“Market forces are working against college degrees in the ideology of Marx, Lenin and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, where the Communist government has resorted to offering free tuition to attract students,” AP reports from Hanoi:
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung recently signed a decree giving free tuition to students who agreed to take four-year courses on Marxism-Leninism and the works of Ho Chi Minh, the country’s revolutionary hero, at state-run universities.
Students have been shunning such degrees because potential employers are not interested in those programs, said Pham Tan Ha, director of admission and training at Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities. Degrees in subjects like communications, tourism, international relations and English are more popular because students believe “they will have better chances of employment and better pay when they graduate,” he said.
The regime is trying “to revive interest in the ideology behind the country’s system of government,” AFP reports.
“We have not received enough applications for these subjects,” a professor of philosophy at a state university told AFP on condition of anonymity Thursday because he was not authorised to speak to the press.
“Students only apply for subjects which offer realistic prospects of helping them get a job,” he added.
Fees for state universities in Vietnam average some five million dong ($240) per year but a small number of foreign-run universities charge far higher sums. The quality of local universities can be lacking — a recent education ministry survey said some 60 percent of recent graduates need retraining to meet the requirements of future employers — and many Vietnamese parents send their children to study abroad at great expense.
“How can I get a job and earn money if I study Marxism and Leninism?” Hanoi high school student Nguyen Lan Huong told AFP.