Tiếng Việt

Duy Tan Dream

Creating a Happy University

At the age of 83, Hero of Labor and Meritorious Teacher Le Cong Co, Chairman of the Duy Tan University Board of Trustees, continues his work in building a humanistic, democratic, innovative and creative university.
Meritorious Teacher  Le Cong Co spoke with the Thanh Nien newspaper about his desire to build a humanistic university. “At my age, I’m lucky that I’m not yet losing my memory,” he says. “Every day, I think, think a lot, and  continue working for the development of DTU, just as I have for the past 29 years.
Khát v?ng ki?n t?o môi tru?ng ÐH h?nh phúc
Mr. Le Cong Co.  HOANG SON
“I have the greatest confidence in our current youthful team. When we formulated the development strategy for the university, the key team members were eager to give their opinions. I explained to them that our school is a home, and that home is also a school, which is the thinking we need for a university’s development. People nowadays work just for the money, but working at DTU today, we are paid to create and serve society.”
DTU has developed to a new level; can the university sustain such rapid progress?
“Since 2006, when Dr. Le Nguyen Bao became Provost, the university has completely changed and in 2006-2007, credit-based education programs were implemented.”
“Dr. Bao brought back the American educational philosophy and changed perceptions even further. For example, DTU has continually been strengthening cooperation with universities in the US, and especially with Carnegie Mellon University, one of the four leading universities in the US in IT, where Dr. Bao himself studied. This has established DTU as a perennial leader in IT, after the university and partners decided to purchase 24 American subjects for $2 million. This important change in awareness resulted in sending DTU to the US to study, at a cost of $10,000 per person. So far, five hundred staff members and lecturers have studied abroad.”
Samsung mang chuong trình giáo d?c công ngh? toàn c?u d?n mi?n Trung
DTU signs an agreement with Samsung and Junior Achievement Vietnam to train students   S.X
“Back then, I introduced the slogan, “Each year is worth ten,” but breakneck development led to a gap in the chain of management. Later, we established a broader network of international relations by forging relations with four major American universities, in the fields of IT, business administration, tourism, accounting, civil engineering, architecture, electronics and so on. We are the only university that sends people out to study with the slogan, “making theirs ours,” to be successful.”
Filling that gap must have been arduous, wasn’t it?
“Step by step, we filled it. We continuously provided management training, the pressure was great but our people endured it, because they all agreed that, although I am older, my thinking was still highly innovative. If I can endure it, why can't our younger people? I did everything I could to encourage my team and instill my aspirations in them.”
“They then all worked very hard to implement the strategy I had outlined. When our university still lacked everything, in terms of capital, infrastructure and so on, the only thing we had left was our willpower and we worked hard day and night. Dr. Bao always brought many boxes of books back from the US, the work was huge, but once the path became clear, we did everything we could do to follow it.”
Graduates must have access to the marketplace
What are the policies of a modern and humanistic university, your strategy until 2030, and the further vision of the university, Sir?
“When we first founded the school, we created the slogan: “Vietnamese Spirit, Innovation, Creativity, Reaching for New Heights.” Our strategy was to combine the innovative Duy Tan culture with training and research founded on modern humanities. After that, we changed it to: “Humanistic, Democratic, Innovative, Creative.”
“The university carefully formulated its strategy and set itself the goal: “All for students’ studies, research and careers to meet regional and international demand.” The school also set itself the mission of: “Providing education and research in science & technology and imbue healthy patriotic students with humanistic ideals, with Vietnamese identities, a sense of social responsibility, comprehensive capabilities and skills, to evolve into confident, dynamic, and creative global startup citizens.”
What has DTU done to prepare its students for life?
“I believe that, to avoid unemployment on graduation, students should be skilled in foreign languages and, secondly, they should master the latest technology. Our university focuses on skills training and those that we expect students will need in the workplace.”
“During their studies, students can join clubs to improve their career skills. Our school currently offers several clubs where students can put their strengths to use. When they graduate, they usually  adapt rapidly and are highly appreciated by their companies. Three consecutive years of surveys show that more than 92% of graduates find jobs.”
Attract talent, make a difference
What does the school do to attract talent and build a creative educational environment?
“In 2017, I visited South Korea to meet with universities, and I realized they’re a truly creative country. I asked them if they could recommend good people to work at DTU and the Principal there agreed to send us a Professor. He was followed by the former Korean Vice-Minister of Culture, Sports, & Tourism, the right-hand man to three Korean Presidents, who became the Head of the DTU Hospitality & Tourism Institute. Koreans live in a rich country, they lack nothing, so why do they come to Vietnam, to DTU? That heartens us.”
“In addition to high-level Koreans, we also work with the Samsung Company in human resource training. DTU recently participated in a national technology competition and we won the three biggest prizes.”
What more can you do for graduates to get international recognition?
“DTU now offers a variety of affiliated programs, such as studying in Vietnam for two years and then two in the US, which some students enroll in. DTU planned that certain US universities would offer courses in Vietnam and issue American degrees, such as the On-Site Study-Abroad degree program from Troy University. To qualify for these programs, students must obtain an IELTS score of at least 5.5. Most of our successful graduates today are headhunted by local companies, so we can’t keep any of them for ourselves (laughs).”
With your current aspirations, how does DTU renew itself to maintain its uniqueness?
“I always remind myself that we must create an environment of humanism, democracy and happiness. Happiness requires democracy. Democracy should not go too far, and everything must be discussed, in order for us to all sing the same tune and put our people’s intelligence to good use, and democracy for innovation and creativity.”
To create a university of welfare and humanism
“My time is running out, and I always think of how to build a happy university. Happiness is not something exotic, it means a stable material and a spiritual life for us all. Happiness is within our reach, not a model in some faraway country.”
“I’m preparing to publish my tenth book, entitled: “From the Humanist Spirit Towards a Happy University,” with 368 pages, through the Vietnam Writers’ Association publishing house. In the future, I’ll build a university of welfare and humanism. Every year, we provide students with scholarships, totaling tens of billions of VND. This year, some of our northern students were affected by floods and were also awarded tuition reductions. There are students who claim that if they don’t pay tuition, I will force them to study and pay their tuition later.”  
Hero of Labor and Meritorious Teacher Le Cong Co, Chairman of the DTU Board of Trustees
(Media Center)