Hoang Minh Son
Professor of Electrical Engineering, President of Hanoi University of Science and Technology
DAAD Scholarship 1990–1993 and 2008
Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) is Vietnam’s most prestigious university of technology. And in Professor Hoàng Minh Sơn it elected as its President in July 2015 a man who in the 1990s studied engineering in Dresden on a DAAD scholarship and subsequently completed his PhD there. For his term of office, Sơn has set himself an ambitious goal: during his watch, he wants to make HUST a research-oriented, highly internationalised university enjoying maximum autonomy. He is also working on reforms designed to strengthen HUST’s position as Vietnam’s leading university of technology and make its influence felt more effectively in the region and across the globe.
In Germany, I gained not only technical knowledge but other skills as well – different ways of thinking, new ways of working and a different understanding of culture and society.
Sơn sees opening up the university internationally as the biggest challenge: “In today’s globalised world HUST faces stiff competition, especially when it comes to attracting outstanding lecturers and students.” That’s why Sơn is introducing international standards in terms of the curriculum and quality assurance, establishing more English-language instruction and promoting international faculty and student exchange. The study programmes are designed to make students more competitive and prepare them for the international labour market – by offering applied research and teaching of practical relevance. “Internationalisation enables us to cooperate more effectively,” he says.
And he is happy to consult with the DAAD Office on issues relating to internationalisation. “I’m expanding HUST’s already existing good relations with Germany and establishing more concrete, relevant collaboration. I firmly believe that the DAAD has a very important role to play here, especially through the DAAD Office at our university’s Vietnamese-German Centre.”
Hoàng Minh Sơn feels a strong affinity with Germany. He lived and studied for many years in Dresden. In 1993 he obtained his degree in electrical engineering from the Technische Universität Dresden, and in 1998 his PhD. “In Germany, I gained not only technical knowledge but other skills as well – different ways of thinking, new ways of working and a different understanding of culture and society.” As President, he want to use the experience he gained in Germany to help shape the way he governs the university. “I want to reconsider a number of good practices in the way a German university organises teaching and research and apply them here in an appropriate fashion.” And he can hope for support in this undertaking because he’s not the only alumnus from Germany at HUST. Around 60 faculty and other staff at the university studied in Germany – some of them in Dresden.