Vietnam inspectors call for disqualification of 2,000 college, university degrees

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The Vietnamese government should disqualify more than 2,000 graduate and postgraduate degrees awarded through illegal cooperation between Vietnamese institutes and foreign counterparts, state inspectors have suggested.

A Tuoi Tre newspaper report Monday cited members from the State Inspectorate as saying the degrees were granted by the Centre for Educational Technology and Career Development, and the School of Economics, at Vietnam National University-Hanoi, in partnership with foreign institutions.

The degrees were granted by programs offered by the Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics, HCMC University of Technology Education, Hanoi Open University, Can Tho University in the Mekong Delta, and Vinh University in central Vietnam.

Nearly half of 419 programs offered in the 2006-2010 period were conducted without permission from the Ministry of Education and Training.

Most of the 94 foreign partners involved, like the US-based Griggs University and Delaware State University, are at lower levels than Vietnamese schools, such as local compared to national universities, the inspectors said.

Many programs did not hold entrance exams as required, while others offered easy eligibility. Applicants for master programs, for instance, did not need to graduate with the same majors in their undergraduate degrees or have a foreign language proficiency certificate, the inspectors found.

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They said eight masters programs of the Hanoi Economics School violated Vietnam's education law in not requiring the students to defend a thesis for graduation.

The inspectors have suggested the programs are suspended and the director of the Vietnam National University-Hanoi be held responsible for allowing the violations.

The schools have been asked to return US$1,170,000 in tuition fees paid for the programs.

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