On December 31st, 2021, the National University Council of Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCM) issued a Resolution approving the Project on Renovating the Operation Mechanism of the VNUHCM-University of Science. Accordingly, the University officially moves to a new development phase in 2022, organizes its operations and is accountable in the spirit of Decree 99/2021/ND-CP of the Government. It defines the mission as a centre for training, research, development and application of science and technology, providing human resources and scientific and technological products to meet the country’s socioeconomic development requirements. The University has been gradually preparing the legal basis, innovating the governance model, improving and accrediting education programs, and upgrading the infrastructure to adapt to the new circumstance.
In the initial implementation of the new operating mechanism, the University faces tremendous challenges in carrying out the mission. Still, at the same time, there are also opportunities to transform for breakthrough development and sustainability. The historical value of more than 80 years drawn from the results of non-stop work and creativity from lecturers, scientists, and learners are the most precious assets of the University of Sciences. These are solid foundations for the University to maximize its existing potential, build an advanced university governance model based on university autonomy, perform the main goal is education and scientific research in basic science and spearhead science and technology.
Over the years, many universities over the world have proposed a third mission besides the mission of training and research, called community engagement, which is the connection from research to commercialization of research output, including a series of research and innovation activities, patents and copyrights, trial productions, technology transfer licenses, product incubations and businesses in universities to business organization, commercialization outside the universities. The University of Science is also not an exception to that transformational trend, especially in training activities and extra-curricular activities that encourage learners and lecturers to be more passionate about learning and research so that spreading meaningful values to the community and society.
FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE…
In 2022, many scientific conferences were held, such as the XIII – University of Science Conference jointly organized between VNU-HCM and the Military Academy of Science and Technology; the Ministry of Defense has received 583 reports with high-quality from national and international research groups divided into ten different sub-committees; International Conference on Physics (Oceanography – Earth Science; Nuclear Engineering – Medical Physics; Applied Physics – Informatics Physics); Conference on GIS and its applications (IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Faculty of Environment), some special issue of Việt Nam Journal of Chemistry (New trends in chemistry and applications). Total funding for State-level and local cooperation projects is about VND 13 billion. In 2022, the University’s scientists published 606 articles in prestigious journals in the Scopus catalogue, including 245 Q1 and 183 Q2. (See more at Science&Innovation@VNUHCM-US (research.hcmus.edu.vn)) One of the notable announcements is the research called “Save the Mekong Delta from drowning”, published in the Science journal, contributing to raising the position of the University of Science in the international arena.
In addition, the units regularly organize cross-country scientific seminars to share knowledge and improve the spirit of scientific research among the University’s students, lecturers and researchers.
…GO TO HIGH ACHIEVEMENTS
At the national level, university students have participated in 56 topics at the Collegiate Scientific Research Award – Euréka organized by Youth Union, in which ten topics had entered the final round (the highest number compared to other units), achieved results: 01 First prize, 02 Second prizes, 02 Third prizes and 02 Consolation prizes. The Physics Olympic team won the first prize in the whole group, the Mathematic Olympic team won the best award in the country, and the Biology Olympic team won third place.
At the world-class academic and scientific research arenas, the year 2022 also marks the achievements of research groups of students, graduate students, researchers, and lecturers of the Faculty of Information Technology, Software Engineering Laboratory (SELab) and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (AILab) participated in 5/6 topics of SHREC 2022. Which, they achieved the highest results in 3/6 subjects. The methods of the research groups at the University have been published together with the methods of other research groups around the world in 5 articles in Volume 107 of Computers & Graphics, Elsevier (group Q1); the HCMUSBurnedTomatoes team has excellently achieved World First Place in IEEExtreme 2022. This is also the ICPC Asia Champion 2021 and will represent Việt Nam in the ICPC International Finals (World Finals ICPC) held in Egypt in 2023.
Research group of Assoc. Prof. Dr Trần Văn Hiếu et al., Biosensor Laboratory of the Faculty of Biology – Biotechnology, VNUHCM-University of Science, the Việt Nam Science and Technology Innovation Award; D.Sc. Trương Lâm Sơn Hải, Lecturer in the Faculty of Chemistry and D.Sc. Trần Thị Như Hoa, Lecturer in the Faculty of Materials Science and Technology, won the Award of Golden Globe in Science and Technology in 2022. In addition, D.Sc. Trần Thị Như Hoa was also honoured to be voted the title of Typical Young Citizen of Ho Chi Minh City in 2022.
FROM A PLACE OF NURTURING TALENTS …
In the achievement series of the International Mathematic Olympic, students Nguyễn Mạc Nam Trung and Nguyễn Tiến Hoàng (Faculty of Mathematics – Informatics) are two of the five students who won the first prize in both Algebra and Calculus. Both are former students of the High School for the Gifted, VNU-HCM, in which Nam Trung was once known for his achievement of a silver medal in the IMO 2020 International Mathematic Olympic when he was a student and also won a nearly perfect score for the competition (29.5/30 points for Algebra and 30/30 points for Calculus). The enthusiastic teachers of the VNUHCM-University of Science and the Gifted High School inspired the students, so they chose the University of Science to be the place to nurture their dreams.
With many innovations in enrollment and career guidance, the VNUHCM-University of Science, has spent more than 2 billion VNĐ on scholarships for high-achieving students who have enrolled on 07 majors serving the goal of national science and technology development and sustainable development. In addition, the VNUHCM-University of Science is also proud to offer 03 full scholarships to 03 students in the southern region who won prizes in the International Olympic in Mathematics, Informatics and Chemistry in 2022; The Advanced Program in Computer Science (APCS) has also set the historic matriculation benchmark of 1001.
Student Nguyễn Việt Phong (Gold Medal in the International Chemistry Olympic) was honoured to be awarded the Second Class Labor Medal by the Country President, student Lê Hữu Nghĩa (Silver Medal in the International Informatics Olympic) and student Phạm Hoàng Sơn (Silver Medal in the International Mathematic Olympic) was honoured to be awarded the Third Class Labor Medal by the Country President.
… TO A PLACE TO EXPAND THE COMMUNITY VALUE
Activities of accompanying students to study well and actively do scientific research are the S-Ideas Student Creative Idea Contest, Student Scientific Research Incubation Program, Student Award for Science and Technology Research; Activities of the Research Bee Club; Students’ works and contributions to the movement activities of the city and the whole country have been recognized and considered as models of the creative movement.
Scientists from the VNUHCM-University of Science, have been implementing 297 projects with a budget of VND 31,366 billion, of which 110 can be mentioned at the University level (34 topics of groups A, B and 76 topics of group C) with an allocated budget of VND 19,645 billion. In addition, the VNUHCM-University of Science, has also been implementing 131 basic projects with a budget of VND 7.2 billion.
Interdisciplinary topics/projects like Protocol with Israel by D.Sc continue to be implemented. Nguyễn Trí Nhân (Faculty of Biology-Biotechnology) chaired; 01 VinIF project by Assoc. Prof. Dr Nguyễn Đức Hoàng (Central for Science and Biotechnology) chaired; 01 State-level project by Assoc. Prof. Dr Tôn Thất Quang and Prof. Dr Nguyễn Thị Thanh Mai (Faculty of Chemistry) chaired; 01 State-level project by Assoc. Prof. Dr Trần Lê Bảo Hà (Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology) chaired. The joint research project “Plant species diversity in Việt Nam”, led by the Faculty of Biotechnology and Biotechnology (in cooperation with the National Institute of Environmental Research of Japan), is being implemented in 2021 – 2026.
A series of lecturers and students were honoured with specific titles, such as:
+ Prof. Dr Châu Văn Tạo received the title of Outstanding Teacher for the period 1982-2022, and D. Sc. Nguyễn Thanh Bình received the Outstanding Teacher Award in 2021.
+ Prof. Dr Nguyễn Thị Thanh Mai has had many outstanding achievements in scientific research, having won the Kovalevkaia Prize in 2021.
+ 03 Lecturers were awarded the Lecturer of the Year 2022 by VNU-HCM: Assoc. Prof. Dr Tô Thị Hiền (Faculty of Environment), Assoc. Prof. Dr Hoàng Thị Đông Quỳ, (Faculty of Materials Science and Technology), D. Sc. Nguyễn Thanh Bình (Faculty of Mathematics – Informatics).
+ 02 Lecturers were awarded for excellent online teaching in semester 1 – The academic year 2021 – 2022.
+ 02 Students were awarded the Outstanding Student in Science and Technology title.
+ The laboratories and lecturers were honoured with the Science and Technology Award of VNU-HCM.
The VNUHCM-University of Science, is always proud of generations of alums and lecturers with outstanding scientific and technological research achievements, making Việt Nam glorified on the World Map in the Field of Science, innovation and start-up from the predecessors who have been the masters of many generations of talents, to those who are engrossed in their chosen path such as D. Sc. Phan Minh Liêm – the first Vietnamese to be honoured fourth times on the honour wall of the world’s leading Cancer Research Institute MD Anderson; Prof. Dr Phan Thành Nam – the first Vietnamese to be awarded the official prize of the European Mathematical Society (EMS); Lê Yên Thanh – Forbes Asia under 30, who refused Google company to return to Việt Nam to start up with the platform he developed as a student called BusMap; etc. In addition, many alums are politicians who have held important positions in the Party and the Country.
There are still difficulties, and there are still challenges. However, the achievements of generations of lecturers and learners are always priceless assets that create sustainable values for the University of Science. That is also the primary happiness of those who have been and now belong to this University.