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Military Technical Academy improves its position in the world university rankings

In its Development Plan to 2030, vision to 2045, the Military Technical Academy sets to become a leading college of the country in science research, engineering and technology by 2030, to be in the top 700 universities in the world, etc. To achieve that goal, the Academy has been proactively and synchronously implementing a number of solutions to improve the quality of education, training, scientific research, and international integration, improving its position in the world university rankings.

The Military Technical Academy is the leading multi-technical sector college of the Military and the country. The Academy is assigned to train high-quality human resources, conducting research and development (R&D), testing production, transferring advanced technologies and international integration, contributing to the development of Vietnam's military science and technology. Thoroughly grasping and implementing resolutions and directives of the Party, the State, the Central Military Commission, and the Ministry of National Defence on improving the quality of education and training, scientific research, strengthening international integration, and implementing the Project "Development plan of the Military Technical Academy to 2030, vision to 2045", the Academy has vigorously and synchronously implemented solutions on innovation of training content and program; improving scientific research capacity, strengthening the contingent of officers and lecturers, enhancing international cooperation, investing in building technical bases for training and practicing in the direction to become a research college, and operating as a smart school. As a result, the Academy's position on the SCImago rankings has continuously improved. In the result released in March 2022, the Military Technical Academy (Le Quy Don Technical University) ranked 740th in the world, 46 ranks higher than in 2021, 89 ranks higher than 2020. However, this is just the initial outcome, and it should be further promoted and developed.

General Phan Van Giang, Minister of National Defence, in a work visit to the Academy

In order to be in comprehensive international rankings such as QS or Times Higher Education, the Academy still faces many difficulties due to its specific characteristics of a military school, that requires a high level of information secrecy. Meanwhile, the criteria for assessing the quality of these rankings are all based on publicly available information along with a rigorous appraisal and evaluation process. Moreover, the fund for improvement of human potential and the technical foundations for education, training and scientific research has not caught up with the requirements and tasks. Therefore, in order to successfully implement the Project and affirm its position on international rankings, the following solutions are considered for further implementation.

Firstly, importance should be attached to strengthening the leadership and direction of the Party committees and commanders at all levels for the task of developing the Academy in accordance with the model of a researching college, meeting the regional and international levels. In order to successfully implement this work, along with conducting well the work of grasping tasks, nurturing motivations and responsibilities for the subjects, the Party committees and commanders at all levels should continue to lead and direct efforts to push forward programs and plans to implement the Project "Development Plan of the Military Technical Academy to 2030, vision to 2045". In which, emphasis is placed on the concretisation and implementation of the Project's objectives in accordance with the functions and tasks of each faculty, institute, agency or unit; attaching the tasks of each school year with the roadmap for implementing the Project in phases, creating motivation to further improve the quality of training, scientific research and rank in international rankings.

Secondly, promoting innovation and development of education and training in the direction of expanding the scale and improving the quality of training, meeting the goal of military modernisation and the cause of industrialisation and modernisation of the country. Along with improving the quality of training, developing high-quality human resources, meeting the requirements of building a number of forces of the military that go straight towards modernity, the Academy focuses on launching more specialised training directions to catch up with the development of science - technology in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as: IoT technology, artificial intelligence, block chain, 5G radio communication. At the same time, emphasis is placed on expanding the scale of post-graduate training, increasing the research-oriented training programs, improving the quality of postgraduate training, and stick to the criteria of a research college. In order to improve its training result, attention has been paid to regularly reviewing, innovating and updating the content of the training program in the direction of increasing flexibility, ensuring high connectivity between postgraduate and graduate levels; actively applying training programs and textbooks of advanced universities in the world; gradually increasing the proportion of specialised courses taught in foreign languages, encouraging cadets to do research and defend their theses in foreign languages.

Importance has also been attached to renovating and improving the quality teaching methodology and learning efficiency, encouraging self-studying, self-accumulation of knowledge, and attaching studying with doing research. The quality of enrollments, testing and evaluating the cadets has been improved; the standard of graduated cadets of different training programs has been improved, especially in foreign languages ​​and the quality of theses and dissertations in the direction of international publications and research products that can be applied in practice. The Academy has been active in gradually conducting self-assess of its capacity and dual-use training programs according to the AUN-QA standards; striving to complete self-assessment of over 50% by 2025, and over 75% by 2030 of its postgraduate and graduate training programs. It has also been active in making preparation for accreditation of the Academy and the quality of training programs according to regional and international standards as soon as it is permitted by the Ministry of National Defence.

Thirdly, improving the quality of scientific and technological activities. As one of the national key colleges, the Academy has great potential for scientific research, especially high-quality human resources along with a system of basic and well-equipped research facilities and laboratories. Promoting those potentials and strengths, the Academy focuses on planning and building a contingent of staff in the direction of: lecturers are associated with building strong research teams, excellent research centres, and leading scientists. Emphasis is placed on resource structure with focal points and priorities are given to excellent research teams that are determined to develop into national qualified teams, heading towards the development of a number of research groups that are qualified to the international standards. At the same time, attention is paid to building and developing strong scientific directions, harmoniously and rationally combining research fields. Regarding applied research, the Academy has focused on strengthening research activities in the direction of applying technical advances in aspects of weapons and equipment’s maintenance and exploitation, mastering new techniques, improving and enhancing technical features of weapons and equipment; focusing on the tasks of modernising forces: Navy, Air Defense - Air Force, Communications, Electronic Warfare and branches on information security and cyber warfare, command and control, etc. Attention has been paid to scientific consultation and inter-agency development; priority is given to high-end products with potentials for intellectual property and patents. In terms of fundamental research, the Academy has focused on developing basic technologies serving the defense industry, such as: electronic engineering, control and automation, robotics engineering, physical and chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and special construction engineering, etc; paying attention to improving the quality and quantity of scientific publications in prestigious international journals, proceedings and conferences, contributing to the promotion of the Academy’s image and improving its brand.

Fourthly, being proactive in enhancing international integration and cooperation. Thoroughly and effectively implementing the Resolution No. 806-NQ/QUTW, dated December 31, 2013 of the Central Military Commission on international integration and defence diplomacy to 2020 and the following years; the Project "International integration in defence to 2020, vision to 2030", the Academy has strengthened international cooperation in depth and breadth, both in training, scientific research and transfer of technology, especially in the field of strength of the Academy. Emphasis has been placed on strengthening cooperation with enterprises of countries with advanced technology in weapons and military equipment, and having potential for transfer of technology, and human resources training to serve the defence industry. Closely attaching to the real situation, the Academy has proposed the Ministry of National Defence to allow it to participate in a number of scientific and training forums in the region and the world; taking part in projects to procure weapons and equipment for the military; building a network of collaborators, improving its cooperation with leading professors and scientists of prestigious universities in the world; giving priority to international cooperation in education and training, and scientific research with joint publication. The Academy has been active in preparing human resource and making good use of slots of overseas training, retraining and transferring technology. Importance has been attached to sending its personnel to other countries for join research in combination with visiting lecturers at prestigious training institutions, so as to improve the academic reputation of the Academy. In addition, the Academy has proposed to build appropriate environment, mechanism, and policy to develop international cooperation relations and establish a strategic partnership system in the fields that are strengths of the Academy.

Along with focusing on well implementing the above solutions, the Academy has focused on coordinating with the functional agencies of the Ministry of National Defence and the Ministry of Education and Training to issue regulations so that the Academy can participate in external evaluations, consolidating foundation for being accredited as a facility with international standards on quality control. The Academy has requested for more funding to support comprehensive digital transformation; allowing it to participate in the Project "Building and developing open learning resources of higher education institutions" launched by the Ministry of Education and Training; supporting the Academy's Science and Engineering Journal to become an online scientific journal in the SCOPUS database, etc., creating favourable conditions for the Academy to soon achieve the project's objectives and affirm its position regionally and internationally.

Sr. Col., Prof, Dr. TRAN XUAN NAM, Deputy Director of the Military Technical Academy

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