Facing unpredictable and complicated fluctuations, the world is developing and changing rapidly under the new industrial revolution. These changes are exerting either direct or indirect profound effects on almost all walks of life, including higher education. This context brings not only challenges but also many opportunities for universities. Depending on their construal and responses, challenges can transform into opportunities and vice versa. The new industrial revolution is opening up new opportunities for many universities to thrive without necessarily going through existing development processes or observing traditional practices. Instead of sequential quantitative accumulation, universities can make great strides with rapid qualitative transformation. Being a flagship in the national higher education system with its pioneering character and active responses to both opportunities and challenges, VNU is endowed with chances to make breakthroughs and develop in a new period.
This year's annual report is a vivid panorama of VNU’s outstanding highlights in 2020, along with major directions of its development in the coming period, especially in 2021.
In 2020, VNU continued to maintain its stability, successfully completed the goals set out in all fields of work, affirmed the role of the leading university in the country as well as improved its world ranking position. According to the Times Higher Education 2021 (THE), VNU featured in Group 801 - 1,000 best universities globally. Notably, among VNU’s academic disciplines ranked No.1 in Vietnam, Computer Science was included in Group 501 - 600 globally.
Facing heavy impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, VNU actively responded and promptly adapted by establishing a steering committee, promulgating mechanisms and policies to direct, administer, and guide its whole system to operate smoothly and efficiently in the new situation. At times, VNU’s administration, research, teaching and learning all went online. The way and progress of implementing the routine activities could have been changed and adjusted, but the set goals and plans were basically ensured. VNU has had a year of successful student recruitment. The country continued to be honored with nearly 10 international Olympic medals earned by VNU’s talented and high-quality students. Innovative teaching activities have been remarkably promoted in the context of online teaching and learning. The Government continued to entrust VNU to lead the implementation of national-level challenging projects, namely the Vietnam National Gazetteer project, the project of Developing the Vietnamese Studies Learning Resource Centre, the Translation and Promotion of the Quintessence of Oriental Classics project, to name just a few. Almost all the key national-level science and technology projects have been hosted by, or have either directly or indirectly involved VNU’s scientists.
VNU continued to be a destination of many international heads of states, high-ranking officials and politicians in their official visits to Vietnam. In October 2020, during his first overseas trip after taking office, Japan’s Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide, heading a delegation of Japanese senior officials, visited VNU Vietnam – Japan University and delivered a speech to declare Japanese important foreign policies for the region and the world to VNU leaders, faculty and students.
The establishment of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy as VNU’s 8th member university was one of the remarkable highlights in the past year, contributing to the completion of VNU model as a multi-disciplinary higher educational institution. VNU University of Medicine and Pharmacy is to promote the advantages of both VNU’s existing basic sciences and clinical practices.
The year 2020 also witnessed promising progress in VNU construction investment project in Hoa Lac. The National Assembly and the Government approved a larger amount of budget for resettlement, land clearance and the launching of several important structures and projects. Besides, the Government has granted approval for VNU to get loans from the World Bank and Japanese ODA for the construction of many large and important structures.
The afore-mentioned achievements and other successes in the past year were attributed to the efforts and contributions of all VNU’s lecturers, scientists, officials and students. I highly appreciate their contributions and hereby send them my sincere thanks.
The 6th Congress of VNU Party Committee for the 2020-2025 term ended a successful period and opened a new stage of development with new opportunities, promising a thriving and breakthrough development period to meet social and national expectations. The action motto "Creative Innovation - National Responsibility - Sustainable Development" demonstrates VNU's forthcoming persistent development perspective. VNU will focus on implementing such major orientations as comprehensive digital transformation in the entire VNU; persistent expansion of talent and high-quality training, promotion of basic science training in parallel with new training disciplines, increased exchange of international students and search of resources for international assistance; research with valuable products worthy of VNU’s position and reputation, making important contributions to the development of the country; renovation of policies and activities in all fields of work on the basis of a new Decree on VNU to be issued, in which the spirit of innovation and autonomy is to be promoted in the fields of human resource organization, use of financial resources, and training regulations issuance; and building facilities not only for VNU's novel appearance in Hoa Lac but also for VNU’s key structures, including interdisciplinary laboratories, to bring VNU's academic caste to a new height in 2025.
The year 2021 will be a launching pad for subsequent activities in the upcoming 5 years with the goal of turning VNU into one of the 100 leading universities in Asia and one of Top 500 universities globally. This difficult, ambitious mission will only be successfully realized if VNU can take drastic measures and act concretely to create breakthroughs in its institutions, innovation, and facilities. VNU is a unified entity made up of consensus and connectivity of organic structures among its constituents. Therefore, the major goals of VNU can only be achieved when all of its members together with their scientists, lecturers, officials and students share mutual empathy, trust, companionship, responsibility, and determination to work together.
On behalf of VNU's leaders, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the leaders of the Party, the State, the Government, agencies, ministries, sectors and other concerned agencies for their guidance, support and facilitation; and to domestic and foreign partners for their valuable support and effective collaboration to date.
Wishing you all a healthy, happy, and successful new year!
Nguyen Kim Son
VNU Party Committee Secretary, Chairman of VNU’s Board, VNU President