Le Hong Son, head of the department, has said at an Overseas Vietnamese conference held in Ho Chi Minh City recently that overseas Vietnamese could also work as experts or lecturers in Vietnam.
Overseas Vietnamese who have teaching experience could help train English teachers or teach science with English instruction at high schools or professional educational establishments, he added.
Ho Chi Minh City has faced challenges in meeting international standards and providing quality advanced education.
A shortage of quality teachers, facilities and curricula that meet high standards has been the major impediment to progress.
Increased population growth has led to a lack of classrooms and failure to meet the national standard of 30 to 35 children per classroom.
The department said the city’s budget for education was too low, and should be increased at least 1.2 to 1.3 times to meet modern, advanced educational trends.
According to the QS World University Rankings 2016, which compares the top universities in the world using an interactive results table, Vietnam had five universities on the list of the top 350 in Asia.
Of the five universities, Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City is the only one located in the city.
Dr. Tang Anh Minh, Chairman of the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts in France, said the city should set up an advisory board for higher education with the aim of improving quality.
He said the board should include municipal authorities, educational experts, enterprises and overseas Vietnamese who have experience in working at highly regarded universities.
Moreover, universities should offer lecturers a more flexible schedule so they can conduct scientific research, while universities should invest more in research, he said.
Vietnamese lecturers and professors at universities, he said, were not involved in many scientific research activities for various reasons, including limited funds. The number of research articles published in foreign scientific journals had been low.
Minh also said that lecturers’ English capacity must be improved, and that universities should strengthen exchanges between students and lecturers in other countries.
Pham Nam Kim, a financial and banking expert from Switzerland, suggested that the city establish a vocational training system like Switzerland’s.
In Switzerland, the unemployment rate among young people is 3.7 percent, while the rate in Vietnam in 2015 was 13.1 percent.
Around two-thirds of students in Switzerland choose to study in vocational training schools each year, Kim said.
After graduating, they can continue at a higher level in their field or pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree.