In Vietnam, vocational school graduates fail to land jobs due to certificate spelling mistakes

Ngoc Huynh

A graduation certificate from the Binh Duong Polytechnic vocational school with the word ‘farmacy’

Many vocational school graduates in southern Vietnam are unable to find a job thanks to an error in their graduation diplomas.

Nearly 100 former students who graduated from the Binh Duong Polytechnic vocational school have expressed their dismay after being refused by many companies that said their graduation certificates have typos.

The school is headquartered in Binh Duong, a province neighboring Ho Chi Minh City.

Most of the certificate holders studied at the school’s branch in the southern province of Dong Nai.

Nguyen Anh H. from Dong Nai said she discovered the error when she took her diploma to a state office for notarization.

“I took a day off from work to go to the school and pay the fee to get the certificate,” she said. “However, the notary office told me that my certificate has a spelling mistake.”

“They said my major should be spelled as ‘Major in Pharmacy Technician’ instead of ‘Major in Farmacy Technician’ like it said on the paper,” H. said.

Unable to believe what she heard, H. then looked up “farmacy” in the dictionary and could not find its meaning.

“I have no idea why the school changed ‘ph’ into ‘f’,” she complained. “I plan to use this paper to apply to work overseas so its English language is very important.”

H. said she paid around VND28 million (US$1,305) for her studies, not to mention the VND400,000 ($18.64) fee to get the certificate.

And H. was not the only one in trouble.

Tran Kim H., 35, also said that the company he applied for turned him away because they doubted his certificate’s authenticity.

“The school’s principal promised us a very bright future after graduation,” H. expressed. “But we were disappointed.”

Even local pharmacies have refused to recruit the graduates thanks to the error.

Nguyen Thi Giang H. from Dong Nai stressed that even a private pharmacy did not welcome her because it was afraid that her certificate was faked.

“F” means “ph”?

When H. and other schoolmates contacted Binh Duong Polytechnic over the issue, its deputy principal admitted that the certificates have an error, but the school could not fix it.

The only possible solution is the school will issue another paper recognizing the mistake and adjust the error on it.

“We didn’t accept the solution and want a new and correct certificate,” H. said. “The school said they will reply after a week but I haven’t got any response since then.”

Meanwhile, the certificate holders were told by Mai Anh Nguyet, the school’s principal, that the error is not a big problem and that they should not be worried.

Talking to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Nguyet said according to the Ministry of Education and Training, conferred certificates cannot be adjusted and the school is willing to issue a paper on the adjustment if a certificate has an error.

Despite admitting the school’s fault, Nguyet said other students were able to get jobs with the certificates, adding that the most important things are their skills and knowledge in meeting the enterprises’ demands.

“Only those recalcitrant students want to make a big thing out of this to discredit the school and its students,” he said.

Nguyet also claimed that the letter “f” in the certificate is just a short form of the letters “ph” so he thought it was not an error.

But he then said that the school “will work with experts to adjust the graduation certificates for future graduates.”

Problems with the title ‘rector’

After learning of the erroneous certificates, a reader named Truong Lan wrote to Tuoi Tre to point out other inadequacies.

According to him, the name of the school was translated as Binh Duong Polytechnic but in the U.K., after 1993 the noun “polytechnic” came to mean an encyclopedic university, so it is not correct to call a vocational school a “polytechnic.”

The reader also showed that language in the certificate is not consistent since the location in the name of the school is written as “Binh Duong” while the location at the end of the paper is “Binhduong.”

In addition, he said only some Vietnamese people have the habit of using “f” instead of “ph,” while British people do not.

“Even when British people have that habit, is it serious to use a short form in a graduation certificate from the national educational system?”

Moreover, another mistake according to him is the word “rector” used in the title of the school’s head.

He wrote that “rector” in English means the head of an institution, a university or a college, so in the certificate, the school’s head being called “rector” was not correct.

Stivi Cooke, who earned a Master’s of Education from the University of Southern Queensland, added more information on how to use the title.

“Rector is from the old custom of religious groups running schools because it means ‘leader’ – today it’s still commonly used by many European universities as it has a strong sense of ‘the best’ so mostly the very best universities or high schools would use it,” he told Tuoi Tre News.

“’Principal’ is equal to ‘rector’ or ‘president’ because it means ‘main’ – the main leader,” he added. “This is used mostly by commonwealth countries (that have a connection to England).”

According to Cooke, “rector” is simply too fancy a word for a practical institution such as a vocational college or school.

“’Rector’ is a very elitist word,” Cooke explained. “There’s nothing illegal about which title the school uses – it’s simply tradition and snobbery.”

Share the news now

Source :