Along with officers and lecturers, students at Member Universities of Hue University, also participating in scientific research (This photo was taken before the outbreak of COVID-19).
A leap in its ranking
At the end of July 2021, the world's ranking (Webometrics) continued to record the advancement of Hue University by 110 places, holding the position of 2,622. As compared to its ranking about 7 months ago (3,658 in January 2020), the world ranking of Hue University so far has increased by 1,036 places.
More gladly, Hue University has risen to the top group, entering top 401 - 450 in 2021 and is striving for top 300 in the QS Asia ranking. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Huynh Van Chuong, Secretary of the Party Committee, Chairman of Hue University Council emphasized that the task of striving to rank in top 300 leading universities in Asia was clearly reflected in Resolution No. 54 of the Politburo, along with the task of developing Hue University into a National University.
The above-mentioned task is not easy because all Vietnamese and Asian universities are also striving. However, compared to the National Universities at both ends of the country (Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City) which already ranked in top 200 in Asia, Hue University has to carry its task drastically.
After many years, in the period of 2020 - 2021, Hue University made a quick and steady leap when leaving top 450 - 500 to enter top 401 – 450 universities in Asia. The goal of ranking in top 300 is still quite far, but the steady advancement shows that Hue University's strategy is on the right track.
According to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Khac Lieu, Deputy Head of the Department of Science, Technology and International Relations of Hue University, Hue University should strive to increase the ranking according to each criterion. In the recent QS Asia ranking of 2021, Hue University has the continental ranking of 8 criteria, as compared to that in QS Asia 2020 ranking. More specifically, the ranking of the prestige criterion established by employers of graduates from Hue University ranked 200th in Asia for the first time.
Based on the performance results through the statistical indicators of QS, it can be seen that most of the indicators of Hue University have increased markedly year by year. Even the average number of publications per lecturer, or the average number of citations per article of Hue University both increased.
On the other rankings, the advancement of Hue University has also been recorded. In 2020, Hue University entered the SCImago ranking for the first time. This ranking has long been famous for ranking scientific journals based on Scopus journal data.
Since 2009, SCImago has started to perform the ranking of training and research institutions (SCImago Institutions Rankings, SIR). SCImago's ranking is based on three groups of criteria: scientific research (50%), innovation (30%) and social impact (20%).
These imprints generate motivation and hope for Hue University to achieve its goal of entering top 300 leading universities in Asia and 1,000 universities in the world, becoming a high-quality multi-disciplinary and multi-program education and training center, as proclaimed in Resolution No. 05 of the 16th Provincial Party Committee and the Resolution of the 6th Hue University Party Congress (in the 2020 - 2025 term).
Entering top 300 universities in Asia is very difficult, which requires an overall change in the criteria. However, this is a particularly important task if Hue University wants to affirm its brand and develop into a National University. The time frame for achieving this goal should not be too long or too short, but around the years 2024 – 2025.
According to leaders of Hue University, achieving the goal of ranking in the 300 leading universities in Asia requires Hue University to have drastic strategies and solutions. These, as pointed out by Assoc. Prof. Huynh Van Chuong, involve the combination of factors in university governance, not just immediate and short-term ones. Each of these is also the component that constitutes the comprehensive solution to increase the university ranking.
To achieve the goal, Hue University must focus on increasing the number of prestigious international publications, while at the same time increasing the number of citations for each article. Hue University must also strive to get 600-700 international publications in the period of 2021 – 2023, and 1,000 by 2025.
In comparison with prestigious universities in the world, the percentage of lecturers having a doctorate is considered the face, as well as a very important hard criterion. Apart from universities with a high proportion of lecturers having a doctorate such as University of Pedagogy, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Science, University of Agriculture and Forestry, etc., the remaining units with the ratio of less than 30% lecturers having a doctorate, such as University of Tourism, University of Law, University of Foreign Languages, etc., need to have a breakthrough and a strong enough mechanisms.
Hue University also needs to better tackle some annual tasks such as focusing on building and updating the complete data set for QS Organization in a timely manner; increasing the number of international seminars, inviting many scholars and experts from regional and international countries to strengthen the international research network at both Hue University and its member universities, while maintaining the same brand identity.
In addition, the exchange rate of lecturers and international students, both incoming and outcoming, should reach at least 5-10% of the total number of lecturers and students. Besides, it is necessary to strengthen communication activities of Hue University, not only domestically but also internationally.
Hue University has planned a project to develop Hue University into a National University, linking tasks with specific goals and roadmaps. The important thing is that the implementation of the project is undertaken effectively and consistently, based on successful experience and existing strategies. The goal of entering top 300 universities in Asia will be closer when the desire of an educational institution to reach out to the world is big enough, which will urge every officer, lecturer and administrator to share the responsibility.
Story and photo: Minh Tam