Examinees do a capacity test for a chance to enter the Vietnam National University, Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Appropriate treatment and a fair, open, transparent and professional work and social environment are critical to promoting the intelligentsia’s devotion to the national development.

The opinion was raised at a symposium held by the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA) in Hanoi on August 30. The event aimed to recommend policies targeting the intelligentsia to the Party and State.

Nguyen Thuy Anh, head of the international cooperation division at the Communist Review magazine, said an unprofessional work environment has impeded intellectuals’ contribution.

She cited a young intellectual returning to Vietnam from Germany to work as an example. He later had to come back to Germany as he was disappointed at the unserious and amateur workplace in Vietnam.

VUSTA Office Manager Le Cong Luong said the number of intellectuals (with college degrees and higher) in Vietnam has risen five-fold from some 1.3 million in 2000 to over 6.5 million in 2013, including over 118,650 masters and 24,660 doctors.

There are more than 400,000 overseas intellectuals among 4 million Vietnamese expatriates living in nearly 100 countries and territories.

Though a number of policies have been issued by the Party and State to facilitate the intelligentsia’s development, they have yet to prove effective, he said, blaming the low salaries for the group’s lukewarm attitude.

While the initial salary for a graduate at a State-owned institute is slightly over 3 million VND (134.5 USD) per month, the salary of a professor at a university is only more than 5 million VND (224 USD), he noted.

To create a favourable environment for the intelligentsia, wage payment must be reformed first so that they can afford supporting their families, said Nguyen Ngoc Phu, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Psycho-Pedagogical Association.

Nguyen Lan Dung, Chairman of the Vietnam Society for Biology, said aside from higher salaries, the State should provide policy incentives and support for research institutes to build their own workshops so intellectuals can practice and translate findings into reality. In addition, authorities also need to listen to and take in their opinions.-VNA