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Tuesday, 02 February 2016 09:48
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Institute of Scientific Socialism: 50 years of establishment and development

(LLCT) - In 1964, the Management board of the Nguyen Ai Quoc Supreme Party School decided to establish the Faculty of Scientific socialism for the sake of researching and teaching the specialized subject of Scientific socialism, and to render practical service to the theoretical work and training of middle and high-rank cadres of the Party and State.

1. Sketches of history of establishment and development of the Institute of Scientific Socialism

In 1964, the Management board of the Nguyen Ai Quoc Supreme Party School decided to establish the Faculty of Scientific socialism for the sake of researching and teaching the specialized subject of Scientific socialism, and to render practical service to the theoretical work and training of middle and high-rank cadres of the Party and State.

There were only 8 cadres in those early days. Mr. Le Hai An, Deputy Director of the Nguyen Ai Quoc Supreme Party School also acted as Head of the faculty. Most members of the faculty were cadres of the army and other departments, who came to learn political theory in the School and after graduation were assigned to work in the Faculty. Despite the lack in cadres, the Faculty had to undertake heavy tasks of laying the prime fundament for forming a special field of knowledge of important position in the theory system of the Party School. This was the start of the “introductory” knowledge, which were: to clarify objects, concepts, rules and specific methodology of the learning discipline; to clearly understand the relative independence of three integral parts of Marxism - Leninism (which are Marxist - Leninist philosophy, Marxist - Leninist political economy, and scientific socialism), and at the same time to recognize the unity and mutual interaction among these three integral parts. The first curriculum of the Faculty was completed in 1968, addressing the most fundamental and essential issues of Scientific socialism.

In 1975, the country was reunified and the country as a whole was in the transitional period to socialism. The number of trainees of the Nguyen Ai Quoc Supreme Party School increased and many new students arriving to learn were cadres from the South. Formation of the new training programs required that the Faculty should strive to develop both theoretical and practical issues, especially realities in the South. The 9 subjects of the Faculty’s curriculum were increased to 16 subjects.

In 1978, the learning part “History of communist movement and international worker movement” of the Faculty was separated for the establishment of the Faculty of the communist movement and international worker movement (predecessor of today’s Institute of International Relations).

In 1984, the Faculty set up the Sector of “the State and Law” (predecessor of the current Institute of the State and Law), forming the learning part “History of socialist ideology” which has been taught in undergraduate and postgraduate political training systems of the specialized knowledge field of scientific socialism from 1984 to present.

In the period from 1981 to 1985, beside the general training system of the School, the Faculty also opened post-graduate training programs with 52 attending students.

In September 1990, the Faculty of Scientific socialism of Nguyen Ai Quoc School No.10 was merged into Faculty of Scientific socialism of Nguyen Ai Quoc Supreme Party School.

In October 1997, the Institute of Scientific socialism under the Institute of  Marxism - Leninism incorporated into the Faculty of Scientific socialism to form the Institute of Scientific socialism; functions and tasks of the Institute were increasingly supplemented, enhanced, and the tasks between teaching and carrying out scientific research became more balanced.

In October 2008, implementing guidelines of the Politburo and Party Secretariat regarding the Academy’s organization, the Institute for Religion and Belief Studies merged with the Institute of Scientific socialism.

To confirm development of specialized knowledge fields in the Ho Chi Minh Academy, in May 2013, the President of the Academy decided to separate the Center for Religion and Belief to form the Institute for Religion and Belief Studies. After each consolidation and merger of units, the experience and achievements gained in teaching and scientific research of the Institute have been supplemented and developed.

2. Achievements

- Teaching, training and fostering the cadres

Right from the early years of establishment, although the contingent of lecturers, the curriculums and teaching materials were not sufficient, the Institute overcame difficulties and fulfilled the mission of teaching specialized political theory classes (B classes).

The breakthrough development in teaching and training of the Institute was marked by the training of theoretical cadres specialized in scientific socialism at the postgraduate level. By the late 1980s, the Institute had participated in training 6 enhancement (crash) learning classes with over 200 students and 2 post-graduate learning classes with 52 students.

Since 1990, the Institute has started to carry out master’s degree training and post-graduate training pursuant to the regulations of the State. To date, the Institute has trained 20 learning classes of master’s level (of which there was one in-service learning class) with 187 students graduated and 25 post-graduate learning classes with nearly 120 students having successfully earned doctorate degrees. Moreover, the Institute has participated in training many high ranking cadres and high quality human resources for friendly countries, especially the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos, who were trained both in the level of upper political theory and in the level of masters and doctors specialized in the field of scientific socialism.

To train and enhance cadres, generations of lecturers and researchers of the Institute have focused on compiling lots of sets of teaching documents on scientific socialism. Since its establishment, the Institute has made 7 sets of teaching documents solely for upper political theory courses. The cadre of the Institute is the key human force participating in compiling sets of teaching documents on scientific socialism of state standards. Under guidance of the President of the Academy, from 2012 to 2014, the Institute has completed 2 sets of teaching documents for the master’s courses and has formed 2 principal teaching document frameworks for post-graduate courses in scientific socialism and religion studies. Besides, the Institute staff also participated in compiling teaching documents for high-rank officials of the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos and the Republic of Mozambique.

Along with the renewal of teaching contents, the teaching methods have also been innovated by the Institute in a proactive manner, by which students have become “the central objects” of training and the training process has been turned into a self-training one. The monologue method has decreased and the methods of provoking suggestions, exchange of opinions, and putting forth situations have increased to help students more fully and deeply realize the principles of scientific socialism, further elucidating the Party’s creative application in leading the Vietnamese revolution, especially during the renovation period.

In the last two years, many cadres of the Institute have been actively involved in training and fostering strategic reserve officials of the central government.

- Activities of scientific research

With the responsibility of a leading body in specialized research on Scientific Socialism, the Institute has always highly appreciated scientific research work, especially on the matters related to the basic categories of the learning subject and on cognition of theory on socialism and the path to socialism in Vietnam.

To date, the Institute has completed hundreds of scientific research of state, ministry, and grassroots levels, including lots of scientific research achieving excellent results and having been compiled into books. Some research such as: “A sketch of history of socialist and communist ideology”, “Some theoretical and practical issues regarding nationalities and relations between nationalities in Vietnam”, “The science on gender - the theoretical and practical issues in Vietnam”, etc, were used for the new framework of training at the Academy.

Along with the task of carrying out scientific research for the sake of teaching, many scientific research of all levels implemented by the Institute have significantly contributed to forming lines and policies of the Party and State.

Since 1991, the Institute has made a proposal for the formation and implementation of the grassroots democracy statute through the research implemented in coordination with the Party Committee of Hanoi: “Implementing democracy in grassroots levels in accordance with the Party’s viewpoints”. This proposal is one of scientific foundations for the Party to issue “the Statute for implementing democracy in grassroots levels” in 1998.  Besides, the contingent of scientific cadres of the Institute are also involved in forming resolutions of the Party’s Central Committee on agriculture, farmers and rural areas; on strengthening and developing the intelligentsia contingent; strengthening the working class of Vietnam in the period of accelerated industrialization and modernization; on ethnic groups and religions, etc.

On the eve of the 11th Party Congress (2011), the Institute had completed the state-level research: “Awareness of socialism and socialist construction in Vietnam” for the sake of drafting the Platform for National Construction in the period of transition to socialism (supplemented in 2011). In 2013, 2014, the Institute completed the state level research “Political institutions in rural Vietnam - the raised issues and solutions of perfection”. The researching results have contributed to the summary of 3 years of new rural building across the country.

Currently, the Institute of Scientific Socialism and other units of the Academy have actively participated in reviewing 30 years of renovation, using it as a basis for forming documents for the 12th Party Congress.

The practice and research achievements of the Institute have demonstrated a close relationship between the basic research and practical application research. The process of deployed research and application in reality has also helped to broaden understanding of the classic arguments and the influence of the principles of Scientific Socialism on life today. Besides, the Institute has also regularly coordinated with ministries, academies, departments, branches, universities and localities to organize field surveys and summarize the problems posed by the realities.

Besides the scientific activities carried out in the country, since 2000 to date the Institute has expanded cooperation relations with a number of international organizations, such as the Friedrich Ebert, Rosa Luxemburg Institute (Federal Republic of Germany), CIDA (Canada), The Development organization of the United Nations (UNDP), etc. The international cooperation activities of the Institute focus on enhancing capacity for women; gender equality; the working class, trade unions and teaching skills, etc.

- Strengthening the Institute

In the past years, facing opposition of hostile forces and the events occurring in socialism of the world, in “the flat world”, in science and technology, the cadres of the Institute of Scientific Socialism have always been firm, and they could convey confidence into lectures and research works, confirming vitality of socialism and Marxist - Leninist theory and development path of the nation.

The Party Committee of the Institute has always been a united collective leading the Institute to complete the assigned tasks. For many years, the Party Committee of the Institute has been recognized by the Academy as a transparent and strong Party Committee.

In cadres organization, the Party executive cell and leaders of the Institute have usually paid attention on training, fostering and planning leaders, managers, lecturers and research scientists of the Institute, having ensured both unity of cadres and legacy and continuation of cadres without any staff shortage, especially in conditions of five times of disintegration and three times of integration (merger) of the Institute.

To date, the Institute has 18 cadres. All these 18 cadres are party members and university graduates, including 5 associate professors, 5 doctors and 6 masters.

With the results obtained in the course of establishment and development, the Institute of Scientific Socialism was honored by the Party and State with such highly valuable awards as a First Class Labor Medal; 2 Independence Medals of the second and third class; prize certificates and 2 emulation flags for the leading units by the Prime Minister; and many prize certificates, tiles of emulation excellence of the President and Party Committee of the Academy to individuals of the Institute. In particular, the Institute has the persons having been honored as the People’s Teachers, Outstanding Teachers, etc.

To meet requirements of the Party’s theoretical work and requirements of staff training and fostering, and scientific research, the Institute of Scientific Socialism has defined that in the near future some of the following basic tasks must be well fulfilled:

First, to fulfill well the task of training and enhancing cadres of all learning programs through training and retraining the Institute’s lecturers regarding professional knowledge, pedagogical methods, professional passion, and political capability and confidence in the future of the nation and socialism. The Institute should strive to ensure that each lecturer could have grounded professional knowledge, bright morality and heart, and be examples to be followed by generations of students.

Second, to promote scientific research through further assignment of tasks and research topics to each cadre according to capability and responsibility; to orientate research to serving specialized professional training, striving to research the topics for solving the theoretical problems put forth on socialism and the path to socialism, contributing to assert the Academy’s position in theoretical works.

Third, to fulfill the two above-mentioned basic tasks, the strengthening of the contingent of lecturers and researchers, who could meet requirements for expertise, is an urgent and fundamental request. This contingent of lecturers and researchers must be well-balanced regarding their age and gender. They must at first promote the now existing cadre contingent and add more cadres from the sources of postgraduate degree training of the Institute and some other bodies; to receive highly qualified professional cadres from central and local agencies, departments and organizations; to coordinate with other units in the Academy for training leading experts or experts profoundly specialized in theory on Scientific Socialism.

The Institute will continuously develop and gain success in the new stage, promoting traditions and indigenous strengths of the Institute of Scientific Socialism, and making use of the leadership and directions of the Party Committee and the President of the Academy, as well as assistance and cooperation of inside and outside agencies.


Assoc. Prof., Dr. Do Thi Thach

Institute of Scientific Socialism,

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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