Science Research to Show Up

According to the information from the Ministry of Training and Education about the financial management in eight Ho Chi Minh City universities, up to the end of 2004, 414/612 science projects (making up 67.6%) expired from one to seven years and were not checked. The grant in abeyance was VND35 billions. And among those projects, over 100 granted ones could not develop for many years. Even if some projects were checked and accepted, they still could not be applied. Why?

Pieces of Research: For Display Only

In an university's laboratory

Four years ago, burning health garbage machine, a research work by a group of university’s scientists, was appreciated by the check and acceptance board for its produced cost:  VND500 million per one, lower than the Austrian (VND eight billion).

With that piece of research, the public health believed that the toxic health garbage could be disposed easily. But up to now, despite of its low cost price and appreciated technological factors, the large hospitals could not use the machine.

According to many scientists, the machine worked well when displaying only.
Similarly, the girdle cake maker, a research work of the mechanics faculty of Ho Chi Minh City Polytechnic University was highly appreciated.

The technology transfer’s cost was less than VND500 million, while the cost price of a similar imported machine was US$110 thousand. Therefore, a food produce processing company in Ho Chi Minh City has bought a girdle cake maker.

But they were very disappointed, because during the testing running time, the machine has wasted a lot of material for producing low standard products. Therefore, the machine has been put in mothballs.

The “Promote-Controlling Devices And Warning Problems (Robbers or Fire) Through The Telephone Line System” device by the Ho Chi Minh City Engineering Teacher’s University had a low cost price (VND three million), and many people placed orders.

But after a short running time, the devices were broken, because the quality of the spare parts, which were bought from the Nhat Tao market (a market of low quality and cheap spare parts in Ho Chi Minh City), was too low. And the price of the better ones was too expensive; so finally, the device became the model in the laboratory.

Assigned Projects: For Locking In the Chest

A certain rector of a university said that: “Applying projects do not have high effects; however, some of their functions are worth considering. But with the projects of economic and cultural development research, we cannot”.

The results of the research often lack of the reality in order to be of practical use, and even cannot show the priority order of the solutions.

The rate of projects transferred technologically of the Ho Chi Minh City Polytechnic University is 10%. This rate is much higher than the ones of other universities, such as: the University of Science, Society and Human Culture, the Ho Chi Minh City University of Economy.

Vietnamese scientists are always required to invent the quality science research, so that the country’s science can catch up with the other countries’ one. But there is a huge conflict between the demand of applying science in reality and the lives of the lecturers.

Nowadays, most of the lecturers’ time is teaching to improve their income, thus they don’t have time for research.

For example, this is the list of a lecturer’s projects in abeyance of the Ho Chi Minh City Polytechnic University:

-     The “Ministry Level – National Main Point Project: Improving, Experimentally Producing and Applying Systemizing Management Information Software in Garment Businesses” research (the grant cost was VND250 million), made in one year (2001-2002), has not been checked.

-     The “Applying Micro Processing Technology in Some Plastic and Leather Footwear Industries” research (VND30 million), began in 1996 with the deadline was 1997, has not been finished.

-     The “Researching on CAD/CAM Application and Making Technological Process for Footwear Products” research (VND 15 million), made in one year (2000-2001), has not been checked.  
Some lecturers said that they would return the grants to the State even though some grants were ten years ago.

The regulation No.1712 by the Ministry of University and Secondary Vocational School is: the functions of a university lecturer are to teach, research and apply science technology. The time for teaching is from 290 hours to 310 hours/ 48 weeks/ year for professors, 270 hours to 290 hours for associate professors, 260 hours to 280 hours for lecturers. And the time for research and applying science technology is 500 hours/year for professors, 450 hours/year for associate professors and 350 hours/year for lecturers. 

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By Linh An -Translated by Hoang Uy

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