Deputy Minister Bui Van Ga said, “On August 18, we sent a letter to Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy urging them to report the case. We’ve also asked them to submit a proper report describing their doctoral training courses. If there is anything suspicious, we’ll review and inspect the programme immediately.”
Later, Thai Nguyen University, the general administration of Thai Nguyen University of Medicine and Pharmacy, decided to suspend Associate Professor Dam Khai Hoan and set up an investigation team.
Tran Thanh Van, deputy head of the team, said Hoan’s action and statements have seriously damaged the university’s reputation. They have asked Hoan’s colleagues in the faculty, and even students to cooperate with the investigation.
Ga said that more people are trying to get a PhD, while the number of lecturers for these courses is limited. This has adversely affected the quality of the courses. Moreover, an audit showed that many of the PhD theses written in 2013 and 2014 were of low quality.
Concern over the quality of PhD courses in the country was raised after a reporter from Dong Doi News disguised himself as a “customer” and asked Associate Professor Dam Khai Hoan to make a fake medical degree. Hoan agreed to help even though the reporter had said he did not have any knowledge of medicine.
Hoan agreed to write a thesis and several articles for the reporter to be published in scientific journals. Hoan asked for a fee of VND200 million (USD9,500) and wanted the reporter to help repair his stilt house.
After the story broke, Hoan claimed that he only helped people and did not ask for money, but only accepted gifts, which he said was normal.
Dang Kim Vui, director of Thai Nguyen University, said, “This is obviously a trade. It’s unacceptable and we would never cover up such actions.”