Annual Hoa Sen University School Meeting 2014

In the trend of globalization, it is undoubtedly that the labor market will have a lot of changes. Specifically, from 2015, Vietnam will become an official member of the ASEAN Economic Community. This milestone will bring a lot of opportunities and also challenges to Vietnamese young workforce.   They compete not only with each other but also fiercely with workers from other Southeast Asian countries at their very “home field”. To be capable of entering this competition, young people have to equip themselves with advanced knowledge, living and working skills  in a multinational environment.

In order to meet the proper demand of society, the topic of “Annual Hoa Sen University School Meeting 2014” held on March 1 pointed out a practical problem: "Developing Students’ Global Integration Competence"

Panoramic view of the Hoa Sen Univ. Meeting 2014

This is an annual meeting of the teaching staff of Hoa Sen University with friends and partners. Besides the attendance of the Board of President, the Deans, the Heads of Departments, the teachers, the staff and the students of Hoa sen University, there was the participation of the guests who have been the precious friends and partners of the University during many past years.

It’s necessary to have "the handshake" between the university and businesses

In this Meeting, Dr. Pham Quoc Loc - Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Cultural Studies of Hoa Sen University made a short presentation about the current businesses’ demands and the integration competence of students. According to Dr. Loc, it's time to create a relationship between businesses-school-students-parents, in which the link of associated training between businesses and the University plays a very important role.

Dr. Pham Quoc Loc presents the businesses’ demands and  students’ integration competence

Agreeing with this view, Mrs. Le Thanh My - Former Deputy Management Director of Ho Chi Minh City Hi-Tech Park, Former Deputy Management Director, Former Director of Training Center of Ho Chi Minh City Hi-Tech Park, said: "Businesses, and employers are those who will use the output of education, and they know that they need what sort of members, and about the knowledge and skills in which graduates are lacking or weak ... So the University should cooperate with enterprises, employers, especially the enterprises which make suggestions on perfecting the training and practice programs as "the academic advisory committee.

Mrs. Le Thanh My is addressing the meeting

Currently, at Hoa Sen University, the students quite closely connected with businesses through two practice periods. In addition , the University regularly invites enterprises and employers to have a talk and give advice of career to the students , and often organizes business conferences, and conducts surveys of enterprise demands ... After Mrs Le Thanh My’s words, Dr. Bui Tran Phuong, President of Hoa Sen University, said: " Next year, Hoa Sen University will consider the establishment of advisory committee on training, or at least, initially, will try to build some consultative committees on training for the Faculties; and businesses and employers will be the key members of these committees. In addition, the University will collect the ideas of the lecturers who have worked for the enterprises, so that the University can improve the training programs to meet the real demands of enterprises".

Language skills: The key to integration

Following is the topic of " Developing Students’ Integration Competence " Dr. Nguyen Luu Bao Doan - Head of International Cooperation Faculty of Hoa Sen University said that language skills is the golden key for student to integrate. Therefore, at Hoa Sen University, besides the national programs are taught entirely in Vietnamese, students are encouraged to learn some subjects taught in English, and participate in exchanges with foreign students... Especially, from 2009 on, the students have to achieve the required level of language before graduation.

Dr. Nguyen Luu Bao Doan presents the students’ global integration competence

 In addition, the training programs of Hoa Sen University has provided the students with communicative courses necessary for them in multicultural, and intercultural environment such as intercultural communication, British-American culture. The conferences in many fields such as current issues, science, education ... held with lectures by foreign speakers have attracted the attention of the students, which  enhances the students’ awareness of cultural issues and global ones. According to Dr. Doan, a student having global integration competence should have language skills and knowledge of multicultural and intercultural environment.

Labor discipline: Indispensable

On the integration capability of students, Mrs. Le Thanh My said that Vietnamese graduate students have educational qualifications, expertise, will and fortitude as good as young men’s ones in the developed countries. However, Vietnamese students have not paid right attention to labor discipline and accuracy. Therefore, many enterprises have complained about the graduates’ unprofessional nature, even some enterprises have to spend a lot of time training them again.

In addition, the issue of professional ethics is also an important baggage that businesses expect a graduate student to have, but until now the University has forgotten or paid little attention to this training for the students. 

The Self and Responsibility

According to Prof. Dr. Le Vinh Quoc, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, Vietnamese students have had a sense of inferiority and not been brave show "the self" in the integration process. They are afraid to use personal pronoun "tôi" when talking with seniors because of being influenced by "hierarchy" culture of the Vietnamese people.

Many guests showed the fact that many students and even teachers still are not accustomed to using the word "tôi" in communication. In other countries,  when students use the personal pronoun "I", the position of students is raised and the distance between teachers and learners is shortened.

On the other hand, Mrs.Bui Thanh Huong - Director of Human Resources of InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel said that the vocative should not be used rigidly but flexibly according to the situation. In her opinion, in job discussion she sometimes needs self-confident members who use the word "tôi", because this shows that they are men of responsibility, the ones "dare to do, dare to be resposible".

Mrs. Bui Thanh Huong – Director of Human Resources of InterContinental Asiana Saigon Hotel shares a thought about vocative

Discussing this issue further , Prof. Cao Huy Thuan said that the vocative means is of culture, and language is a cultural element. So it is according to specific situations and persons that we make suitable choice of communicative language and vocative mode. Prof. Cao Huy Thuan added that students should constantly learn and read books about the cultures; should study about the history, religion, value and customs of regions and countries in order to understand as much as possible what other members think of and how they act in person-to-person communication. Besides, improving writing skills is essential, because this is a very important channel of communication. We should write clearly so that readers can exactly understand what we mean in the message to them. We should also learn how to listen because listening to others is an expression of our respect for them.

Prof. Cao Huy Thuan advises  students to improve the  writing and communication skills

Agreeing with the opinion of Prof. Cao Huy Thuan, Mr. Nguyen Van Vu, General Director of Vietnam Kone Elevator Company, said that graduate students are weak at the skill of writing reports, have not understood the value of the work and have not given feedback at work. Many students have a very good academic performance but lack the bravery to overcome difficulties and ability to adapt to the job...

Mr. Nguyen Van Vu, General Director of Vietnam Kone Elevator Company comments on the students’  ability to adapt to  work 

Dr. Bui Tran Phuong's ending statements with the summary of  all the ideas given by the guests

It’s possible to say that the development of students’s global integration competence is a challenge for our education. The question "Where are we standing and what will we be?" is always a concern for those who are interested in training human resources for the country's future and Hoa Sen University is no exception.

After each meeting, Hoa Sen University realizes its social responsibility, at the same time, Hoa sen University do believe that it will receive the support and share from strategic partners, the friends, and the enterprises who have associated with the University.

By Huu Tri
Translated into English My Hao