VIETNAM: Ministry tightens doctoral admissions

Vietnam's Ministry of Education and Training has issued new doctoral admission requirements, including letters of recommendation, set to take effect by next February, reports Thanhnien News. All PhD candidates must submit two letters of recommendation from two professors or PhD holders in relevant subjects, said Tran Thi Ha, head of the Ministry's higher education department. Currently, PhD applicants only need to take an examination and submit two scientific reports.

The ministry will require that the new letters of recommendation include a detailed appraisal of the candidate's individual professional ability and his or her ability to work in groups. In addition, all doctoral applicants must have worked with the professors or doctors writing their recommendations for at least six months.

While some academics oppose the new requirements, Ha said they were supported by most. The regulations were not too strict and were in compliance with international norms, said Ha, adding that most Vietnamese students studying at international universities were required to submit letters of recommendation from prestigious academics.
Full report on the Thanhnien News site