Professors, associate professors and doctorate degree holders who work at tertiary education institutions can continue working up to ten years after their retirement age.

This is part of the Prime Minister's decree guiding the implementation of the Law on Higher Education that was approved by the National Assembly in June 2012.

Under the newly-released decree, which will take effect next month, doctorate degree holders will be able to work for an extra five years after retirement age.

The extra working time has been set at seven years for associate professors and ten years for professors.

The retirement age in Vietnam is 60 for men and 55 for women.

Their labour contracts will be extended if lecturers want to continue working, they are healthy enough and the education institutions want to extend their employment.

The move aims to take advantage of high-quality teaching staff and researchers.

During the extra years, lecturers can leave their jobs at any time and claim their pension as usual.

Beneficiaries, including lecturers and education institutions, welcomed the decree.

Bui Duc Dung, a lecturer from the Hanoi University of Architecture, said that the policy will help universities keep experienced, high-quality staff.

"It is a waste for lecturers to retire when they are still healthy enough and want to work," he said.

However, he noted that lecturers should not hold managerial positions. "They should be with students, teaching and conducting research, so that their experience and knowledge is used more effectively," he said.

Bui Manh Tu from the Electric Power University agreed that the retirement age regulation has wasted resources for years, especially when many universities and colleges face a shortage of high-quality staff.

He said that conducting research required time to accumulate experience, and teaching could provide lecturers with that experience and knowledge.

Until they reach 50-60 years old, they are unlikely to have accumulated the experience they need for further research activities, he said.

Tu emphasised that if education institutions want lecturers to stay on after retirement age, they must ensure proper working conditions and incentives to utilise their capacity.

"High-quality staff can get jobs or work as contributors at non-public universities, organisations and companies who understand their value," he said.-VNA