@

The 44th WORKSHOP
 28 June 2008 (Sat), GRIPS Campus in Tokyo, 14:00-17:00

Subject:
"University- Industry Collaboration in VN:
A Perspective from Higher Education"


by
Ms. Tran Thi Thanh Lien
PhD candidate, Asia Pacific University (APU), Japan
On-leave lecturer, Academy of International Relations, Vietnam  

Summary

@

Since the early of 1990fs, the industrial sector has become the driving force of the Vietnamese economy. Going toward the goal that Vietnam will become an industrial economy by 2020, there must be more concrete background for the industrial sector, in which human resources will be a critically important factor. As such, universities, which are considered as knowledge producers, will be a significant channel to produce and mobilize human resources. Such a mutual relation in turn requests various collaborations between universities and industries. In our monthly workshop in June, we invited Ms. Tran Thi Thanh Lien – a PhD candidate of the Asia Pacific University, Japan, and an on-leave lecturer of the Academy of International Relations, Vietnam – to share her findings on the issue in Vietnam with survey results from 43 universities all over the country.

 

At the beginning of the presentation, Ms. Lien provided some recent development trends of the universities in Vietnam, in which she emphasized the impacts of the current education policies and strategies on universitiesf research and teaching activities. It was shown that these policies had opened various opportunities for universities in producing good human resources and research products, which in turn had promoted industrial development. In numerous cases, it was also obvious that universities in Vietnam had gradually moved from givory towerh, in which studies produced in universities would never been known by outsiders, to gknowledge factoryh, where study results were provided or shared widely to specific industries. Though, such collaborations in Vietnam had still made slow progresses. In addition to describing the situation of University-Industry Collaboration (UIC) in Vietnam, Ms. Lien also provided a brief literature review about the UIC in other countries, in which many relevant factors, such as entrepreneurial culture and research orientation, were considered to be determinants.

 

Following an overview of UIC in Vietnam and other countries, Ms. Lien delineated her surveys in 43 universities in Vietnam, which provided 4,215 respondents to her questions. The main purpose of the survey was to ask relevant people in universities, including professors, lecturers, and students at all educational qualifications, to evaluate how their universities had collaborated with industries. In addition to these people as key actors, the survey also explored such other factors as investment, interpersonal tools, means of TER (technological enable resources) communications, and changes in institutional culture. The statistical summaries for these variables implied that universities were diverse, depending on their own characteristics. In the quantitative analysis, Ms. Lien would want to examine how these factors had influenced on the collaborative activities of each university in the survey with relevant industries.

 

In the discussion session, many questions were addressed to both survey and methodology. Prof. Kenichi Ohno (GRIPS & VDF) commented that the author should make clear definition of UIC in analysis, because it would provide concrete analytical framework, which in turn would help define dependent and independent variables precisely. In addition, he suggested that survey questions be addressed to the people who were directly involved in the collaborative activities, instead of all key actors as listed. As such, according to him, there might be some misleading interpretations of the statistical estimates. Different actors should be given different weights for their answers, depending on their possible involvements in collaborative activities.

 

Mr. Vu Hoang Nam (GRIPS/FASID & VDF-Tokyo) shared his experiences in conducting surveys, and thought that there would also be some biases when survey was conducted by the same set of questions to different types of universities. He also recommended that only the data resulted from direct interviews by the author should be used for analysis, though they might account for a small proportion of the current results. Supporting for this comment, Mr. Dinh Quang Hop (University of Technology, Sydney: UTS) said that academic research and industry-based research should be separately considered, as they represented different degrees of UIC.

 

Agreeing to the above comments, Mr. Giang Thanh Long (GRIPS & VDF-Tokyo) added that universities specializing in different fields would have different kinds of research collaborations with industries, and thus collaborative products would be significantly different. Thus, he suggested that Ms. Lien separate universities in the survey by research fields, e.g. natural sciences and social sciences, so that evaluation would be more appropriate than would it be in the pooling data. Moreover, Mr. Long argued that undergraduate students, and even Master and PhD students, who accounted for more than 50 percent of the sample, might not know exactly all about the projects conducted or being conducted in their universities, and therefore there would be serious biases in collecting their responses. He recommended that the author not consider these actors, and focus more on professors and lecturers in the survey instead.

 

Collecting all the comments, Ms. Lien said that she would consider UIC in broad term, meaning that any research collaborative activities between a university and an industry could be regarded as UIC. She also did agree that there should be separate groups of universities specializing in different fields, so as to provide more appropriate and comparable evaluation results. At the end, she said that such work would also help her quantitative analysis, which was on-going, to be more precise in exploring determinant factors of UIC for each university in the survey.

 

We finally had an hour meeting. As usual, a variety of the current social and economic issues in Vietnam were in discussion. We also announced on-going and forthcoming research activities of both VDF offices in Hanoi and Tokyo, and welcomed anyone to actively participate in these events.

@

Slides (PDF751KB)

                                

 (By Giang Thanh Long)

@

WS Schedule | VDF-Tokyo HOME