The situation in which state officials buy fake academic degrees and certificates, as well as websites advertising fake deegrees, is still being publicized online.
Recently, public opinion has been extremely upset about the case of Nguyen Truong Hai – who used a fake PhD degree to participate in teaching and guiding graduation theses at a series of colleges and universities in Vietnam in the southern region for many years.
Thanh Nien newspaper on December 8 reported with the headline, “Spend a few million dong, get a ‘real’ PhD degree in 4 days!” The news said, just by typing the keyword “doing a doctorate” on the Google search engine, users will immediately receive more than 76 million results in just 0.27 seconds. There are many advertising websites, publicly offering fake documents.
People who want to make fake doctorates are not only limited to fake degrees from domestic schools but can also get fake doctorates from organizations claiming to be foreign educational institutions.
A question arises, why does Vietnam have a Law on Cyber Security, but the Ministry of Public Security allows such illegal buying and selling of documents and certificates to happen, and it still happens publicly?
It is known that at the questioning session of National Assembly deputies on November 9, 2020, when mentioning the situation of widespread buying and selling of fake documents on social networks, Minister of Public Security To Lam admitted that there are many officials and civil servants in the Party and state apparatus who use fake papers and degrees.
According to Minister To Lam, at that time, all types of documents and certificates, including university diplomas, driver’s licenses, citizen identification documents… could be made in a subtle way that cannot be detected with the naked eye.
The Ministry of Public Security has coordinated with competent agencies to destroy and dismantle many large-scale organizations and lines that make fake documents and certificates. But the situation of buying and selling fake degrees and fake certificates has still been happening openly for many years. General To Lam also promised the National Assembly to resolve and handle this situation.
It has been more than 3 years since Minister of Public Security To Lam spoke on the issue of using fake documents and degrees at the National Assembly in November 2020. But a reporter from Thanh Nien newspaper, acting as a person wishing to buy fake bachelor’s degrees, confirmed that a market for fake degrees still exists.
This market for people who want to use fake documents and certificates to complete their documents and prove their education level is happening loudly and publicly on social networks. A reporter from Thanh Nien newspaper said: “A fake bachelor’s degree costs VND4 million, while a doctorate degree costs VND15 million, and any major or any school can be faked.”
According to Thanh Nien newspaper, there are some things that can’t help but be startling just by hearing them. That is:
“The prices of the PhD degrees for sale are also diverse, the highest is VND15 million while the lowest is less than half, only… VND6 million for a PhD in information technology at Ho Chi Minh City Polytechnic University.” Along with the promise, the customer’s “fake” degree information will be entered into the school’s management system.”
The current situation of Vietnamese officials is that they have long academic titles and diplomas on their business cards, and everyone knows that up to 99% of them use fake degrees, or real degrees that they paid for, or other fake degrees. This type of degree is not accepted in Vietnam.
According to experts, the situation as mentioned above is due to the system of recruiting civil servants, promoting and appointing leaders under General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, which placed too much emphasis on the issue of formalistic qualifications. Because the system requires “this degree, that level,” many people who want to be recruited or promoted have to use fake certificates or degrees.
However, the handling of those who use fake degrees is still not decisive, only a warning, or at most a reprimand. Even like the sale of English certificates at Dong Do University, despite the indignation of public opinion, it became forgotten.
It is known that out of 193 fake degrees issued by Dong Do University, 60 people used these fake degrees, of which 55 people used them to submit applications for graduate student admission or defend their doctoral dissertations. In addition, it is also used for rank promotion exams, civil service exams, filling in staff records, etc.
Former Minister of Education, Professor Pham Minh Hac, in an article published in Nhan Dan newspaper in July 2017, bitterly said: “The sad thing is that the people who use fake degrees are mainly leaders and officials.”
Public opinion questions that people can only use fake academic deegrees for entering and promoting in state agencies but not the private sector or foreign businesses.
So why do Vietnamese leaders let this situation continue for a long time without thoroughly handling it?