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The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics - Historical milestones (1949-2014)

Over 65 years of development, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics has made significant contributions to the Communist Party of Vietnam’s pursuit of personnel training and theoretical research, serving the revolutionary cause of national liberation, the socialist construction and the defense of the socialist Fatherland.

The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA) has experienced several name changes throughout its history. During the resistance war against the French colonialists (1949 - 1954), the Academy was named the Nguyen Ai Quoc Party School.  It was renamed the Nguyen Ai Quoc Central Party School while advancing socialism in North Vietnam during the resistance war against the American imperialists and the subsequent liberation of South Vietnam (1954 - 1975).  Thereafter, it was renamed the Nguyen Ai Quoc high-level Party School while advancing socialism throughout the entire country (1975 - 1986), and then later renamed the Nguyen Ai Quoc Academy during the launching of the renewal process (1986 - 1993).  The institution’s name then changed to the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration. From January 2014, it is officially known as the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics.

The numerous stages of building and developing the Academy adhered strictly to the process of successfully implementing the revolutionary cause as launched by the Vietnamese people under the leadership of the CPV.

HCMA enjoys the status of a ministry-level institution. It is dependent upon both the Central Committee of the CPV and the Government of Vietnam, and it operates under the direct supervision of the Politburo, the Secretariat of the CPV’s Central Committee, and the Prime Minister.

The HCMA is the national center for training and developing middle and high-ranking officials in political theory and public administration within the Party, the government administration, and the mass organizations. It is also a national research center examining the theoretical principles of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, the policies and guidelines of the Party and the State, as well as general political and administrative sciences.

The HCMA provides various degree and certificate training programs such as: Advanced Program on Theories of Politics and Public Administration and Bachelor’s degrees in politics.  The HCMA also provides post-graduate education in political and social sciences, as well as other subjects within the humanities.

As a national center for political science research, the Academy focuses on the theoretical principles of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, the policies and guidelines of the Party and the State, and political science. It also organizes scientific research programs and projects at the state, ministry and institution levels. Annually, there are 80 to 100 scientific research projects and programs being carried out at the Academy making significant contributions to the development of political theories and practices.

The development history of the HCMA.

1. Nguyen Ai Quoc – the founder of the CPV’s personnel training and education program (1924-1945).

In December 1924, Nguyen Ai Quoc (one of the pseudonyms of President Ho Chi Minh) left the former Soviet Union (Russia) for Guangzhou, China to propagate Marxism-Leninism and revolutionary guidelines for the Vietnamese workers’ and patriotic movements. He organized training classes for certain patriots in order to educate them with political theories and revolutionary guidelines and methodologies. These classes aimed at contending with the political crisis at the time. Throughout these courses, the students learned the theoretical principles of Marxism-Leninism as well as lessons drawn from the world revolution, and perceived more clearly the social contradictions, the revolutionary characteristics and purposes, and the methods of the Vietnamese revolution. As a result of these classes, patriots from different political organizations were unified in carrying out the revolution of national liberation along the path mapped out by Nguyen Ai Quoc. It proved that Marxism-Leninism and Nguyen Ai Quoc’s revolutionary methods had greatly influenced the Vietnamese workers’ and patriotic movements, which led to the birth of the Vietnamese Communist Party on February 3rd, 1930.

Upon returning to Vietnam, Nguyen Ai Quoc organized various personnel training classes in preparation for the cause of national liberation. The 8th Party Central Congress in May 1941 stipulated: “The work of personnel training has been becoming so urgent that we can’t ignore it for any moment. All the CPV’s leaders must focus on this work”. The CPV opened personnel training classes not only focused on politics but also on military techniques.

The Party National Congress held on August 5th, 1945, decided that “The Party Central Committee must organize special classes for personnel training, basing on the general curriculum of the Party”.

Due to the appropriate methods of revolution, personnel training and the CPV’s ongoing development, the CPV with the support of its 5,000 members succeeded in leading the Vietnamese people to victory in the August Revolution. This victory helped to eliminate the colonial and semi-feudal regime in Vietnam and established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), the first State of workers and peasants in Southeast Asia, ushering a new era of national history – an era of national liberation and socialism.

2. The Nguyen Ai Quoc Party School during the period of the resistance war against the French colonialists and national construction (1945-1954).

After the 6th Plenum of the Central Committee (from  January 14-18, 1949), the Nguyen Ai Quoc Party School was responsible for providing regular personnel training classes, and serving the revolutionary cause as required by the CPV’s mandate. This was an especially important milestone in the HCMA’s history, marking a new stage of development in the CPV’s personnel training. Operating as the foundation of the nation-wide movement of training and learning, the Party School educated staff for multi- level organizations, including professionals and mid-career officials. The school was fully aware of its political duties as well as the revolutionary methods, and was especially focused on educating the cadres in terms of qualities and working manners.

The first campus of the Party School was located in Luong village, Binh Thanh commune, Dinh Hoa district, Thai Nguyen province.

In September 1949, on the first day of the second long-term class in political theory, President Ho Chi Minh paid a visit to the school and spoke with the students. He also wrote down his immortal recommendations in the school’s Golden Book.

In the following years, the school continued to establish many other political classes with lecturers who were top leaders of the Party and the State.

In August 1950, the school moved to Vinh Quang commune, Chiem Hoa district, Tuyen Quang province.

In February 1951, the 2nd Party National Congress decided to endorse the resistance war and promoted the CPV’s development, with the aim of leading the country to total victory. While delivering the Political Report to the Congress, President Ho Chi Minh stressed, “ It’s so urgent for the Party to learn and work hard on the revolutionary ideology, to improve its competency in political theories, and reorganize its structure”.

To implement the Congress’ resolution, on May 31st, 1951, the school created a new course in politics on the ‘historic hill’ – its new campus location where the 2nd Party National Congress had just been held. The course lasted five and one-half months with 222 students, including political and military cadres from both the enemy-held and ‘free’ areas in the North, Center and the South of Vietnam. It was also attended by the cadres who were carrying out the international mission to help the countries of Laos and Cambodia with their revolutions.

From 1952 onwards, the resistance war of the Vietnamese people was becoming increasingly dynamic. Many great victories were earned in terms of military, politics and economy. The French attempted to prolong the war by applying the policy of ‘having the Vietnamese fighting against the Vietnamese’ and sending more troops to Vietnam. In addition, the American imperialists were interfering more intensively in the war in Vietnam. Due to these disadvantages, the war became much fiercer and more prolonged. Meanwhile, some of the CPV’s cadres and members showed negative behaviors, such as being red-tape, ignoring the collective interest, showing their impatience towards the resistance war, and preferring to rely on external aids.  All of these shortcomings seriously affected the revolutionary cause.

In order to change this situation, it was necessary to open a series of political reorientation training courses for the whole Party, armed forces and cadres. In order to meet this requirement, from August 1952 to July 1953, the school continuously opened many training classes in political reorientation with positive results.

Due to the inconvenience caused by the resistance war, the school had to move its campus several times to the districts of Son Dong and Yen Son, Tuyen Quang province. Before moving to Hanoi, the school moved to Dan Phuong, Ha Dong province. There it opened training classes for many generations of cadres from the South.

During this period, the school trained 5,750 cadres for the Party. It brilliantly accomplished the tasks assigned by the Party and the State, and greatly contributed to the revolutionary cause against the French invaders and the liberation in the North in 1954.

3. The Nguyen Ai Quoc Central Party School during the period of carrying out the two strategic revolutionary tasks under the leadership of the CPV (1954-1975).

The school moved from Viet Bac to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. It continued to maintain the responsibility for implementing the policies of the Party and the State on personnel training for the new stage of the revolutionary cause.

On September 7, 1957, the school opened its first long-term course in political theory, starting a new period in its fundamental training in political theory. President Ho Chi Minh attended the opening ceremony and delivered the opening speech. At the end of 1958, a larger and better equipped campus was built based on the decision of the Party Central Committee in order to facilitate the learning and working conditions of the nearly 1000 students and staff members. The HCMA’s current campus was rebuilt on this campus.

After the 3rd Party National Congress on March 26, 1962, the Politburo held a symposium on reforming the CPV’s education in the field of political theory. The Politburo’s Resolution No.52/NQ-TW indicates that “the Party School should concentrate on improving its training by continuously enhancing the combination of theories and practices.”  At this time, the Politburo decided to change the name of the school to the Nguyen Ai Quoc Central Party School.

During this period, the school continuously and steadily developed its work on education and scientific research. The process of the school’s development was to continue to improve its curricula as well as the teaching methods, following the viewpoints of the Party and President Ho Chi Minh. The teaching staffs were supposed to be qualified in terms of qualities, virtues and knowledge in the field of political theory in order to meet the growing demand of the Party and the State. Due to these efforts, thousands of cadres were trained fundamentally at the school in time to serve the construction of socialism in the North and the liberation in the South. It was at this point that many of the school’s alumni went to the South to take part in the war against the American imperialists.

From 1966 to 1975, besides education in political theory, the school also focused on scientific research. The research findings greatly contributed to the improvement of the school’s training quality, and provided the Party and the State with academic foundations to create and organize policies and guidelines.

During this period, the school trained 43,075 cadres for various branches, fronts and localities throughout the country.

4. The Nguyen Ai Quoc high-level Party School in the early period of the transitional development to socialism (1975-1986).

After South Vietnam was totally liberated in September 1975, the Party Central Committee (session 3) held its 24th meeting, at which an immediate task was set to reunify the country and to transition to socialism.

At this stage, some new key tasks were set for personnel training at the school.

The 4th National Congress’ Document (in December 1976) stipulated that “Nowadays, when the country is totally independent and reunified, the construction of socialism requires both comprehensive and intensive tasks in a larger scale. These tasks require the Party to take its special efforts in political theory education.”  

The Party Central Committee Secretariat (session 4) made a decision to establish a branch institution of the school in Ho Chi Minh City to implement the mission of personnel development and training required by the Party in February 1978.

The school carried out a review of its training work, from which valuable lessons were drawn to improve personnel training during the implementing of the socialist revolution.

During the process of training and education, the Nguyen Ai Quoc high-level Party School always remained as one of the national training centers to publicize Marxism- Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’s ideology and the CPV’s guidelines and viewpoints.  The school made great contributions to the improvement of middle and high- ranking officials’ competency in political theory, and promoted the common consensus among the Party members to fulfill the tasks assigned by the Party and the State.

On October 1, 1978, the Secretariat issued the Directive No.54/CT-TW on “the tasks of the Nguyen Ai Quoc high-level Party School in the new stage.” The Party Central Committee specified the fundamental tasks of the school as follows:

- Train and develop the middle and high-ranking officials of the Party in the field of political theory

- Conduct scientific research to improve the quality of teaching at the school and contribute to the CPV’s general political theories.

The Directive emphasizes “Being an important tool of the Party in the field of political ideology and theory, the Nguyen Ai Quoc high-level Party School should be the pioneering force in propagating Marxism- Leninism, fighting uncompromisingly against opportunism and chauvinism, defending the CPV’s guidelines and political viewpoints, and highlighting the CPV’s creative application of Marxism- Leninism in the specific conditions in Vietnam for a series of victories.”

On March 5, 1982, the Secretariat issued Directive No.06/CT-TW regarding personnel development and training in the field of political theory at the Nguyen Ai Quoc high-level Party School.

On June 20, 1983, the Chairman of the Ministerial Committee issued Decision No.163-CT to elevate the training level at the school to graduate and post-graduate levels.

Besides training, the school continued to focus on scientific research, clarifying the theoretical principles of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, and the path to socialism in Vietnam. All of the research results served to improve the quality of training and to provide the Party and State with academic foundations in making policies and guidelines for the construction of socialism.

5. The Nguyen Ai Quoc Academy during the early period of the renewal process (1986-1993).

The 6th CPV Congress mapped out the policy on reforming the country comprehensively with a socialist orientation.

In order to meet the high demand for developing and training middle and high-ranking officials for the Party, on July 27th, 1986 the Politburo (session 7) issued Resolution No. 34/NQ-TW on renaming the Nguyen Ai Quoc high-level Party School into the Academy of Social Science bearing the name of Nguyen Ai Quoc (also called the Nguyen Ai Quoc Academy), which was dependent upon the Central Committee of the CPV.

On October 26, 1987, the Secretariat issued a decision stipulating the HCMA’s functions and tasks as follows:

- Train and develop the CPV’s middle and high-ranking officials in political theory; provide political officials with graduate and post-graduate programs in Marxism-Leninism;

- Conduct scientific research to continuously improve the quality and methods of training, ultimately contributing to the development of the CPV’s policies and guidelines;

- Direct three other regional academies in terms of curricula, teaching and learning methodologies, scientific research and personnel development;

- Train and develop middle and high-ranking officials from Laos and Cambodia in political theory; organize international cooperation in training and scientific research with other academies and Party Schools in brother countries.

To accomplish the functions and tasks mentioned above, the Academy promptly modified its curricula and teaching materials in accordance with the new training objectives and reformed training methodologies to combine learning and teaching activities with these practices. It also focused on enhancing the staff’s competencies by sending them to work in practical scenarios. The HCMA’s facilities and the staff’s living standards were gradually improved. The scientific research was reformed and became closely linked with the socio-economic practices in Vietnam in the first phase of the transition to socialism.

From 1987 onwards, the Academy offered doctoral programs as regulated by the State, and expanded the scale of two-year training courses and master’s programs. Training courses for international students were created within the International Division, specializing on international cooperation and the exchange of experiences regarding scientific research and personnel training.

The number and qualifications of the HCMA’s staff were increased. In early 1989, the Academy had 25 professors and associate professors, as well as 38 staff members holding PhD degrees.

During the early years of the renewal process, despite the economic difficulties and the collapse of the socialist system in the Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries, the Academy persistently pursued the CPV’s objectives and ideals.  These included Marxism- Leninism and Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, both of which were deserving of the status of a training center for the CPV’s political cadres and members to successfully implement the renewal policy as mapped out by the Party.

6. The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics during the period of industrialization and modernization (since 1993).

On March 10, 1993, the Politburo (session 7) issued Decision No. 61/QD –TW on reorganizing the Central Party Schools and renaming them as the Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy (HNPA). The Politburo’s Decision stipulated that “The Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy is dependent upon the Central Committee and the government. It is responsible for training and developing the CPV’s political cadres and conducting scientific research in political theories.”

According to this Decision, the Nguyen Ai Quoc Party Schools in region I, region II, region III were renamed the Hanoi Sub-academy, the Ho Chi Minh City Sub-academy, and the Danang Sub-academy, respectively. The School of Propaganda and Education dependent on the Central Committee for Propaganda and Education was renamed the Sub-academy of Journalism and Communication and dependent upon the Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy.

On June 22, 1993, the Government issued Decree No. 44/CP confirming that the “HCM National Political Academy is an institution that is dependent upon the Government.” The HCMA’s headquarters is located in Hanoi and the other Sub-academies are in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang.

To enhance the quality and quantity of training and scientific research at the Academy in the new stage, on October 30, 1996, the Politburo issued Decision No.07/QD-TW on merging the Institute of Marxism-Leninism Studies with the HCM National Political Academy. After this merger, the Politburo issued Decision No. 67/QD-TW on “the functions, tasks and organizational structure of the HCM National Political Academy.” According to this Decision, the Academy operated as a national center for the CPV’s and the State’s personnel training and scientific research endeavors.

Under the new requirement to boost the renewal process and to successfully implement industrialization and modernization, turning Vietnam into a modern industrialized country in the near future, on July 30, 2005, the Politburo (session 9) issued Resolution No.52/ NQ-TW on “the renewal and improvement of personnel training and scientific research at the Academy.” The Resolution indicates clearly the objectives, points of view and the renewal content of the HCMA’s current personnel training and scientific research.

On May 7, 2007, the Politburo issued Decision No.60/QD-TW on merging the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) with the HCM Political Academy under the name the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration (HCMA).

- On October 22, 2007, the Politburo issued Decision No.100/QD-TW stipulating the HCMA’s functions, tasks and organizational structure as follows

- HCMA is under the Central Committee of the CPV and falls under the direct supervision of the Politburo, the Secretariat, and the Prime Minister.

- It is a national center for training and developing middle and high-ranking leaders, managers, administrative officials and political researchers of the Party and the State. It is also a national center for studying the theoretical principles of Marxism-Leninism, Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, the CPV’s guidelines, the State’s policies and laws, and political and administrative sciences.

On December 17, 2008, the Prime Minister issued Decree No.129/ND-CP, stipulating the functions, tasks, and organizational structure of the HCMA.

According to Article 3 of this Decree, the organizational structure of the Academy includes:

1.         Department of Organization and Personnel

2.         Department of Training Management

3.         Department of Scientific Management

4.         Department of Provincial Political Schools

5.         Department of International Cooperation

6.         Department of Planning and Finance

7.         Board of Inspection

8.         Office of the Academy

9.         Academy of Politics Region I (Hanoi)

10.    Academy of PoliticsRegion II (Ho Chi Minh City)

11.      Academy of Politics Region III (Danang)

12.      Academy of Politics Region IV (Cantho)

13.      Academy of Public Administration

14.      Academy of Journalism and Communication

15.      Institute of Philosophy

16.      Institute of Economics

17.      Institute of Scientific Socialism

18.      Institute of Ho Chi Minh and the CPV’s Leaders’ Studies

19.      Institute of the CPV History

20.      Academy of the CPV’s Development

21.      Institute of Political Sciences

22.      Institute of State and Law

23.      Institute of Sociology

24.      Institute of Culture and Development

25.      Institute of International Relations

26.      Institute of Human Right Studies

27.      Center of Scientific Information

28.      Political Theory Journal

29.      Publishing House of Politics and Administration

The resolutions, decisions and decrees mentioned above have continuously confirmed the status, functions and key tasks of the HCMA in the new revolutionary stage – the stage of comprehensive reform and increased industrialization and modernization.

On January 6, 2014, the Party Central Committee issued Decision No 224-QĐ/TW on the mission and organization of the HCMA. Accordingly, the HCMA is renamed The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics.In order to implement the Politburo’s resolutions, decisions and decrees, the Academy has created a number of projects on comprehensive reform and improvement of personnel training, scientific research, summing-up practices, the quality of staff and material-technical facilities, and meeting the demands of industrialization and modernization, national construction and defense.

The Academy has also expanded its scale of training since 1993. Annually, there are 14,000 to 15,000 students participating in the training courses at the Academy (both intensive and in-service ones).

In addition, the master’s and doctoral programs have been expanded, attracting 200 to 350 students each year.

The HCMA’s scientific research has been improved both extensively and intensively. The Academy has established a Scientific Council, and has mapped out the 10-year scientific research strategy (from 2005-2015) to direct and implement scientific research as required in this new revolutionary stage. There are hundreds of state, ministry and institutional-level projects including: addressing ideological, theoretical, political and economic reforms; renewal of the substance and mode of the CPV’s leadership; socialism and the socialist-oriented market economy; industrialization and modernization; globalization and global economic integration; and building a clean and strong Party. These projects have been carried out at the Academy attracting many scientists both from inside and outside the Academy. The research findings have helped the Academy to improve the quality of personnel training for this new stage, and also provide the Party and the State with academic foundations in making policies and decisions. Moreover, these results have made significant contributions to the success of the renewal cause.

III. Awards

The HCMA has been awarded the honorable title “Hero of Labor” in the Doi Moi renewal period, the Gold Star Order, and the Ho Chi Minh Order (the highest State’s distinction) in recognition of its glorious accomplishments over the past 65 years. The Party and the State of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (LPDR) presented the Academy with the Itxala Order for its active contributions in assisting Laos with personnel training. The subordinating Regional Academies of Politics, including Nos. I, II, III, IV, the Academy of Journalism and Communication, the Academy of Public Administration, dependent units, and many cadres of the Academy have also been awarded high and honorable distinctions from the Party and the State.  

(HCMA)

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