RECTOR’S SPEECH: The 15th Anniversary of Tra Vinh University and the 20th Anniversary of Community College Model

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Dear Leaders, Lecturers, Parents and Students

Today, on the occasion of The 15th Anniversary of Tra Vinh University and the 20th Anniversary of Community College Model, it is my pleasure to share the development progress of Tra Vinh University. At first, on behalf of the Rector Board, I would like to extend the best wishes to all of you.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Twenty years ago, with the special attention from the Vietnamese Government and the support from the Canadian Government, especially the Association of Canadian Community College, Provincial People Committee got the grant from Vietnam Canada Community College Project (VCCCP) (2001-2005).

This is a precious opportunity for Tra Vinh Peoples. At that time, I myself was honored to be responsible for building Tra Vinh Community College and human resource training to the developing of the fatherland. The former authorities and I together with other colleagues have worked with the highest responsibility in order to fulfill the five-year project as the expectation of the local leaders and people. 

Fortunately, at the beginning, Tra Vinh Community College got the support and direction from the Central leaders, Leaders of Ministries, Ministry of Education and Training in accordance with the special attention from the local leaders, a lot of projects for training and research have been approved. In addition, the University has got active support from local and international organizations, individuals, especially from Canadians from Canada. From a very far country, they took very long travels to help us to implement the Project. At that time, in a remote area as Tra Vinh, a wide road with a bridge in the middle of the city or an institution for Human resource for the community seemed to be in the dream. 

When we got the mission and came for the survey on this area by small boats; the area was a wild field of grass with slippery and muddy roads especially under the suddenly heavy rains. I myself felt happy and worry as well. At that time, the motivation that helped me to overcome my worries was the College to be built shortly for the demand of human resource of the province to keep Tra Vinh out of a position of the poorest province in Mekong Delta as many people supposed.  

There is a saying that “The thousand-mile journey begins from the very beginning steps” – Tra Vinh Community College started with an insufficient resource and we began studying from many different institutions and universities. Especially, Can Tho University has shared and supported in developing Tra Vinh Community College with a lot of precious experiences. We have made training facility tours, studied the training models, curriculum development, carried market surveys for developing new programs; staff and lecturers have been trained immediately with management skills. IT and research. We had to learn and work at the same time in non-preferable conditions. 

Today, it is unable to be told all challenges, difficulties, the contributions that Tra Vinh University has been experienced and received from many people, many institutions, universities during the past twenty years.

We have grasped the opportunity, overcome the challenges, and got the achievements. The five-year journey of Tra Vinh Community College has been contributed to the brighter and brighter appearance of the province. All becomes beautiful memory in our minds. Sometimes, we should remind ourselves which we have been a witness.

Five years is not a long time but it is so meaningful because thanks to this period of time we are able to go to school, teaching, doing research in a nice environment and well-equipped infrastructure.

The achievement from this period is evidence for the success of community colleges in Canada being adapted into the context in Tra Vinh Community College in specific and to Vietnam Association of Community College in general. This is a suitable model because of its nature of community driven. Tra Vinh is a developing area in the south of Vietnam where there is a lot of potential for exploitation. It is necessary to have high skilled human resources for social-economic development. Tra Vinh Community College is the right orientation for the urgent need of the province.

June 19th, 2006 when Vietnam-Canada Community College finished was also the establishment of Tra Vinh University. This is an important remark for the development of education and training in Tra Vinh. Up to now, Tra Vinh University still maintains and develops the achievement of Tra Vinh Community College.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Although the age of Tra Vinh University is not comparable to other universities that have a long history in the region and in the whole country, the development speed of TVU is somewhat fast and strong. TVU has created unique features according to the Community College Model, that is training on-demand to serve the needs of the community, training on order and co-op training model linking the university with enterprises;  Build and innovate the training program according to the labor market survey; annually organize to evaluate the training quality according to ISO standard; perform the teaching and learning support function; apply scientific research into practice and technology transfer;  Department of Gender and Community in charge of propagating and implementing gender equality, contributing to the development of ethnic minority communities. TVU is also the only university in Vietnam approved by the Government to conduct the national key mission of training Southern Khmer language, Culture and Arts.  This is the unique feature of TVU in the Vietnam higher education institutions system.

Since the 10th Anniversary of TVU – 15th of Community College Model organized on June 19, 2016, TVU has set out the target “Strive for the next stage to be better than the previous one.”

The result is, after 5 years, TVU has achieved many breakthrough successes, with specific achievements as follows:

With constant efforts, after 20 years, TVU is now known as a multi-disciplinary and multi-level university and belongs to the group of universities of fast and sustainable development, and is also one of worth studying universities in Vietnam. TVU has trained provided thousands of highly qualified employees for the local, region and the whole country.

Especially, there are many Khmer children studying at all levels of education at TVU that have created a significant intellectual workforce in various fields of occupation, thereby contributing to enhancing the intellectual level of young people of ethnic minorities as well as contributing to political stability and promoting socio-economic development in the Mekong Delta region.

Although being a local university, TVU has earned a certain position in the Vietnam higher education system.  TVU is awarded the second-class Labor Medal, is the first provincial university in a remote area of the Southwest region, and one of 23 universities across the country assigned by the Prime Minister to pilot a new operating mechanism in 2017 toward the goal of developing into an application-oriented university according to international standards. TVU is currently one of 9 first universities accredited according to the new standards of the Ministry of Education and Training.

Besides, TVU is also one of 7 universities granted by the Ministry of Education and Training to organize the English Proficiency test according to the 6 –level English competency frameworks.

For scientific research, applied technology and technology transfer activities within teachers and students, in the last 5 years, Tra Vinh University has carried out more than 200 scientific research projects in all levels; has over 200 published articles in international journals, and 700 published articles in domestic journals; and successfully compiled and published bilingual language Vietnamese – Khmer, Khmer – Vietnamese dictionaries with 84,000 words to serve for the learning and studying of  Khmer and Vietnamese community in Vietnam and in Cambodia, contributing to tighten the friendship and fruitful cooperation between the two nations.  At the same time, the university has successfully carried out a number of National and Ministerial – Level research projects such as “Preserving and promoting the values of Southern Khmer Folk Music”; “The current basic and urgent issues in Khmer ethnic community in Vietnam”, as well as hundreds of School – level scientific research projects, dissertations, and postgraduate theses of lecturers and students focusing on deeply exploiting the conservation of Southern Khmer culture, language and arts. Besides, the university also has implemented more than 30 projects of technology transfer and community supports; many research products of lecturers and staff such as Wood Apple wine; cordyceps sinensis; disease–free bloodstock shrimps, etc., have been recognized by society.

The university has also cooperated with about 900 businesses to offer the training disciplines closely linking with their needs. This is one of the most important strategies to help the university improve the quality of training and find job opportunities for students. Start-up movement is one of the outstanding activities of the university, Tra Vinh University has established a start-up fund for scientific research among students; implemented a variety of activities to support student startup activities. As the result, there are a number of successful student start-up projects that won national and international awards.

International Cooperation is strength of Tra Vinh University. The university has cooperated with about 100 international partners, institutes, and schools in fields of training cooperation; student and teachers exchange searching scholarship funding for lecturers and students. The university has also successfully submitted 2 international projects with a total value of 2 million USD; many small non -reciprocal funding projects with worth tens of thousands USD.

Tra Vinh University has been gradually asserting its position in both domestically and internationally: currently, 04 university training programs passed the international education quality accreditation of FIBAA (European Standard) and AUN – QA (Asian Standard). Tra Vinh University still maintains the “Green university” branch after 8 years of signing the Talloires Declaration, and one of the only two universities in Vietnam has been in the top 200 sustainable and friendly environmental universities in the world.

On June 10, 2021, TVU continues to be ranked at 71th among 100th of WURI Ranking 2021 (increased by 15 places compared to 2020) with the following categories: The school has a positive influence and contribution to the society; the value of Entrepreneurship, innovation; and expanding international cooperation and exchange.

From the above achievements, until now, TVU has made achievements as expected. On the tough untraveled road, TVU has completed her mission and closed the 20-year journey. Another development history for the new chapter continues to be opened. TVU aims the new targets that is to become a Smart university in the future, continue to determine the education quality and better conduct her mission of “Bringing quality education to the community”

The future of TVU is still long and more challenging. Currently, the world community is trying their best fighting against the Covid pandemic which is seriously damaging the world economy. An autonomous university like TVU will be severely affected. Therefore, we need to be active in the prevention work and have flexible measurements to adapt to the new condition.

Throughout 20 years, the faculty members have been striving to well perform the key mission of the university.  While taking care of the family, our staffs also have to well manage at work, teach, do research, learn to improve qualifications and constantly innovating to adapt. All these works took up all their time; however, our staffs and faculty members have always tried their best to finish the duties.

During a difficult time, everyone has shown the spirit of unity and sharing with the university managers. Achievements of TVU nowadays mainly based on the big contribution of teachers (including retired teachers) together with the staff of all schools and units who are supported by the training of the university. I am always recognized and appreciate all your dedication and sentiments. We all have had good years working together at TVU. Therefore, in the coming time, we will continue our spirit of unity, sharing responsibility, always being autonomous, active, creative, restless, and maintaining discipline at work.  Especially for young colleagues, despite of being at managing positions or being teachers, if we don’t have ambition, vision, spirit of learning, and bravery to overcome difficulties, we will have no achievement. To determine our own value, we’d better join hands to build up our common house. When we have a solid foundation, it will more convenient and significant for self-development.  Each dedicated person at work is practical contribution to society. Only when we unite, utilize and optimize our strength and potentials, TVU can keep its achievements and continue the path to the enormous ocean. I always hope and believe that the next generations will make TVU become a better university. I wish the best of luck and much success for our TVU in the future.

On this occasion, on behalf of the Rector Board, I would like to acknowledge the contributors and extend deep gratitude to the government, Provincial leaders, from different terms; leaders of departments and agencies in and outside the province, industries, companies in the province and surroundings, communication agencies, members of Vietnam Association of Community Colleges, Association of Canadian Community Colleges, Can Tho University as well as the international organizations, experts, volunteers, oversea Vietnamese. Especially, I would like to extend our special thanks to the members of the Former Rector Board, Advisory Committee as well as all of the full-time lecturers, the visiting lecturers from other provinces and countries for your accompanies with the university during the past twenty years.

In addition, I would like to extend my gratitude to the parents for selecting our university for your children to study; my special thanks also go to the students, alumni for your effort in studying and working. Your activeness, creativeness with great ideas, your talents with precious awards, useful products to society have offered a great contribution to the images and prestige of Tra Vinh University. We are proud of you all.

Last but not least, I would like to extend my best wishes to all of you, we all together will overcome the Covid-19 and continue to strengthen, develop our professional and get many achievements in your jobs, your study and your life.

Thank you!

Rector

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Tiet Khanh