Japan has the highest number of universities (89), followed by China (63). Indonesia has four schools, two higher than last year’s. Thailand has one.

An analyst sad the ranking is not surprising as THE emphasizes the importance of universities’ research achievements.

Vietnam has 12,000 professors and associate professors, including 1,226 newly appointed professors and associate professors.

However, 29 out of 85 newly appointed professors (34 percent) and 609 out of 1,141 newly appointed associate professors (53 percent) have no articles published in ISI/Scopus journals.

Le Van Ut from Ton Duc Thang University said that Vietnam doesn’t follow international practice in appointing professors/associate professors.

Professors/associate professors, after the appointment, will hold the titles for life. In other countries, professor/associate professor is just a title of the job and appointed professors/associate professors must fulfill their tasks, including research, or will have to move to other positions.

Ut said that the research quality of Vietnamese professors/associate professors is low because there is no pressure on them.

In Vietnam, the titles bring higher income and benefits. While professors/associate professors can receive high pay from the state, they do not conduct much valuable research.

“It’s a pity that we do not care about the efficiency of investment in professors/associate professors. It is a big waste of society’s resources,” Ut said.

“More seriously, with the current management, Vietnam’s tertiary education cannot be competitive,” he added.

Meanwhile, an analyst said the absence of Vietnam’s schools in THE’s ranking may have to do with the procedures.

“THE requests universities to submit documents about their operation and I don’t know if Vietnam’s universities did this. It takes time and resources and is costly,” he said, adding that any ranking will cause controversy.

Pham Hung Hiep, an education researcher in Hanoi, commented that taking part in the ranking is ‘the game of rich schools’. Hanoi and HCMC National Universities choose to participate in one of two rankings by QS and THE.

In the list of the top 150 universities in Asia, compiled by London-based education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), there are two Vietnamese universities. Vietnam National University (VNU)-Hanoi maintained its ranking of 139th while VNU-HCM City climbed five ranks to 142.

By Tien Phong - VietNamNet Bridge - february 13, 2018