Hanoi University Had A Height Requirement For Its Students; Had To Remove It After Public Outcry

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A university in Vietnam has come under fire for a controversial admission requirement earlier this year for applying a height requirement to of its undergraduate programs.

Female applicants to the Hanoi School of Business Management (HSB) needed to be at least 1.58m tall while males had to be above a 1.65m in height.

Some even argued that only specialised schools such as the military and police have a height requirement due to the nature of their curriculum.

Even then, males only needed to be 1.64m tall while females needed only to be 1.54m in height.

The public has since called out the school for being discriminatory, with Vietnam’s Education Ministry also decrying the move.

“The school must ensure that no candidate loses the opportunity to apply due to regulations unrelated to qualifications and abilities, except for those specified by the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of National Defense,” said a statement.

According to Vietnam’s law, all citizens have equal education opportunities.

To soothe tensions, the fully autonomous university has removed all height requirements except for its Management and Security course, saying, “It is ‘strategic’ for the career of training talents, contributing to the construction and protection of the nation.”

In an interview with a daily in Hanoi, a university spokesperson defended its earlier directive, saying it is simply looking to train excellent leaders, managers, and executives for both the public and private sectors.

It added a caveat that “exceptions could be allowed in some cases”. However, it did not specifically say what they were.

In addition to academics and skills, HSB whose tuition costs between VND 60mil (S$3.1K) to 70mil ($3.7K) a year says they also believe physical fitness and appearance will play a significant role in building the “professional and confident image of future leaders”.

Umm… So what is the fitness requirement?

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