The conference was organized upon the initiative of Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan and under the direction of the Government with the aim to evaluate the 5-year investment work as well as to propose the long-term investment strategy for the development of science, technology, education and training at these four institutions. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan and Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong co-presided over the conference. Also attending the conference were Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga; Deputy Minister of Construction Bui Pham Khanh; representatives of Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Finance; Prof.Dr. Mai Trong Nhuan – VNU Hanoi President; Asoc.Prof.Dr. Phan Thanh Binh – VNU Ho Chi Minh President; Prof.Dr. Vo Khanh Vinh – Vice President of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences; Prof.Dr. Duong Ngoc Hai – Vice President of Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, together with various managers and scientists.
In his opening speech, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan appraised the operations of the four institutions from 2006 to now. As for him, the four institutions had promoted the high autonomy; successfully built the model of science, technology and education institutions with a diversified training and scientific research organizing system; well implemented the interconnectedness, creativity and autonomy; timely met the requirements on scientific research and training of high quality and standards, contributing to the industrialization and modernization cause. The scientific research and higher education training of those institutions had been ranked by regional and international organizations, by which two research fields of VNU Hanoi were listed among the top 100 leading Asian advanced universities.
The Deputy Prime Minister affirmed that with the achieved results, investment for these four national backbones continued to be a key point in the next development period. He also asked these institutions to determine the methods of building the development plan with close connections to Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Ministry of Education and Training. He specially emphasized on the coordination with the ministries to perform the shortened plan in the period of 2013-2015 for balancing the demands and classifying the feasibilities. Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Education and Training would be responsible for contributing ideas for Ministry of Planning and Investment to build this plan and submit to the National Assembly for approval. Priority would be put on investment and enhancement of investment effectiveness, giving support to the new financial structures on science and technology of these institutions, which would be enforced after having the Resolution of the upcoming 6th Session of the Party Central Committee.
The four institutions’ leaders made proposals to the Prime Minister on granting them with full autonomy and high self-responsibility in conformity with their legal status. Accordingly, they might pilot the financial autonomy mechanism; test the model of financial allocation and control based on products and the contracts of producing training, scientific and technological products; allocate the budget to pay their staff for products (both quality and quantity); have autonomy and self-responsibility in international cooperation. Also, they proposed on the plan of building at least 6 affiliated research institutes reaching continental standards by 2015 and 15 by 2020, laying foundation for the development of research centers of excellence, creating high-quality research products, providing consultancy to the national policy in the field of science, technology and training of high level; building and developing majors of international standards and progressing to build affiliated universities and faculties of international standards; developing high quality scientific staffs and centers of excellence; ensuring the facilities to meet the requirements of scientific-technological research and training of high quality.
On behalf of Ministry of Education and Training, Deputy Minister Bui Van Ga highly appreciated the initial achievements of the four institutions and hoped the institutions to follow the State regulations on education and training and the two national universities to set higher criteria than other universities. He noticed that some new majors at these two universities did not really match with the State’s list of professions. Therefore, he requested the two universities to open key training majors and be pioneer in science and technology.
Sharing the same opinion about the role and significance of the four backbones in scientific research and training, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong stated that investment for these organizations was essential but capital intensive. In this hard condition of the economy, these institutions should be active and creative in mobilizing funds out of budget to meet the development requirement and defining the order of priority for development investment so as to fulfill the proposed objective programs. He also supported the idea of applying project-based financial mechanism for these institutions.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan concluded the conference by pointing out that despite limited resources and lots of fields needed investment, the Government still spent much more concern to these four leading scientific institutions. Therefore, he asked these institutions to reinforce the cooperation for the effective allocation of the resources and dealing with big challenges of the country. Also, he asked Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Education and Training to coordinate with Ministry of Planning and Investment in planning the investment for Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, VNU Hanoi and VNU Ho Chi Minh. Ministry of Planning and Investment would specify the total budget for scientific research and training, then the four institutions may find most suitable solutions for their medium and long term requirements.
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan urged these institutions to modify the training structure by increasing postgraduate training, reducing graduate training, and improving the quality of lecturers and staff. Especially, the two national universities should promptly and actively form the new regulations corresponding to their roles and positions in training of high quality human resources for the country; promote the high autonomy and self–responsibility, satisfying the demands for peak training and scientific research, gradually reaching international standards and ensuring the State management effectiveness of the Ministry of Education and Training and other ministries, branches and departments according to the law.