last week, called upon the Ministry of Education and Training to monitor universities and colleges to avoid the nonuniformity.

Seventy-six universities and colleges nationwide have started offering courses in Vietnam Studies since the topic was introduced eight years ago.

What to do after graduation

The question of what to do after graduation is one that haunts students all over the world.

According to Doctor Pham Thu Nga of Sai Gon University, many young people are not dedicated enough to study more difficult subjects. Instead, they choose new ones with less intense requirements, like Vietnam Studies.

A lecturer at Thang Long People Founded University, Nguyen Thi Lan Huong, said it was difficult for graduates with degrees in Vietnam Studies to find jobs because they lack in-depth knowledge in any one area.

Huong recommended schools define core specialities for students as soon as they declare a concentration. By doing so, students would be made aware of post-graduation career options and schools would be able to manage their students better, she said.

Professor Le Quang Hung of the Ha Noi Teachers’ Training College reminded graduates that it was the duty of every student to update their knowledge and skills after they finish school. —VNS