Challenges in treatment of scientific staff

16:04 | 29/05/2015 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Asides from policies geared towards attracting human resources proficient in science and technology, many are of the opinion that the state needs to invest in material facilities and offer self-autonomy to scientists if the country is to advance in this sector.

Challenges in  treatment of  scientific staff

Brain-drain is an aching problem for Vietnam’s science and technology sector

Lack of appropriate policies
The Vietnamese government has recently drafted and implemented several policies to attract scientists. The revised Law on Science and Technology which took effect in 2014, is the first time that the government has issued a regulatory system specifically addressing inpiduals working in the scientific and technological sector. The law outlines preferential treatment for the recruitment and treatment of scientists and engineers, making provisions for attracting Vietnamese scientists living abroad as well as foreign experts.
The government also issued Decree 40/2014/ND-CP prescribing the appointment of inpiduals working in science and technology, to facilitate activities in this sector and provide benefits appropriate to their station.
Also in 2014, the government also issued Decree 87/2014/ND-CP to lure Vietnamese living abroad and foreign experts working in the science and technology sector. The goal of this decree was also to create favorable conditions for such inpiduals, so that Vietnam can build up a bank of creative talent here.
However, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology, these policies designed to entice Vietnamese scientists have not been widely adopted, or have remained limited, meaning that Vietnam still remains an unattractive market for scientists to work in.
The reason for this problem is mainly due to overlaps in Vietnam’s laws.
Financial difficulties
The Ministry of Science and Technology also said that a limited financial resource was another barrier to attracting and developing highly-qualified human resources in science and technology organizations. In addition, the infrastructure and equipment for research activities remained backward, and the working and learning environment was also behind the times.
In reality, state funding for science and technology activities is relatively tight. Funding allocated to universities and research institutes, only allows for 10 percent of the scientific and technical staff to carry out research, while the remaining 90 percent receive zero funding. Meanwhile, their salaries are low and they have to pursue other work to earn a living. Therefore, they can not truly commit to their scientific research.
Consequently, to attract and promote the capabilities of scientists, and to promote the efficiency of science and technology organizations in general, Vietnam needs to adopt financial and technical solutions along with a feasible, open and effective legal mechanism. The adjustment of laws and financial mechanisms for these activities need to be piloted on various existing science and technology organizations.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam currently has 4.2 million people with college and university levels or higher, including 24,000 doctors and 101,000 MAs. Of those, only 62,000 are directly involved in research and development. 

By Quynh Nga