Vietnam: Regulations on admission and recognition for PhD students

I have just received my master's degree and would like to apply for a PhD program. Therefore, I would like to know about the regulations on the admission for PhD students? - Thanh Hoai (Tien Giang, Vietnam)

Vietnam: Regulations on admission and recognition for PhD students

1. Who is a PhD student?

According to Article 59 of Vietnam's Law on Higher Education 2012, students are people learning and doing scientific researches at higher education institutions including students learning college programs, university programs and master’s program, graduate students doing doctorates.

Thus, a PhD student can be understood as a person who is studying a doctoral training program at a higher education institution that is authorized to provide doctoral training.

2.  Admission and recognition of PhD students

Regulations on admission and recognition of PhD students under Article 8 are promulgated together with Vietnam's Circular 18/2021/TT-BGDDT are as follows:

-  Every training institution may decide to admit new students one or more than one time a year when it meets quality assurance conditions for doctoral programs according to existing regulations.

- Admission methods include admission by examination, admission without examination or combination between examination and admission without examination. Training institutions shall decide on the admission method, ensuring transparent, fair, impartial and honest assessment of knowledge and capacity of applicants. 

Training institutions may organize online admission when they meet quality assurance conditions applicable to direct admission.

- Training institutions shall publish an admission announcement on their websites at least 30 working days before application begins, which shall include information on:

+ Eligibility requirements;

+ Academic discipline and suitable specialized requirements;

+ Admission quota;

+ Application content, admission plan, result announcement time and enrolment time;

+ Tuition, policies for tuition reduction, exemption and assistance for PhD students during their study (if any)

+ Other necessary information according to requirements of the training program and training institution.

- During admission, training institutions must perform internal inspection and supervision as per existing regulations.

- A PhD student recognition decision shall comprise the following information: name of the PhD student, academic discipline, provisional dissertation topic, instructor or co-instructor, management unit of the PhD student, training duration and course-wise study and research plan of the PhD student.

- Training institution regulations shall stipulate admission plans, admission announcements, admission methods, admission organization and PhD student recognition;

Archiving for the purposes of management, appraisal, supervision and inspection;

Responsibilities and sanctions for violations committed by groups, units and individuals involved in admission organization and PhD student recognition.

3. Recognition of study and research results

According to Article 11 of the Regulation promulgated together with Circular 18/2021/TT-BGDĐT, stipulating the recognition of study and research results as follows:

- Study and research results accumulated by a PhD student in a doctoral program may be retained and considered for recognition and transfer in any of the following cases:

+ The PhD student is expelled and wishes to study a master’s program in a corresponding academic discipline if they meet regulations of the existing regulation on graduate program admission and graduate education;

+ The PhD student transfers to another specialization or training institution;

+ The PhD student leaves the doctoral program, reapplies and is recognized as a new PhD student of the training institution.

- Recognition and transfer of study and research results accumulated by a PhD student must be carried out in accordance with content and requirements of the training program and with the proposal from a specialized council. In case the PhD student transfers to another training institution or becomes a new PhD student, study and research results equivalent to no more than 50% of the total load of the new program may be recognized and transferred.

- Training institution regulations shall provide for retention time limit, composition of specialized councils and procedures for recognition and transfer of study and research results of PhD students.

Quoc Dat


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