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International cooperation activities contribute to capacity enhancement of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics in the current context

(LLCT) - The human resource development on one hand should have an overall and long-term strategic vision; and on the other hand in each period, it is necessary to develop specific orientations, from which to assess the opportunities, challenges, difficulties, limitations and causes... to set development goals and solutions appropriate for that period and the socio-economic context at home and abroad.

1. Theoretical and practical foundations to strengthen international cooperation at the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA)

The cadres training and organization, at any revolutionary stage, have always been the root works of Vietnam Communist Party and the Government. It is just as President Ho Chi Minh once taught: “The cadres are the root of our Party. The success or failure of our cause depends first on the good or the bad cadres”. One of the leading political tasks of our Party in any revolution time, therefore, has been the education, training and fostering the teams of cadres.

Manpower and human resources always play a leading role in the survival, prosperity and development of each country and nation. The capacity, qualifications and experiences of human resources in general and the officials and public servants in particular are prerequisites for the stability and development of our country. The fact that the world is strongly transforming to enter into the Fourth Industrial Revolution era with intertwined opportunities and challenges, extensive development and international integration in all aspects of social life,... has been posing an increasing demand for national policies management and implementation for human resources. This is also an essential requirement for the training and fostering of middle and senior leaders and managers of the HCMA and the provincial/city political schools over the country.

The Vietnamese Party and State have always affirmed their viewpoints of considering people as the center of the development, construction and defense of the country. Currently, in terms of promoting industrialization and international integration, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Digital Age and the Internet-of-Things,... Among the three fundamental factors of institutions, technology and people, the human factor ultimately play a prerequisite for the successful integration and development of Vietnam. Therefore, the high quality human resources development is always considered to play a decisive role in the three breakthroughs of Vietnam’s socio-economic development model transformation strategy; the high quality human resources development in the current context is also an indispensable requirement at all levels, all sectors and all fields, becoming a sustainable development foundation and national competitive advantage enhancement. For the HCMA, human factor has taken a particularly important role to fulfill “the root work of the Party”.

The human resource development on one hand should have an overall and long-term strategic vision; and on the other hand in each period, it is necessary to develop specific orientations, from which to assess the opportunities, challenges, difficulties, limitations and causes... to set development goals and solutions appropriate for that period and the socio-economic context at home and abroad.

The cadre organization and training work are one of the critical components in the human resource development strategy in particular and the socio-economic development strategy in general, for a successful implemention of revolutionary cause on the path to socialism in Vietnam at the moment.

Ensuring human resources is one of the three breakthroughs for industrialization and modernization, successfully implementing the objectives set out in the 2011-2020 Socio-Economic Development Strategy that the State has proposed. That is: transforming from a growth model of mainly in width to a more balancing model between width and depth; enhancing the application of science and technology; boosting the economic sectors and the economy restructuring; increasing the localization content, the added values and the competitiveness of products, businesses and the economy; increasing the labor productivity, saving in use of all resources;…

The 12th Party Congress Documents continuously reaffirm the role and special importance of the cadre work as a core atom component of Vietnam’s human resources in the period of accelerating international integration in width and depth and development of Vietnam.

The 12th Party Congress Documents continuously affirm the important role of ideological and theoretical work in the direction of ongoing innovation. The 12th Party Congress supplement and develop more tasks and solutions as: Continuing to innovate contents and methods; further improving the fighting capacity, persuasion and effectiveness of ideological work in service of implementation requirements political tasks; Promoting the communication and study of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’s thought, the Party’s views and directions, the State’s policies and laws suitable for each subjects; Preventing and repelling the expression “self-evolution”, “self-transformation”; Renovating the organizational model and operational orientation, improving the quality and efficiency of the Party’s theoretical research organization; appropriate investment in construction and development of a contingent of theoreticial officials, especially leading experts; improving the quality of practical review, theoretical research to meet new requirements. Performing in routine the foster and updating of new theoretical knowledge for cadres and Party members, especially leaders and managers at all levels, focusing on the Central level.

The HCMA is the national center for training and fostering of middle and senior leaders and managers; political and scientific officials of the Party, the State; socio-political organizations; chairmans of the corporations and directors of state-owned enterprises. The HCMA has various forms of classes and training programs, which are able grant the degrees such as: the Avanced Political Theory Degree; the Bachelor in Politics; the Bachelor in Journalism, Publishing and Sociology, Organization, Inspection... and Master, PhD Degree in Thereotical Politics, Social Sciences and Humanities. The HCMA, as the national research hub for Marxist-Leninist scientific theory, Ho Chi Minh’s thought, the Party’s and State’s directions and policies; political sciences, is capable of conducting scientific research programs at State-level and scientific themes at ministerial-level and grassroots levels as well as other important scientific themes and projects. Every year, the HCMA conducts research on about 80 - 100 scientific themes in various aspects; participating in practice summarizing for theory supplement and development. The Academy currently has a lot of international cooperation relations in research, academic exchange, experience and knowledge sharing in the training of leaders and managers with nearly 200 international partners in 60 different countries and territories.

The educating and fostering of the ideological stance, training and theoretical research innovation at first derives from the pressing demands of practice in the development process of Vietnam. This is an incredibly glorious and great mission, full of responsibilities but also heavy and challenging, especially in the context of unpredictable changes of the world, global challenges such as security, development cooperation, peace, climate change, environmental degradation, explosion of population... One of the critical tasks of the development strategy of the HCMA in general and the strategy to develop HCMA’s officials, science and international cooperation in particular is the training of the cardes who are both loyal and professional; absolutely maintaining and steadfastly with the ideological stance of Marxism-Leninism; having deep and thorough knowledge of profession, leadership and management skills, planning, implementation and monitoring of policies, strong will, adequate experience, professional qualifications and foreign language ability to integrate in the region and the world.

President Ho Chi Minh, the founder, the leader and the practitioner of our Party, started his career in official training with the first training classes during 1925-1926 in Guangzhou (China) by his teachings: “The cadre is the root of any work. Therefore, the cadre training is the root work of the Party”. The cadre training is an honoured mission that the Party and the State have assigned to the HCMA. The quality, competence, qualifications, skills and moral qualities of cadres are primarily dependent on the capacity, quality and qualifications of researchers and lecturers at the HCMA. International cooperation brings about important supports to the improvement of scientific research capacity and quality in particular and the cadre training and fostering in general. Moreover, in the context of Vietnam’s extensive international integration and the fact that the HCMA is carrying out valuable political tasks of training leaders and managers for Laos PDR and some other countries (including Mozambic, Cambodia...), international cooperation is an urgent and indispensable need to improve the quality of scientific research, training and fostering of officials.

The Strategy for Scientific Activities of the HMCA in the period of 2016-2030(1) issued by the President of the HCMA in February, 2016 has clearly affirmed the goal of striving to 2030, especially the Development Strategy of the HCMA until 2030 and vision to 2045, clearly defined that the HCMA is the nation’s leading center for theoretical politics research with high prestigious status in South East Asia and over the world. The Academy’s scientific research results must be the leading factor, directly serving for leaders and managers training quality improvement for the entire political system; making an important contribution to the comprehensive development of the Party’s theoretical system and State’s policy making. At the same time, the Strategy for Scientific Activities also outlines the roadmap, ways and solutions to achieve that goal, especially the solutions to promote cooperation and scientific association. That is: “Expanding scientific cooperation and association with domestic and foreign partners; with scientific agencies of the Party, the State, Ministries, Commissions, Localities and International Partners in scientific research and summarizing practical achievements with high efficiency; selectively applying the scientific experience and technology of developed countries into scientific activities of the HCMA”. This is an important premise for promoting, expanding and strengthening international cooperation in scientific research.

Scientific research in the context of deeply globalization in all areas from economy, culture, law,... to the mode of governance and management of scientific activities, as well as in an active exchange and cooperation world on global knowledge sharing poses the pressing requirement for strengthening international cooperation in both width and depth in Vietnam in general and at the HCMA in particular.

The Academy currently is still lack of the researchers and lecturers with good foreign language qualifications (especially in English) for doing research, regular updating knowledge and information for their lectures as well as writing papers for publication in the Journals. Among the total number of more than 600 officials working in scientific research and teaching (out of a total of more than 900 officials of the Academy), less than 15% (i.e 90 officials) are trained as postgraduate students (Masters, Ph.D) abroad in the past two decades. In the whole system of the HCMA with about 2400 officials, about 1700 officials as researchers and lecturers, less than 10% (i.e., about 170 officials) have attended postgraduate training courses abroad.

According to an incomplete assessment, only less than 20% of the researchers and lecturers in the Academy (equivalent to less than 50% of the HCMA Headquater) are able to use a foreign language proficiently and to read and prepare lectures based on research in that foreign language. Less than 10% of researchers have published articles in international journals or attended and delivered presentations on international seminars, conferences in English... It is imperative to strengthen international cooperation to improve the capacity, level and skills of scientific research and international integration in the current context of profound globalization.

2. Some solutions to enhance the development of high-quality human resources through international cooperation of the HCMA in the current context

In order to fulfill political mission and mission of the HCMA in the context of powerful, significant and extremely complicated changes of international political life and the socio-economic, scientific and technological development in the world, region and nation, the HCMA needs to study on the implementation of solutions with an overall, synchronous and strategic vision to develop the Academy into a genuinely leading hub for theoretical and political science research and for the training and fostering of leaders and managers for our Party and State.

International cooperation activities of whole system of the HCMA in general and the HCMA’s Headquater in particular have made positive and important contribution to improving the leaders and managers training quality, step by step providing effective and timely policy advice to the Party and the Government on theoretical work, directions, views, guidelines and policies. The HCMA has made remarkable changes in terms of scale, contents, quality, and forms of cooperation with more and more international programs and projects. The content of activities is more plentiful than before, not only research, seminars or fostering knowledge but also a combination of several activities including domestic research, overseas surveys, drafting teaching documents and opening the training courses for professional skills and teaching methods, investing in facilities and techniques. The cooperation results have positively contributed to training and fostering researchers and lecturers of the HCMA’s Headquater. However, to have more contribution to the development of scientific human resources of the HCMA Headquater, international cooperations should focus on the synchronous implementation of some of the following measures:

Firstly, making cooperation through the exchange of research delegations in the form of signing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the fields and research topics of mutual interest. MOU is a fairly common form in the world and region to enhance research cooperation deeply among Vietnamese and international scientists. In practice, implementing cooperation activities to exchange research delegations between the HCMA and international partners, especially with the National Academy of Politics and Administration of Laos, the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China, the universities of the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Korea, France, Germany, Northern Europe... have been contributing to improving the quality and resources of scientific research at the HCMA. Moreover, the exchange of scientific delegations for study, survey or attending a meeting, scientific conferences on issues of mutual concern, or sharing the results achieved by each side are one of the important forms to improve the quality of human resource in science for the development of the HCMA’s Headquarter.

Secondly, cooperating through postgraduate training exchange methods (Masters, PhDs, and Interns). In the past years, the scientific researchers have always been supplemented to meet the political mission of the HCMA in time, training experts and scientists with deep expertise in several areas mainly due to the process of sending officials to attend postgraduate training in advanced countries with the high development of science and technology. However, in order to implement this solution, the HCMA should recruit young officials with strong political ability and capacity, and potentials to develop into good and qualify scientific officials, high proficiency in foreign language, sending for internship, attending Master and Doctoral training abroad with funding from the State’s budget or scholarships funded by international organizations. A special attention should be paid to the training of young officials abroad in the fundamental scientific majors of the HCMA, such as philosophy and political science, leadership and management science, public policy, state governance, laws,... or priorities for some new scientific majors.

Thirdly, international cooperation in organizing scientific research activities within the framework of the global knowledge-sharing program recommended by the United Nations to increase the exchange and study of precious experiences of the international science community. It is necessary to promote a variety of forms of scientific research cooperation under this mode, including the association and cooperation with foreign scientific partners or foreign agencies for development aid to conduct joint research that both sides are interested in, as well as through projects and scientific themes assigned by Vietnamese agencies or the HCMA proactively propose projects and scientific research cooperation programs then invite international partners to join in. In order to implement this solution, it is necessary to strengthen the connection between the officials trained aboard, as well as the cooperation on education, training, and science with international partners and between think-tanks, universities, embassies, and development cooperation agencies with the HCMA.

Fourthly, strengthening cooperation in study delegations exchange, sharing knowledges and experiences among the units in the HCMA in particular, as well as the whole system in general, with agencies, organizations and government, inter-governmental, bilateral, multilateral, academic and prestigious policy consultations in the region and the world; at the same time, strengthening informations sharing and system of documents and academic materials (especially the system of teaching materials, curriculum frameworks, research theory and skills, research and teaching methods of majors such as academic leadership, public policy, governance, international relations, forecasting research, analysis and assessment of strategic security,...) between the HCMA and International leading Institutions for scientific training and research.

Fifthly, forming interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary international intensive research groups and strong research groups including the experienced and reputable scientists and the younger ones with foreign degrees and proficient use of foreign languages ##(especially in English); it is necessary to expand the expert exchange programs, with more focus and priority to invite leading scientists and experts to teach and participate in joint-research programs with the HCMA, while actively sending the young scientists for training and internship courses at prestigious international academic institutions. With this form of cooperation, it is possible to make a relatively complete provision and update of scientific achievements of many countries around the world to the Academy’s lecturers and researchers. It is a relatively convenient and economical method of cooperation but can still bring us a valuable amount of scientific knowledge in a short time.

Sixthly, for high-quality human resources for scientific research and policy consultations, it is necessary to pay a special attention to the contingent development for officials who work in more professional, intensive and modern activities of scientific management and research and international integration, especially with the leading experts. All science majors require leading scientific officials with strong political ideology, and high creativity to develop new scientific ideas, playing a particularly important role in determining the development direction of science majors at the Institutes. The leading scientific officials are the ones to organize, foster, instruct and develop the talents in science at units, to become the core personnels for international cooperation who will make suggestions of scientific ideas for international projects or the leaders of the delegations to attend the international scientific conferences at home and abroad.

Seventhly, fostering professional capacity and foreign languages for researchers and lecturers to meet the international cooperation requirements of the whole HCMA’s system and lecturers and officials of provincial political schools. It is also necessary to complete the regulations with high sanctions and quantification of the criteria to assess the working capabilities, qualities, qualifications and skills in the international environment, meeting the political tasks for lecturers and researchers of the HCMA. For example, it is a requirement to use at least one foreign language to serve for research cooperation, scientific teaching and communication in work; every year, at least, to publish an article in prestigious international journals or the HCMA’s journal in English or making submissions of an articles for international conferences and seminars.

Eighthly, it is a requirement for the cadres working in the science management in particular and the international cooperation and scientific research in general to be equipped with profound professional theoretical knowledge and intensive comprehension of the viewpoints and guidelines of the Party, the policies and laws of the State as well as foreign language proficiency in the context of such a profound globalization process and the exchange of culture, science and technology and global knowledge sharing. Therefore, the HCMA needs a quick improvement of the quality and quantity of officials working in scientific research and science management. The HCMA should establish a tight relation between its Science Strategy, International Cooperation Strategy and the Cadres Strategy in particular as well as the Overall Development Strategy of the Academy.

Ninthly, it is necessary for the Academy to increase international cooperative activities to share the experience and skills of international publications, offerring rewards for the young scientists as an encouragement in time, especially for those with working papers in international prestige journals and publishing houses. Through the enhancement of international publication, the academic ranking and reputation of the HCMA are upgraded and promoted, thereby attracting and expanding international cooperation of the HCMA. The Academy needs to build an international journal specialized in some key areas, such as analysis and forecast the world and regional situation, strategic security; leadership, management, public policy planning and implementing skills,... with the participation of prestigious international scientists and experts in the editorial board.

International cooperation has made significant, positive and effective contributions to the development of the HCMA in past decades and in the current context. The international cooperation should be promoted to serve better for the development of high quality human resources of the HCMA to meet the requirements of reality and the integration and intensive development of the Academy, in compliance with its development strategy until 2030 and vision to 2045. Therefore, international cooperation in the current context not only responds effectively to the implementation of political tasks, but is also flexible and adaptive to the strong changes in the international context; its organization and activities, the contents and modes of cooperation need to be constantly strengthened and renewed. In international cooperation, it is necessary to be dynamic, acumen and proactive in combining various channels and sources, increasing the exploitation of global resources based on the principle of diversifying and multilateralization international relations to serve for the mission of training and fostering for officials and high-quality human resources at the HCMA. The form, content, and method of international cooperation activities must be diversified to suit with characteristics of each partner. The HCMA’s international cooperation strategy in the coming time needs to be built and attached with the Development Strategy of the HCMA in general, as well as the strategy of personnel and scientific activities in particular.

_______________________

Endnote:

Issued with Decision No. 578/QD-HVCTQG dated 24 February 2016 of the President of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. HOANG VAN NGHIA

Director General of International Cooperation Department HCMA

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