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Wednesday, 12 February 2020 11:26
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The Academy of Journalism and Communication: Promoting international cooperation to integrate training and scientific research

(LLCT) - International cooperation at the AJC is one of the areas with active development and achieved many significant results in recent years. In 05 years from 2014 to 2019, the AJC’s international cooperation activities have been promoted in both width and depth. International activities were diversified, including all different types of activities: delegations go aboard, delegations come from other countries, training cooperation projects, staff capacity building projects, strengthening facilities, themes for international research and international scientific conferences. International cooperation has played an essential role in improving the quality of training and scientific research of the AJC.

Some highlights in international cooperation of the AJC

International cooperation at the AJC is one of the areas with active development and achieved many significant results in recent years. In 05 years from 2014 to 2019, the AJC’s international cooperation activities have been promoted in both width and depth. International activities were diversified, including all different types of activities: delegations go aboard, delegations come from other countries, training cooperation projects, staff capacity building projects, strengthening facilities, themes for international research and international scientific conferences. International cooperation has played an essential role in improving the quality of training and scientific research of the AJC.

Within five years, the AJC organized 61 delegations go to aboard and welcomed 103 delegations. The Year of 2018 was the year with the highest number of outgoing delegations and the highest number of incoming delegations ever, with over 100 officials going aboard for business, training courses and seminars. Such business trips have provided opportunities for officials of the AJC to expand their visions, exchange expertise and establish a network of contacts with experts around the world. Some projects such as project to send lecturers to intern in Austria in cooperation with the University of Vienna; project to improve the training capacity in journalism and communication in cooperation with the International Cooperation Agency Korea (KOICA) ; project to improve the capacity of training in public administration in cooperation with the Meiji University (Japan) has created opportunities for dozens of officials to accumulate knowledge and improve international integration skills.

The International Training Program for Advertising, Public Relations, and Communication in cooperation with Middlesex University (United Kingdom) was the highlight, showing the depth in the international cooperation of the AJC. The program is conducted under the franchise agreement, in which the AJC organizes enrollment and teaching while Middlesex University develops programs, ensures quality and grants diplomas. Until now, the AJC has had 03 training classes including 01 general class and 02 specialized classes. Activities of the program are increasingly in order, stable and operated according to international standards. The results of student satisfaction survey with this program implemented by Middlesex University in 2018 and 2019 were 64% and 69% respectively.

The implementation of the International Training Program for Advertising, Public Relations, and Communication brings an essential lesson about international commitment, political determination; organizing for the forces of cadres, lecturers; completing the operating system. In 2013, when the first preparatory steps for the international training program started, there were many concerns and doubts about the ability to succeed in this program. The system of management documents, lecturers or facilities was not adequate and did not meet international standards. However, the determination of AJC’s Leaders, along with the aspiration to develop the AJC is confidential to help the AJC to overcome many difficulties to get the current program. To date, the AJC has developed a group of lecturers with specialized skills and abilities to teach specialized subjects in English.

Besides, the International Research Theme’ Communication capacity as the capacity to promote the development of Society’ in cooperation with the University of Vienna and 08 other Universities in the Netherlands, Malaysia, and Thailand was successfully implemented, ensuring the international commitment of the AJC. The Theme clarifies the core knowledge and skills that constitute public communication capacity. It has great significance in improving public communication capacities as in the AJC’s mission to serve the community along with training and scientific research. Through the implementation of this Theme, the AJC has assembled a group of international research experts with different capacities: in-depth research on journalism and media; coordinating international research activities and organizing financial and administrative activities for the Theme according to international requirements ...

Since 2013, the AJC has regularly organized international scientific conferences and seminars to create specialized scientific forums. Some typical seminars include Journalism in the process of Globalization: Opportunities, Challenges and Prospects;The structural changes of Press; Policy Communication: Experiences of Vietnam and Korea; Policy Communication and Social Consensus; Policy Communication and receptive capacity of the public and so on. Every year, the Korea International Cooperation Agency is committed to providing the AJC with funding of about 300 million VND for organizing scientific conferences and publishing books for researching and teaching purposes.

Strengths and Limitations to overcome

The AJC has concretized the guidelines and foreign policies of the Party and the State into specific programs and plans on training, scientific research and enhancing capacity of officials. International cooperation programs and activities of the AJC comply with the Regulation on the unified management of foreign affairs of the Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy (HCMA) and the Regulation on International Cooperation of the AJC. Foreign affairs in recent years have well-implemented for orientations, basically completed vital cooperation programs and activities, creating a solid foundation for foreign affairs in the next period.

In 05 years from 2014 to 2019, the AJC has organized 61 outgoing delegations, including 57 delegations of lecturers with the number of participants of 276; 04 students or PhD students groups with the number of participants of 08. The outgoing delegations focused on fostering professional exchange, research, and implementation of funded themes, projects. The AJC has welcomed 103 delegations with a total of 320 visitors. The delegations from other countries focused on exchanging expertise to improve the capacity of officials, lecturers and to discuss and unify cooperation programs. The AJC has signed 12 Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) and Cooperation Agreements with partners from European and Asian countries such as England, Austria, Germany, China, Japan, Korea, and Thailand ...

Developing the cooperation projects is an essential direction that the AJC has actively implemented in the past years with projects of international training programs, scientific research, capacity development, specialized fostering... Since 2014, the AJC has been implementing 07 international cooperation projects, including 01 international research project and 01 international cooperation training program. The AJC also annually offers a training course to enhance the capacity of leaders and media press managers of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. This training course not only helps professionalize the media press officials for Laos but also contributes to promoting the special friendship between Vietnam and Laos. The AJC also receives and trains Laotian students in different specialties and levels. From 2014 to 2019, the AJC has received 113 new undergraduate students, 43 postgraduate students and granted diplomas to 129 undergraduate students and 42 postgraduate students. At the moment, about 118 Laotian students are studying at the AJC.

Notably, the expansion of international cooperation activities is closely linked to the utilization of external funds and supports. In 03 years from 2016-2018, the KOICA sponsored for 03 groups with a total of 60 officials of the AJC to attend the training courses on policy communication in Korea; in 2016-2018, the European Union (EU)-funded for the AJC’s delegations of officials to study communication capacity in Austria, Malaysia, and Thailand; in 2018, Meiji University (Japan) granted funding of more than 200 million VND so a delegation of AJC’s officials could go to strengthen their research and training capacity for public administration in Japan ... The AJC has strong supports from partners because the AJC is always careful and sincere in fulfilling its international commitments, ensuring that activities are effectively implemented, according to the set objectives.

However, the development of international cooperation of AJC is not in line with the potential and needs of the AJC. It has both subjective and objective reasons, for example, the contingent of officials working on international cooperation is still inadequate in number while the workload is increasing. Simultaneously implementing international cooperation activities and managing international training programs is a challenge that requires very strong determination and serious work of each official. Besides, international cooperation activities have not spread to every single faculty. Some faculties has mainly played a beneficiary role in the AJC’s projects but have not actively participated in and implemented activities.

Orientation to strengthen international cooperation

The AJC strives to become a leading centre for training and scientific research in the fields of –political theory, ideology - culture, journalism and communication in Vietnam; a University with academic prestige in Southeast Asia until 2035 and high rankings in the Asia-Pacific region until 2050. This strategy is closely linked to developing the AJC’s image as a partner with responsibility, commitment, reliability, which attracts prestigious international experts to teach, exchange academic knowledge, attend scientific seminars and collaborate in researching.

Besides, the expansion of international relations network and diversification of cooperation programs in strong areas of the AJC in order to upgrade facilities and improve officials’ capacity are of great significance. The implementation of joint training programs at the Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral levels in the professional fields, following the strengths of the AJC will be a breakthrough measure to approach advanced education models and improve the administration capacity towards integration and modernization.

To improve the quality and effectiveness of international cooperation for integration in training and scientific research, the AJC has determined the following basic orientations.

Firstly, strengthening the leadership and direction of the AJC’s Party Committee and Board of Rectors. It is an essential factor in creating the success in international cooperation in recent years and laying a solid foundation for the next coming years. The political report at the AJC’s 10th Party Congress, term of 2015-2020 evaluated that “international cooperation programs have contributed to strongly promoting the renewal of training programs following advanced direction, developing high-quality lecturer force, creating a new development step for the quality of training”. The leadership and direction of the AJC’s Party Committee and the Board of Rectors has played a particularly important role in the development of international cooperation.

Secondly, expanding international cooperation in the faculties, especially professional and theoretical faculties. Cooperation activities in the field of political theory have not been as exciting, going in-depth as activities in the field of media journalism. Therefore, the development of relations with Chinese partners to exchange training experience, theoretical research is determined to be a meaningful direction. Faculties and Divisions will be encouraged and supported in connecting and developing activities that are appropriate to their expertise and development needs. Each project or key Theme will have 01 Faculty as a specialized focal unit to urge Faculties to not only benefit from common activities but also enhance cooperation capacity through responsible participation. Therefore, the faculty needs to assign a leader to be in charge of foreign affairs and at least 01 official or lecturer who can communicate in English as a contact point to implement international cooperation activities.

Thirdly, developing and implementing key cooperation projects and schemes associated with the mission, functions, and tasks of the AJC. It is a fundamental approach to improving the effectiveness of international cooperation. The success in implementing these schemes is particularly crucial for the AJC in several ways. The schemes are aimed to improve the training capacity of the AJC in general and the teaching capacity of lecturers in particular. Also, these schemes contribute to improving the capacity for coordination, organization, management, and implementation of the AJC’s activities.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Luu Van An

Vice Rector of The AJC

Dr. Vu Thanh Van

International Cooperation Division, AJC

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