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- This Regulation provides general provisions for doctoral program admission, academic operations, and degree awarding.
- This Regulation is not applicable to admission to and provision of doctoral programs whose degrees are awarded by foreign educational institutions (including programs provided in cooperation with other countries according to regulations on foreign cooperation and investment in education).
- Doctoral programs shall be formulated, appraised, and promulgated in compliance with the requirements of the Vietnamese Qualifications Framework and regulations on training program standards of the Ministry of Education and Training.
- Scientific research shall be a primary and compulsory component of doctoral programs according to the requirements of each field of training and academic discipline. Research outcomes must be presented in doctoral dissertations and relevant scientific publications of postgraduate students.
- The minimum study load of 90 credits for Ph.D. candidates with a master’s degree and 120 credits for Ph.D. candidates with a bachelor’s degree.
- The standard duration of a doctoral program shall range from 03 years (36 months) for students with a master’s degree to 04 years (48 months) for those with a bachelor’s program; Each postgraduate student must have a study and research plan that spans the entire standard program duration and is approved in conjunction with the postgraduate admissions decision. (made using the form in Appendix I).
- Every postgraduate student may complete their programs no more than one year (12 months) earlier or later than their defined study and research plan, but the total duration of study shall not exceed six years (72 months) from the time the postgraduate admissions decision is in effect until the time the dissertation is submitted to the University (before the independent defense and establishment of the dissertation examination committee of their training institution).
- Doctoral programs shall be offered in the full-time mode of study; postgraduate students must spend adequate study and research time at the University in accordance with approved plans; the full-time mode of study requires enrollment in 30 credits per year.
- Requirements for instructors of doctoral programs:
a) Be Vietnamese citizens or foreign citizens meeting the requirements in Clause 1 Article 54 of the Law on Higher Education (amended in 2018) and other relevant law provisions;
b) Hold the title of professor or associate professor or Doctor of Science degree or doctorate in a specialization suitable for units of study and subjects (hereinafter collectively referred to as “units of study”) that they are in charge of;
c) Have foreign language skills and the ability to use information technology in teaching, research, and international exchange and cooperation in the doctoral program’s specialized areas.
- Additional requirements for persons without the title of professor or associate professor:
a) Have taught undergraduate or master’s programs for at least 01 year (12 months) since they were awarded a doctorate;
b) Within 05 years (60 months) before they are assigned to teach in a doctoral program, they publish 02 scientific papers and/or articles in publications assigned at least 0,75 point by the State Council for Professorship as the first author or corresponding author; or 01 monograph distributed by Vietnamese and international publishers or 01 chapter of a reference book distributed by the international publisher as the author or co-author (hereinafter collectively referred to as “main author”), and their publications must be related to the program’s specialization;
- The primary supervisor, secondary supervisor, and independent supervisor must meet the standards for doctoral program instructors outlined in Article 4 of this Regulation.
- Within 05 years (60 months) before issuance of the decision on Ph.D. student recognition, the primary supervisor, independent supervisor, the co-supervisor (if the primary and secondary ones are not differentiated) must produce more research outcomes on a specialized area related to the topic of the dissertation that they will provide instructions for. To be specific:
a) be the main author of a scientific conference report/ scientific article published in a publication included in the Web of Science or Scopus List (hereinafter collectively referred to as “WoS/Scopus List”) or a chapter of a reference book distributed by a reputable international publisher, or an article published on a Vietnamese academic journal assigned at least 0,75 point by the State Council for Professorship, or a monograph distributed by a reputable Vietnamese or international publisher; the publication must earn at least 4,0 points in total according to maximum score stipulated by the State Council for Professorship for each type of project (points shall not be distributed when there are co-authors); or
b) be the author or co-author of at least 01 result of a scientific or technological research or application registered and awarded a national or international patent; or at least 01 official award of a national or international competition recognized by the competent authority for the fields of arts, physical training, and sports.
- Each PhD student may have one or two supervisors, one of whom must be full-time or have a teaching/scientific research contract with the University as prescribed by law; work full-time at the University for a contract term appropriate to the Ph.D. student’s study and research plan.
- Duties and rights of instructors of doctoral programs are provided in regulations of Articles 55 and 58 of the Law on Higher Education (amended in 2018), training institution regulations, and relevant law provisions.
- A professor title holder may independently provide supervision for no more than 07 Ph.D. students; a holder of the associate professor title or a Doctor of Science degree may independently provide supervision for no more than 05 Ph.D. students; and a doctorate holder may independently provide supervision for no more than 03 Ph.D. students simultaneously. Co-supervision of a Ph.D. student shall be equivalent to independent supervision of 0,5 Ph.D. student.
- Responsibilities of supervisors:
a) Annually approve the student’s study and research plan; instruct, support, evaluate, supervise, and expedite study and research conducted by Ph.D. students in accordance with approved plans;
b) Propose or give opinions on changes made to the study and research plans;
c) Propose that the Ph.D. student deliver dissertation defenses at College dissertation examination committees and dissertation defenses at University dissertation examination committees.
d) Perform other duties and exercise other powers according to University Regulations.
- General requirements for applicants:
a) Hold a master’s degree or bachelor’s degree classified as good or higher in a suitable academic discipline or a qualification equivalent to level 7 of the Vietnamese Qualifications Framework in some special academic disciplines suitable for the field of the target doctoral program;
b) Meet admission requirements of training program standards promulgated by the Ministry of Education and Training and of the target doctoral program;
c) Have research experience evidenced by a master’s dissertation of a research-oriented training program; or a published scientific report or article; or working for at least 02 years (24 months) as a lecturer or researcher of a training institution or scientific and technological organization;
d) Have a draft research outline and draft course-wise study and research plan.
- Vietnamese applicants must meet foreign language requirements as evidenced by any of the following degrees and certificates:
a) A bachelor’s degree or higher awarded by a foreign training institution, Vietnamese branch of a foreign training institution or Vietnamese training institution to learners of a full-time program taught in a foreign language;
b) A bachelor’s degree in a foreign language awarded by a Vietnamese training institution;
c) Any of the foreign language proficiency certificates mentioned in Appendix II of this Regulation that is unexpired on the application date or any other foreign language proficiency certificate equivalent to level 4 of Vietnam’s language proficiency framework announced by the Ministry of Education and Training.
- The admission can be implemented once or more times per year if the quality assurance conditions for doctoral programs are met in accordance with existing regulations.
- Admission methods include admission without examination, which ensures a transparent, fair, impartial, and honest assessment of applicants’ knowledge and capacity. When the University meets the quality assurance requirements for in-person admission, it may organize online admission.
- The admission announcement shall be published on their websites at least 30 working days before the application period begins, and it must include information on eligibility requirements, academic discipline, and suitable specialized requirements; admission quota; application content, admission plan, result announcement time, and enrolment time; tuition, tuition reduction, exemption, and assistance for Ph.D. students during their study (if any), and other necessary information.
- During admission, the University shall perform internal inspection and supervision as per existing regulations.
- A Ph.D. student recognition decision must include the following details: the student’s name, academic discipline, provisional dissertation topic, supervisor or co-supervisor, home institution, length of study, and study and research plan.
- The Admission Department and related units 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 Ph.D. student recognition.
- Doctoral programs shall be provided in the full-time mode of study according to regulations in Clause 3 Article 3 of this Regulation at VinUni, excluding some surveys, research, experimenting, and online training activities that may take place off-campus.
- Colleges may organize classes and assessments of units of study online or online in combination with offline when they meet existing requirements for the application of information technology in online training management and organization; and have solutions to ensure that the quality of these classes is not lower than that of offline classes.
- Assessment and grading in doctoral programs may be carried out in compliance with the academic regulations governing undergraduate programs.
- Colleges and the Office of University Registrar shall stipulate the learning and research activities of Ph.D. students; schedules, locations, and methods; methods for assessment and grading, and other relevant regulations concerning the organization of doctoral program provision.
- Ph.D. students and their supervisors may propose changes to the dissertation topic, addition of another supervisor, change of supervisor, change of home College, and transfer to another College. These changes shall entail a revision of the study and research plan to ensure that the training duration complies with regulations in Article 3 of this Regulation.
- Ph.D. students will be forced to suspend from VinUni in any of the following cases:
a) Fail to complete their programs within the time limits set out in Clause 1 and Clause 2 Article 3 of this Regulation;
b) Commit a grave violation against regulations on responsibilities of Ph.D. students or regulations of law as concluded by a specialized council or competent authority;
c) Commit a violation against the regulations of VinUni that results in expulsion.
- The Colleges and Office of University Registrar regulate for the following matters:
a) Change to the dissertation topic, the addition of another supervisor or change of supervisor, change of home College and transfer to another College;
b) Reduction or extension of study and research time of Ph.D. students; cases resulting in expulsion and expulsion procedures.
- Study and research results accumulated by a Ph.D. student in a doctoral program may be retained and considered for recognition and transfer in any of the following cases:
a) The Ph.D. 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;
b) The Ph.D. student transfers to another discipline or the Colleges;
c) The Ph.D. student withdraws from the doctoral program, reapplies, and is recognized as a new Ph.D. student.
- The recognition and transfer of a Ph.D. student’s study and research results must be conducted in accordance with the training program’s objectives and a proposal from a specialized committee. In the event that the Ph.D. student transfers to a different College or becomes a new Ph.D. student, study and research results representing no more than fifty (50) percent of the total load of the new program may be recognized and transferred.
- The Office of University Registrar regulates deferring time limits, the composition of specialized committees, and procedures for the recognition and transfer of study and research results.
Every Ph.D. student has the following rights and responsibilities:
- Exercise the rights and fulfill the responsibilities mentioned in Articles 60 and 61 of the Law on Higher Education (amended in 2018).
- Formulate and propose detailed study and research plan for each year based on the approved course-wise plan in the Ph.D. student recognition decision, which shall include a plan for working and reporting to the supervisor; follow the plans approved by the supervisor and the College; report on study and research progress and results to the College on a biannual basis (06 months); propose changes to their study and research to the supervisor and the College.
- Participate in academic activities at the College as a full-time researchers or teaching assistant; participate in research projects and duties as assigned by the supervisor.
- Comply with regulations of academic integrity; ensure that published outcomes are produced from their own research with the support of the supervisor; acknowledge and cite all relevant individuals, groups, and organizations (if any).
- Exercise other rights and fulfill other responsibilities according to VinUni’s regulations.
The College has the following rights and responsibilities:
- Propose the supervisors whose specializations are suitable for dissertation topics of the Ph.D. students
- Approve detailed yearly study and research plans for Ph.D. students; facilitate, support, expedite, supervise, and inspect compliance with Ph.D. students’ study and research plans.
- Organize periodic scientific activities for PhD students; examine dissertations of PhD students; approve proposals for dissertation defense at dissertation examination committee of the University.
- Exercise other rights and fulfill other responsibilities according to the University.
- The Colleges shall examine a dissertation when the Ph.D. student meets the following requirements and additional requirements for each academic program (if any):
a) The student has completed all courses of study in the program;
b) The supervisor or co-supervisor proposes that the draft dissertation be examined by the academic unit;
c) The student is the main author of a scientific conference report/ scientific article published in a publication included in the WoS/Scopus List or a chapter of a reference book distributed by a reputable international publisher, or an article published on a Vietnamese academic journal assigned at least 0.75 points by the State Council for Professorship concerning the student’s academic discipline, or a monograph distributed by a reputable Vietnamese or international publisher; the publication must earn at least 2.0 points in total according to maximum score stipulated by the State Council for Professorship for each type of project (points shall not be distributed when there are co-authors) and be relevant and have a substantial contribution to the research results presented in the dissertation;
d) The requirements in Point c of this Clause may be substituted by evidence of being the author or co-author of 01 result of a scientific or technological research or application registered and awarded a national or international patent; or 01 official award of a national or international competition recognized by the competent authority for the fields of arts, physical training, and sports; such achievement must be relevant and have substantial contribution to the research results presented in the dissertation.
- Colleges shall stipulate the examination of dissertations at management units to ensure that the examination is of scientific nature and assists PhD students in completing their dissertation before independent dissertation examination and defense at dissertation examination committees of VinUni.
- Dissertations of Ph.D. students must undergo an independent assessment before they are defended by dissertation examination committees of the University. Within 06 months after a PhD student submits the dissertation approved by the management unit, the training institution shall complete an independent examination of the dissertation; for cases requiring a second independent examination according to regulations in Clause 3 of this Article, the abovementioned time limit may be extended by 03 months at the maximum.
- Every dissertation requires assessment by 02 scientists or experts who are not employed by VinUni, are specialized in an area suitable for the dissertation’s topic and meet the requirements for independent instructors mentioned in Article 5 of this Regulation. Independent examiners must not have any interest directly related to the Ph.D. student and instructor; not be the mother, father, spouse or biological sibling, or child of the Ph.D. student; not offer direct professional cooperation or support relevant to the dissertation’s content to the Ph.D. student and instructor during the dissertation formulation process.
- Independent assessment must take place in an impartial and transparent manner. The conclusions of the independent examiners for a dissertation must specify whether they approve of the dissertation professionally. The dissertation will be considered to have passed the independent examination when the two examiners give their approval. If one examiner disapproves, the training institution shall send the dissertation to another independent examiner for their opinion, which shall provide the basis for the decision. If the two examiners do not approve of the professional quality of the dissertation, the training institution shall request the Ph.D. student and instructor to revise the dissertation and perform a second independent examination. Do not perform a third independent examination.
- Information on independent examiners shall be kept confidential from the Ph.D. student and instructor. Independent examiners shall not have contact with or request the Ph.D. student to provide information or explanations for the examiners’ opinions. Any contact with the examiners during the independent examination shall be undertaken by VinUni. All explanations by the Ph.D. student must be sent to the College and presented in the dissertation defense session.
- The Office of University Registrar stipulates procedures for independent examiner selection and collection and handling of opinions from independent examiners; and protection of identities and personal information of independent examiners.
- A doctoral dissertation may be defended at a dissertation examination council of VinUni when it meets the following requirements:
a) The dissertation is a scientific report consolidating the study and research results of the Ph.D. student, and showing that the Ph.D. student is capable of conducting research independently, creating new knowledge that contributes to the scientific knowledge of the research field, or proposing new ideas and solutions for existing issues in the research field under actual circumstances;
b) The dissertation passes independent examination;
c) The dissertation abides by the training institution’s regulations on format, plagiarism control, and academic integrity standards; specify references concerning general research results of the PhD student and references from other authors (if any) and comply with other regulations of law on intellectual property.
- VinUni regulates the establishment of dissertation examination committees and includes the following requirements:
a) Each committee shall consist of at least 05 members; the number of members without a professor or associate professor titles shall not be more than 02 persons and the number of members not affiliated to VinUni shall be at least 02 persons;
b) The committee shall comprise a chairperson, secretary, examiners, and other members, with 01 examiner affiliated with the training institution and 01 examiner unaffiliated with the training institution; the examiners shall not be co-authors with the Ph.D. student in scientific publications related to the dissertation; the committee chairperson shall be a professor or associate professor in an academic discipline suitable for the specialized area of the dissertation’s topic, tenured researcher or lecturer of the training institution; 01 instructors of the Ph.D. student may join the committee as a member;
c) Research capacity standards applicable to committee members shall be similar to research capacity standards for main instructors mentioned in Article 5, and the committee secretary must meet requirements for lecturers of doctoral programs mentioned in Article 4 of this Regulation;
d) Parents, spouses and biological children, and siblings of the Ph.D. student may not join the committee.
- Within 03 months after a dissertation passes the independent examination, VinUni shall convene the dissertation examination committee. VinUni shall decide to organize a dissertation examination session for the Ph.D. student in compliance with the following requirements:
a) Time and location of the examination session and the dissertation’s summary shall be posted on the website of the training institution (excluding cases of confidential dissertation examination);
b) The examination session may not take place if less than 05 committee members are present, or more than 01 member is absent;
c) An online dissertation examination session must be joined by at least 03 committee members and the Ph.D. student; in case of a natural disaster or epidemic or force majeure event, follow guidelines of the Minister of Education and Training;
d) The Office of University Registrar shall prepare for the dissertation examination session; the Ph.D. student and instructor may not contact committee members before the examination session.
- The committee shall vote and resolve whether to pass or not pass the dissertation; request for any necessary revision if the dissertation is passed; propose or not propose reexamination if the dissertation is not passed. The dissertation will be passed if no member or only one member of the committee present in the examination session disapproves of the dissertation professionally. Dissertation examination sessions shall be recorded in writing; online examination sessions must have audio and video recordings, which shall be retained at the training institution.
- The Office of University Registrar shall stipulate dissertation examination, including requirements for Ph.D. students before dissertation examination; procedures for the establishment of dissertation examination committees, standards, and duties of each committee member; change of committee members and procedures for online and offline dissertation examination sessions of training institutions.
- If the dissertation topic is related to a state secret included in a state secret list stipulated by the competent authority, the training institution shall determine the confidential nature of the topic immediately upon issuance of the Ph.D. student recognition decision, submit a report to the Ministry of Education and Training together with evidence and obtain approval of the Ministry of Education and Training in writing.
- Ph.D. students doing dissertation topics determined as confidential must meet general requirements for Ph.D. students; requirements in Points c and d Clause 1 Article 14 of this Regulation may be substituted by internal reports with scientific and practical values in the research field verified by the training institution.
- The Office of University Registrar shall stipulate the organization of training, research, dissertation examination, and management of relevant documents according to law regulations on confidentiality.
- In case a dissertation is not passed by the dissertation examination committee of the training institution in the first defense session but the committee proposes a re-defense, within 06 months after the first dissertation examination, the Office of University Registrar shall decide to establish an examination committee and organize a second dissertation defense for the Ph.D. student.
- Do not organize dissertation re-examination without a proposal of the first dissertation examination committee; do not organize a third dissertation examination.
- The Office of University Registrar regulates the time and procedures for the second dissertation examination. The second dissertation examination committee must consist of at least 03 members of the first committee, including all members who do not approve of the dissertation.
- A Ph.D. student will be considered for qualification recognition and doctorate awarding when they meet the following requirements:
a) The Ph.D. student’s dissertation has been passed by the dissertation examination committee of the training institution;
b) The Ph.D. student has submitted the final dissertation with their signature, confirmation of the instructor, and confirmation of the chairperson of the dissertation examination committee after revision (if any) to the training institution (in physical and electronic forms);
c) The Ph.D. student has submitted the final dissertation with their signature, confirmation of the instructor, and confirmation of the training institution in summary and in full to the National Library of Vietnam (in physical and electronic forms).
- The Office of University Registrar will post the final dissertation in full on the website (excluding confidentially examined dissertations) for 03 months after the Ph.D. student meets the requirements in Clause 1 of this Article.
- After the period of time mentioned in Clause 2 of this Article, the Office of University Registrar shall consider and issue a decision to recognize the doctorate of the Ph.D. student.
- Office of University Registrar shall formulate an application for doctorate recognition and awarding, which includes:
a) Record of the dissertation examination session at the training institution;
b) Decision to pass the dissertation of the dissertation examination committee of the training institution;
c) Record of checking of votes and dissertation assessment sheets with signatures of all committee members present in the dissertation examination session;
d) Written comments and assessments of the instructor; written confirmation of dissertation revision of the instructor and chairperson of the dissertation examination committee (if any);
e) Other documents as per regulations of the training institution.
- The Office of University Registrar shall award a doctorate to the Ph.D. student within 30 working days from the entry into force of the doctorate recognition decision.
- Pursuant to this Regulation and other relevant applicable regulations, training institutions shall:
a) Formulate, promulgate, and implement regulations of their institutions; these regulations must be specific and may provide equivalent or stricter requirements but shall not contradict regulations of this Regulation;
b) Fulfill duties concerning education quality assurance according to regulations in Article 50 of the Law on Higher Education (amended in 2018);
c) Fulfill duties and exercise powers concerning scientific and technological activities according to regulations in Article 41 of the Law on Higher Education (amended in 2018);
d) Reinforce academic integrity; supervise and control anti-plagiarism; develop sanctions, strictly handle violations; ensure the honesty of content of doctoral dissertations evaluated at their institutions;
e) Formulate policies promoting gender equality in doctoral education to contribute to the national strategy for gender equality in education and training;
f) Plan and organize an annual inspection of compliance with regulations on doctoral program admission, doctoral program organization, and doctorate awarding of their institutions;
g) Before the start of each course, disseminate and provide guidance for Ph.D. students on training institution regulations and other regulations related to study, research, and rights and responsibilities of Ph.D. students;
h) Perform internal inspection of execution of plans, programs, training institution regulations, and other tasks concerning admission, training, and doctorate awarding; and be subject to the inspection and supervision of the Ministry of Education and Training and competent authorities as per existing regulations.
- Training institutions shall exercise accountability according to regulations in Clause 4 Article 13 of the Government’s Decree No. 99/2019/ND-CP and other relevant law provisions.
- Responsibilities of Colleges & Office of University Registrar:
a) Complete internal databases and update data on doctoral education to the national higher education database, including information on admission; information of Ph.D. students; information of lecturers and instructors; information on results of scientific and technological activities related to doctoral education; information on doctorate awarding; completed dissertations of Ph.D. students submitted to National Library of Vietnam in summary and in full;
b) Archive dossiers on admission, training process, and degree awarding of Ph.D. students as per existing regulations.
- On the last day of each even-numbered month, training institutions shall submit reports on lists of Ph.D. students who have defended their dissertations and dissertations approved by dissertation examination committees of training institutions in the 02 immediately preceding months to the Ministry of Education and Training (using the form in Appendix III); training institutions shall also submit periodic reports before December 31 of every year (using the form in Appendix IV) and ad hoc reports upon request.
- Training institutions shall publish the following information on their websites before admission and training programs start:
a) Training institution regulations and relevant training management regulations concerning admission, doctoral programs, and doctorate awarding;
b) Quality assurance conditions per existing regulations of the Ministry of Education and Training and other information according to regulations.