Marxist majors wanted in Việt Nam

The job market is tough, and for Vietnamese students, it’s unlikely that non-governmental employers hire based on applicants’ understanding of class consciousness or state socialism.

That could explain why Vietnamese authorities are offering free tuition to students who spend four years taking courses in Marxism-Leninism and Hồ Chí Minh studies.

An armed policeman stands guard next to

An armed policeman stands guard next to a portrait of late president Hồ Chí Minh, founder of today’s communist Việt Nam, and Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin, in Hà Nội on January 17, 2011

Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng signed a decree last month waving university fees for philosophy students who study “communist sciences,” which focus on the teachings of the nation’s founding father Hồ Chí Minh, German philosopher Karl Marx, and Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, the BBC reports.

The new policy also applies to medical students focusing on tuberculosis, leprosy, mental illnesses and surgical science.

In boosting culture, the Communist Party also supports traditional Vietnamese opera and drama students, who will receive a discount on school fees.

Though currently all students take at least three compulsory courses in Marxism-Leninism and Hồ Chí Minh studies, Phạm Tấn Hà, head of admission and training at the Social and Human Sciences University in Hồ Chí Minh City, said his school has been struggling to attract students to go beyond the minimum requirement.

Annual school fees typically range from $250 to $400 at state-backed schools to $5700 at private universities.

Students are bypassing the major in part because of limited job opportunities following graduation.

Competition for employment is intense, and often international companies are seeking out employees for factories and the service industry, not experts in the country’s political ideology.

Việt Nam refuses to abandon its authoritarian Communist regime, yet embraces capitalism in an effort to modernize its economy.

By COURTNEY SUBRAMANIAN 

Source: Time Newsfeed 

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