Economic development in recent years has shown the importance of the social sciences and humanities, but the number of graduates trained in these fields has failed to meet demand, according to experts.
Speaking at a conference at HCM City’s Văn Hiến University on Saturday (September 22), Dr Hoàng Trọng Quyền, vice rector of Thủ Dầu Một University in Bình Dương Province, said the need had become urgent as an imbalance exists between graduates in technical fields and the social sciences and humanities.
Lê Thu Hằng of Văn Lang University in HCM City said: “The number of lecturers at universities has increased in both quality and quantity, but this has not met real demand.”
Because the number of students choosing to study in these fields is decreasing, there is now a shortage of graduates, particularly ones who have a high level of proficiency.
“Many students who choose this field do not know how they will apply it in the future,” Hằng said, adding that many universities were not devoting enough attention to these majors.
Hằng said that sustainable development should focus not only on the economy and technology, but the humanities and social sciences as well.
Dr Tôn Nữ Quỳnh Trân of the Centre for Urban & Development Studies said that Vietnam’s post-đổi mới (renovation) urban development needs contributions from staff in social science fields, especially in light of urban changes that have affected cultural and social values.
“In the field of culture, cultural heritage, especially tangible cultural heritage, is strongly influenced by urban changes as there is a conflict between preservation and urban development,” Trân said.
Human resources who have competency in social sciences will provide a strong foundation for the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, she added.
Urbanisation has had a profound effect on communities under the influence of land-use changes, as well as local residents, including many farmers who need to shift to another job.
All of these issues require the support of staff in social science fields to ensure sustainable urban development and prevent social disturbances, Trân said.
The conference, organised by Văn Hiến University and Thủ Dầu Một University, discussed solutions to develop human resources for social sciences and humanities in the era of international integration.