2014 VSN international conference: What is a good university?

On 18th March 2014, VNU University of Education (VNU-UED), British Embassy in Vietnam, Vietnam Scholar Network (VSN), UEB’Vietnam Center for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR) jointly organized an international conference - conference entitled “What is a good university?”

Attending to the conference were Prof.Dr. Nguyen Huu Duc - Vice President of Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU); Prof. Tan Eng Chye - Deputy Director of National University of Singapore (NUS); Dr. Antony Stokes - Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom to Vietnam, Dr. Nguyen Duc Thanh - Chief Executive of VSN cum VEPR Director, Dr. Le Kim Long - Rector of VNU-UED, VNU, Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Binh - Rector of VNU University of Engineering and Technology (VNU-UET), scholars from domestic and foreign universities and institutions as National University of Singapore (NUS), Southern Oregon University (USA), New England University (Australia), Vietnam National University, Hochiminh; Hanoi National University of Education; Culture Research Institute (VASS),etc.

In the opening speech, VNU Vice President Nguyen Huu Duc highly appreciated the organizers for their contribution to hold the conference which was practical and significant in the context of Vietnam’s comprehensive innovation of education. Vice President Nguyen Huu Duc hoped that the conference would bring acomprehensive effect, firstly aiming to educators and then to society. Are the issues mentioned and discussed at the conference useful only when they were applied in practice.

Functions and responsibilities of Vietnam education were creating "modern productive forces", said the Vice President. Modern productive forces are not only human resources but also laid in the potentiality of science and technology, physical and intellectual resources. Productive forces should have got compatible "relations of production" and this was mechanisms and institutions.

According to Vice President of VNU, Nguyen Huu Duc, a good university should perform functions of training, research and community responsibility. At the moment, developing a good university is one of three trends of development or the three "sub-revolutionaries". Firstly, it is the revolution in university autonomy. University autonomy was transferring from managing administration to managing vision, objectives and criteria. Secondly, regarding the intellectual revolution, the goal was changed from learning to gain knowledge to learning to have good capacity. Studying is assessed based on the outcome, instead of knowledge; learning activities were not only to gain knowledge but also to apply knowledge to working. The role of learners is change from being passive to being active; the role of lecturers was not only imparting knowledge but also becoming leader and trainer. Thirdly, it was digital revolution. It not only aimed to change the teaching and learning method and applied knowledge to practice but also was a tool of education reform based on information technology.

Prof.Dr. Nguyen Huu Duc expected that the conference, VNU Journal of Science and VNU Journal of Education would publish some articles of domestic and foreign scholars which were presented at the conference. It aimed to creating real influence to educators and society. The VNU Vice President also hoped that the conference was a chance for domestic and foreign scholars to exchange and discuss about research results, thereby contributing to to the development of Vietnam education.

The main theme of the conference was about “What is a good university?” A good education was a foundation of national power. In Vietnam, establishing an education environment for the younger generation is a big challenge.

The conference attracted many domestic and foreign scholars, educators, policymakers, and enthusiastic educators. The purpose of this conference was to share experiences, knowledge, vision and idea of a good university, discussing on what we should and could expect for education development in Vietnam. This was also an opportunity for the thinkers and renovators to strengthen their relationship for a better tertiary education system in Vietnam.

The conference was divided into some sessions under contents: (1) Rethinking about education; (2) Tertiary education in a changing world, (3) research and training in tertiary education, (4) Motivation in creativity for tertiary education.

Scholars attended the conference

Sinh Vu (VNUnet) - Thanh Thuy

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