Human resources in science and technology: Abundant but partly unqualified

14:03 | 13/05/2014 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Vietnam will have a quality workforce in science and technology able to contribute effectively to national scientific and technological (sci-tech) development if more appropriate support policies and mechanisms are adopted.

Scientists need more incentives for sci-tech research and development

Abundant human resources in science and technology

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), currently there are about 2,200 registered sci-tech organizations (public organizations accounting for more than 80 percent), and 419 universities and colleges. The number of sci-tech research and development (R&D) workers has reached 62,000 (seven workers per 1,000 people). Total number of sci-tech faculty members in the country has reached 84,000.

In particular, there are about 4.28 million people with college or university or higher degrees, including 24.3000 doctors and 101,000 masters, a 4.6 fold increase compared with 1996; not to mention more than 1,000 professors, 3,000 associate professors, 100,000 overseas students, and 300,000 Vietnamese intellectuals abroad.

The increasing workforce is an important factor to help the country boost sci-tech activities. According to the Scopus, since 2006, Vietnam’s international sci-tech publications have increased by 20 percent on annual average.

Sci-tech achievements have contributed significantly to the growth rate of the economy such as design and manufacture of hydro-mechanical equipment for large capacity hydropower plants and self-elevating 90m drilling rigs; granitoid basement oil extraction technology; and vaccine production.

Unqualified human resources in science and technology

Vietnam is considered as a country with abundant golden aged intelligent and ambitious workers. “Vietnam’s human resources are invaluable in the era of globalization and international integration. The question is how to awaken this potential,” Former Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Nghiem Vu Khai said.

According to the Science and Technology Development Strategy for the 2011-2020 Period approved by the Prime Minister, the number of scientific researchers must reach 9-10 per 10,000 people and the number of engineers trained up to international standards must reach 5,000 by 2015; and by 2020, these numbers must be 11-12 and 10,000.

However, for a long time, Vietnam has failed to create an appropriate sci-tech environment and suitable mechanism to stimulate creative minds, and therefore, faced a lack of general engineers of technology to shoulder on national sci-tech duties, Khai insisted.

According to Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan, the current status of brain drain should be quickly overcome.

According to Director of Agricultural Genetics Institute Dr. Le Huy Ham, there are too many science and technology institutions for a country with a GDP under US$200 billion like Vietnam.

To improve sci-tech performance, it is necessary to screen the local sci-tech community and focus funding on those with valuable sci-tech products. In addition, there should be policies to attract overseas Vietnamese intellectuals to participate in the country’s sci-tech development./.

By Quynh Nga