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Thursday, 26 December 2019 11:19
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International cooperation in scientific research of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

(LLCT) - The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics is the national center for training leaders, middle managers and senior officials for the political system; the national center for the study of Marxist-Leninist theory and Ho Chi Minh Thought; studying the Party’s guidelines, policies and laws of the State; doing research on political theory science. In order to perform the functions and tasks assigned by the Party and the State in the new period, together with the comprehensive renovation of the performance, the Academy needs to improve the quality of international cooperation, especially international cooperation in scientific research, so as to improve the research and training quality, making a positive and effective contribution to the country renovation.

The international cooperation in scientific research of the Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy has recently made a progress in improving the training and research quality of the Academy.

The Academy has established a network of international partners including prestigious universities and research institutes around the world. The Academy also has close cooperation in scientific research with international organizations, projects and representative offices of foreign organizations. An example is the cooperative activities between the HCMA and JICA and KOICA such as the organization of the six training courses for the XI Party Congress strategic leaders and managers, international conferences and the opening of the coming training courses for strategic leaders. The Academy also has research partnership in the form of government protocols between Vietnam and some countries.

The Academy also participates in research cooperation projects and academic exchange between the Communist Party of Vietnam and some communist parties and left-wing parties in the world.

The cooperation between the Academy and international non-governmental organizations has also been promoted and getting more beneficial to the Academy.

In addition, the Academy researchers also have active annual participation in international research through various cooperation channels.

The Academy’s international scientific research cooperative activities have become much more diversified and plentiful. Most cooperative contents in the past were proposed by the foreign partners and depended on their funding due to the poor and passive cooperation method. The international cooperation usually takes place in the form of scientific workshops in which a number of foreign experts supported by an international organization coming to Vietnam for business or for study tour, visit the Academy to present a research topic. With the methods of seminars, the Academy cadres have access to new research information, but this way sometimes lead to the situation in which what the Academy’s cadres need is not that the experts have. Furthermore, the scientific conferences sometimes are more formalistic and not include much new content and knowledge.

In addition to the above - mentioned workshop form, there are also study tours abroad mainly invited by foreign partners. Because the foreign partners invited the scientific researchers based on their chosen research topic, the Academy only carried out the task of sending people, which was sometimes proposed by the partners. With this form (which can be promoted only in some sectors), international cooperation is always passive as it depends on the individual scientific staff. These forms of cooperation are meaningful when the resources of the Academy are limited. The most significant limitation is the lack of initiative in identifying topics. The research issues are highly dependent on “what the partner has” and sometimes it is not necessarily what the Academy needs.

In recent times, however, the Academy has expanded other forms of cooperation, such as exchanging delegations, organizing joint research projects, multi-party workshops, and field study programs and inviting foreign delegations to Vietnam for study and academic exchange. Regarding the delegation exchange, the Academy has cooperated with the Lao National Academy of Politics and Administration, with the Central Party School of China and with some Political Schools of Chinese provinces and cities, etc. Regarding the joint research cooperation, the Academy and the Korean partners have organized the 3-year study (2016, 2017, 2018), with one topic for each year. The results are published in books for research and training purpose of the Academy.

Every year, the Academy and the Lao National Academy of Politics and Public Administration organize joint researches based on scientific topics of mutual interest, such as: building a political system, building a socialist rule-of-law state, market economy development, staff training and retraining, etc. About seminars organization, since 2016, the Academy has coordinated to organize 4-side scientific workshops (HCMA, the Academy of Social Sciences of Vietnam , the Lao National Political and Public Administration Academy, the Lao National Academy of Social Sciences) on a variety of topics; cooperating with Russian partners to organize some seminars on President Ho Chi Minh; coordinating with French partners to organize seminars on public leadership and public policy; cooperating with Israeli partners to organize a seminar on the fourth industrial revolution; with Indian partners holding various seminars in India and Vietnam on a variety of topics. In particular, in recent years, the Academy has strengthened coordination with the Embassies in Vietnam to organize seminars and scientific workshops on cooperation and development relations between Vietnam and other countries. In addition, the Academy of Journalism and Communication has organized many scientific conferences on the topic of journalism and communication with partners from Austria, China, Laos, etc.

In addition to the “traditional” method of cooperation of foreign funding and experts exchange, the Academy is increasingly playing a more active role in international cooperation. There are a number of cooperation projects in which the Academy is fully proactive in funding, even the support for partners such as: the project of cooperation in research, propaganda and dissemination of Ho Chi Minh Thought in Russia (with the University of Saint Petersburgh), the project of translating the collection of Marxist - Leninist classics and the Ho Chi Minh’s Thought into Lao, the translation of the Ho Chi Minh works into Lao (with the Lao Academy of Politics and Public Administration), etc.

With the expansion, diversification, multilateralization of international cooperation activities, the scientific cooperation activities with international partners of the Academy gradually become highly planned and active. Specifically, the Academy has proactively made plans, signed memorandums and minutes of cooperation with partners. On that basis, both sides seek funding and other resources for implementation. In practice, the partners have much attention in the cooperation with the Academy. However the Academy only select partners who have high prestige in science to build long-term cooperative relationships, so as to gradually restrict those so-called forms of “cat fishing” or formal cooperative activities.

The quality of international scientific cooperation of the Academy is increasing, reflected in such products as the monographs, references, translation materials, scientific conference proceedings with high academic value. The results of international cooperation have made an important contribution to the quality of scientific research and retraining activities of the Academy, as well as the fostering of the scientific staff. In particular, as the results of international scientific cooperation, some initial policy advisory reports have been obtained, contributing to the provision of scientific arguments for the formulation of the Government and the Party’s guidelines and policies.

 However, the international scientific cooperation of the Academy still has certain limitations and shortcomings. A number of international science cooperation missions have not yet adhered to the focus of the Academy’s scientific strategy and is not closely linked to the research priority. Some memorandum has not been fully implemented. The number of research tasks in the form of protocols or joint research is still small. The cooperation of experts exchange has not been effectively implemented. Some conferences and scientific seminars still have low quality. Overall, the Academy’s international science cooperation is still fragmented and unsystematic. Therefore, in the new period, to improve the quality and effectiveness of the international science cooperation of the Academy, it is necessary to promote the achievements, overcoming the above limitations and shortcomings, at the same time forecasting the international and domestic situation related to scientific activities, recognizing the advantages and difficulties to have appropriate directions and solutions.

In the coming time, the international and domestic situation has the following advantages for the activities of the Academy in general and for the international scientific cooperation in particular:

- The globalization takes place not only in the economic sector but also in other fields; the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution with the outstanding development of science and technology at the center; the world solidarity in solving global problems, especially the regional linkage to facilitate the exchange and acculturation of scientific knowledge.

- Viet Nam’s international integration has become more and more profound and more involved in international institutions to create conditions for scientific and educational institutions, including the Academy. The international cooperation extends to facilitate the acquisition of new knowledge and the conditions for greater academic exchange with scientists and educators around the world.

- The results of implementing the Resolutions of the 12th Party Congress and the 13th Congress in 2021 will bring new vitality to the renovation and international integration. The science and education development is increasingly receiving the attention of the Party, the Government and the society. Along with the national economy recovery and development, the investment in science and education is increasing; the theoretical work is paid more attention, creating conditions for the Academy to well perform the functions and tasks of the national center for training leaders and middle and senior managers of the political systems and the national political theory research center.

- With the history of 70 years of construction and development, through the process of exploring, adjusting and implementing innovation, the Academy has clearly identified the development direction, which is reflected in the National Political Academy Development Strategy of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics until 2030, vision 2045. In particular, the Academy has gradually regained its role and position in the political system and in society and has prepared the necessary resources for the next development period.

In addition, the international context and domestic situation also have difficulties and problems for international science cooperation, requiring the Academy to find ways to overcome, specifically:

- Along with the rise of the globalization process, the strong development of the scientific and technological revolution in the world poses significant challenges to the Academy as a national center for training cadres and scientific researchers. The Academy must well solve the relationship between maintaining the identity of a Party school and constantly innovating to become a prestigious training and research institution in the region and the world. If this relationship is not well-settled, it is easy to move away from the Party directions or become outdated and even backward in comparison with other scientific and educational institutions.

- Although the economy shows signs of recovery, it is still slowly moving. The investment in science and education has increased but not much. As an institution mostly based on the state budget, the Academy still faces difficulties in building and investing facilities and equipment for training and scientific research.

- From now until 2021, the experienced scientific cadres, who were trained in the national liberation war will leave the management position and retire. Replacing the previous generation are the younger officials, mostly grown up in schools, who despite their youth, creativity and high degrees, have little practical experience and challenges. This is an opportunity for the Academy’s next generation of cadres to continue their training and getting more mature, but it is also a great challenge for the Academy in the next stage of development.

Along with the forecast, especially recognizing the advantages and disadvantages, to promote and improve the quality of international science cooperation from now to 2020 and the following years, it is necessary to focus on some of the following views:

Firstly, the Academy’s international cooperation in general and in science in particular must thoroughly grasp the Party’s foreign policies and guidelines and the State’s laws on foreign affairs.

Secondly, the Academy’s international scientific cooperation must closely follow the functions and tasks, closely associated with the implementation of the Academy Development Strategy and the science development strategy of the Academy, to improve the quality of the training and scientific research of the Academy.

Thirdly, with the expansion of cooperation scope and partners, the attention must be paid to the quality improvement and effectiveness of international cooperation, to achieve the real quality and to avoid formalistic cooperation.

Fourthly, in the cooperation, the identity of the Party School must always be preserved, ensuring political and ideological security.

Fifthly, creating the uniformity and unity throughout the Academy in all international cooperation activities in general and international scientific cooperation in particular.

On the basis of thoroughly grasping the above points of view, in the coming time, it is necessary to focus on implementing some of the following solutions to promote and improve the quality and effectiveness of international science cooperation of the Academy:

Firstly, to develop a long-term master plan and annual plan for international science cooperation. First of all, it is necessary to clearly define common externalities of etiquette, diplomacy, and international cooperation activities on training and retraining of personnel and international science cooperation activities. The international science cooperation contributes to the implementation of the orientations and tasks of scientific research as stated in the Academy’s Development Strategy and the Science Research Strategy of the Academy. At the same time, in the detailed plan, there should be specific assignments for units and individuals to carry out each specific activity to ensure the initiative and to avoid task overlapping.

Secondly, along with expanding partners, it is necessary to review and select partners carefully and cooperative content. Along with actively expanding cooperation partners, it is necessary to review and select reputable and experienced partners and fully meet the requirements of the Academy, who definitely not cooperate with those partners only focus on formality, not substantially or the content ways of cooperation are inconsistent with the views of the Academy. With traditional partners, it is necessary to actively discuss to renew the cooperation content and form to ensure the cooperation in nature and in accordance with the needs of the Academy.

Thirdly, regularly review the implementation of the Memorandum and the cooperation program between the Academy and partners. The implementation of the signed memorandum and the cooperation program will greatly affect the reputation of the Academy in the international arena. Therefore, it is necessary to actively review and implement the duties of the Academy in accordance with the agreement, avoiding the situation of signing many memos but not implementing.

Fourthly, continue to diversify forms of international scientific cooperation in accordance with the specific needs of the Academy. In addition to promoting existing forms of cooperation such as: joint - coordinating seminars and workshops, delegation exchanges, inviting experts, etc., it is necessary to strengthen the form of expert exchange, joint research and publication exchange, international publication and international academic forums.

Fifthly, build a global knowledge sharing hub, and at the same time create a mechanism to promote the initiative and creativity of units and scientists. Currently, the implementation of international science cooperation tasks is partly carried out directly by the Department of International Cooperation and some part by scientists or individuals. This mechanism is creating the overlap between management tasks and realization of implementing international science cooperation tasks. On the other hand, because the implementation of international cooperation is still quite fragmented, the ability to concentrate resources for the implementation of cooperation is limited. The establishment of a global knowledge sharing center, a soft and open institution, is necessary to expand the network of cooperation and focus resources on the Academy’s international science cooperation. Along with the establishment of the center, it is necessary to decentralize more units to exploit and conduct international cooperation activities, to encourage and support research groups, scientists to participate and exploit international projects, topics, seminars, etc. with international partners.

 Sixthly, to raise the knowledge level, foreign language proficiency and scientific research skills and methods for the scientific staff of the Academy to meet the requirements of international science cooperation. One of the objectives of international cooperation on scientific research is to upgrade the qualification of scientific staff, but not passively relying on partners to convey their knowledge. On the contrary, it is necessary to determine the relationship between international science cooperation and building scientific staff as dialectical relations: through cooperation to develop scientific potentials and to actively build up potentials and to expand and enhance international relations in scientific research activities. Since then, the Academy needs to focus more on training to improve the level of all aspects for scientific cadres, especially foreign language skills, modern methods and scientific research skills. Thereby, it helps the contingent of scientific cadres to have professional qualifications, skills and working styles in international cooperation in scientific research. In particular, it is necessary to limit the organization of scientific conferences through interpreters, gradually increase and proceed to organize scientific conferences and seminars that participants can fully exchange in English.

Seventhly, improve management skills and international cooperation skills for working staff in international cooperation and scientific management. The contingent of officials engaged in international cooperation and scientific management plays an extremely important role in expanding and improving the quality of international cooperation activities in scientific research. This is the team playing the role of contact, initiating and organizing international cooperation activities. Therefore, it is necessary to actively build this strong team, not only have a high professional level but also be good at foreign languages, especially with skills to organize research cooperation activities such as projects planning skills, skills of organizing large-scale seminars, thematic seminars, skills of organizing survey groups, exchange programs, dialogues,etc. Therefore the international cooperation activities is increasingly developing, contributing to promoting the training and scientific research of the Academy, enhancing the position of the Academy not only in the country but also in the international arena.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Le Van Loi

Director General of the Science Management Department

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