Le Thanh Van, National Assembly Deputy and member of the NA’s Finance & Budget Committee, said that state officials’ ‘demand for professorships’ exists because the title brings big benefits.
Minister of Education and Training and Chair of the State Professorship Council, Phung Xuan Nha, signed a decision on awarding the professorship title to 1,131 candidates in 2017.
At least 95 names found on the list of candidates ‘meeting requirements to get the professorship title’, released by the council on February 27, were weeded out.
Of the 95 candidates, only one professorial candidate was found not meeting standards, while the other 94 candidates are ‘pending’, either because their profiles need further verification, or because the professorship council has received letters of denunciation saying that they are not eligible for the professorship title.
The 94 candidates include Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, Minister of Health.
According to Pham Gia Khanh, chair of the healthcare professorship title sub-committee, Tien’s profile shows her great achievements, which are ‘more than enough to be granted the professor title’.
However, her application is still pending because of the denunciation. Meanwhile, Tien is a managerial officer, not a university lecturer.
The verification will be implemented by the Ministry of Education and Training’s inspectors.
Among the candidates that need checking, there are many state officials. This has stirred the public’s criticisms. A comment in a local newspaper said this is manifestation of the ‘greed for fame’ of many state officials.
Van, in an interview with Tien Phong newspaper, affirmed that under current laws, state officials have the right to apply for professorship title.
In other words, it is legal for state officials to be professors or associate professors. However, many scandals about state official appointments have occurred and people are unsympathetic to officials with professorship titles.
Why do state officials want the professorship title? It can bring benefits, especially in job promotion.
“This is why state officials run a race for professorship title. If demand exists, fraud will be committed to obtain what people want,” Van said.
He said that Vietnam needs to reconsider the regulation on awarding professorship title to state officials.
“Professors/associate professors must be teaching staff who work in the education and training environment,” he said, adding that state agencies are not training establishments, so they do not need professors and associate professors.
“Once you are leaders in state management agencies, you must focus on managerial work. You cannot be a professor,” he said.