PRINCIPAL ABILITIES OF UNIVERSITY LECTURERS IN VIETNAM
By Asoc Prof. Dr. Nguyen Huynh Phan
Institute for Research and Developpment of New Technologies
(Presented at The First International Conferece on Education and Technlogy Research 2011, form July 12-13, 2011; Roi-et Rajabhat Universitry, Thailand)
1. According to Vietnam Education Law, higher education includes 2 levels of college education (3 years of study) and university education (4 years of study). Those who teach in colleges or universities are called university teachers.
The final target of all educations is to help learners have knowledge and ethics. The knowledge can be categorized into 3 groups: experience knowledge, documentation knowledge and methodology knowledge. Which kind of knowledge is given priority to be taught at higher education?
Because the nature of higher education is to teach students the creativeness and inspire them to be creative, methodology knowledge should be given with the first priority. Therefore, one of the most important abilities of university teachers is to do scientific researches. Vietnamese government regulates that every year, each university teacher has to spend 900 hours on classes and 700-800 hours on scientific researches and professional activities. This means that the time for scientific research is equal to 78-89% of the time for classes. The regulation indicates that scientific research ability is very important in the ability system of teachers.
2. What do university teachers prepare to teach students? Lesson plans or lectures? The answer is certainly lectures. The quality of lectures demonstrates the teachers’ level. Therefore, the second ability of teachers is to prepare lectures. Unlike books in general, lectures are prepared based on the training program built by a team of the most experienced scientists and managers. The training program is detailed through many scientific workshops. Based on detailed training program, university teachers develop lectures to teach students and build study references for them. Hence, lectures characterize each university. Together with subjects, lectures may be different among universities in terms of contents and forms.
3. All teachers must have teaching ability which is their third ability. Teaching is part art and part science. Teachers sometimes look like artists on the stage and philosophers at another time. As a result, teaching is a hard but interesting job. A great man said that “teaching is the most notable profession”. Like other jobs, it’s crucial to have good method in order to be successful in this career. However, teaching method itself is a complex, diversified and vivid science. It is also knowledge that teachers have to improve continuously in their whole life.
4. In such an era of information explosion, university teachers must be able to apply information technology in their activities of teaching and researching.
5. Higher education must be cosmopolitan. University, thus, have to be able to use foreign languages. In Vietnam, the five foreign languages chosen include Russian, English, French, Chinese and German. All of the five languages are taught at universities in Vietnam among which, English are the most popular./.