"If the Internet and the industrial revolution 4.0 connect things, social sciences unite humans, hearts and souls"

Sunday - 23/09/2018 22:21
Speech by Prof. Dr. Pham Quang Minh (USSH's Rector) at theOpening ceremony of the academic year 2018-2019
  • Distinguished Guests
  • Respectful Professors, Officials and Staff
  • Beloved Students!
  • Ladies and Gentlemen!


First of all, on behalf of USSH’s Board of Leaders, I would like to send my warmest greetings to the VNU leader, distinguish guests, professors and staff, and beloved students on the occasion of the new Academic year 2018-2019! Today, we hold the Opening ceremony to welcome the new academic year as well as 2,034 official new students of the QHX-2018 year joining our common house, USSH, VNU, Hanoi. This is the first time in the history of the University we have chance to welcome such a large number of freshmen.

The academic year 2017-2018 left with embedded marks. Regarding organizational affairs, the Institute of Journalism and Communication, an unprecedentedly new model of training and research was established. 19 cadres were given professor and associate professor titles, raising the total number of professors and associate professors to 114 persons. Regarding training affairs, over 2,000 freshmen were officially admitted, including the first 80 students majoring Southeast Asian studies. Literature was the fourth program after Linguistics, Oriental Studies and Philosophy to be accredited for its quality by the ASEAN University Network (AUN). Regarding scientific affairs, the University’s cadres produced in total 60 international publications, including 10 articles in journals with high impact factor of the ISI/SCOPUS list, and hundreds of domestic publications. Also during last year, thousands of USSH’s cadres and students and partners participated in different exchange programs, further elaborating the trend of internationalization. On this occasion, I would like to appreciate the leadership and cooperation of VNU Hanoi, Ministry of Education and Training, central and local authorities, diplomatic bodies, and domestic and international partners and the silent contributions by the University’s professors, officers, staff, doctoral and master’s candidates as well as students.

Today the celebration is for you, freshmen. On behalf of the lecturers and cadres, I would like to send my sincere thanks to the students and their parents for putting their trust in this University. In the context of dramatic changes caused by the progress of globalization and the industrial revolution 4.0, your choice further demonstrates the importance of social sciences and humanities. The more society develops, the more social sciences are important. They help us to perceive the development of humankind in a more humane, profound and comprehensive way. If the Internet and the industrial revolution 4.0 connect things, social sciences unite humans, hearts and souls.

Unlike students of previous and later generations, the QHX-2018 students are special because they were born in 2000. 18 years ago, the entire world was threatened by the Year 2000 problem (also called Y2K, problem of the millennium), mostly because the out-of-date computers and digital watches could not detect the differences between the 2000s and 1900s. I believe that students born in the year 2000, who belong to the Y2K generation, can also conquer the challenges in their path as the world had done with the millennium error.

The world in the 2000s is also flat, a world of globalization and internationalization that erases the borders among nations, cultures and individuals. But in this very context, the propensity for indigenization, individualization and personalization strongly emerges at the same time, validating individual personality, uniqueness and difference. Instead of globalization, there is a strong intermingling between international and global elements that the Japanese in the 1980s called “dochakuka” (the global localization). This term was dubbed “Glocalization” by the Scottish sociologist Roland Robertson in 1997. To master this world you firstly have to know who and where you are; if you only focus on internationalization, you will lose yourself and subsume into the global flows; on the contrary, if you only pay attention to localization, you will be forever isolated among the endless flows of humankind. To integrate with the world, first of all you have to integrate with the people of your own origin; to remove the distance with the world we firstly have to abolish the barriers among ourselves; to have our own flows mingle with the ocean do not erect barriers. To internationalize the world it is first necessary to internationalize our own house.


 The year 2018-2019 is foundational to the University’s strategy of internationalization. We have to face great challenges such as how develop the model and method of governing a research-based university in parallel with globalization, competition, self-governance, and the industrial revolution 4.0. To overcome these challenges there is no other way other than investing in two strategic missions: to attract, organize and improve the quality of postgraduate training; and create academic works of advanced standards and profound social impact. The position and prestige of a leading research-based university can only be measured by the number and quality of postgraduate programs and scientific studies. If we can achieve these two missions the University’s prestige, position and ranking will be noticeably raised”


Can we all, and especially the 2000 generation, achieve that? I believe yes. With more than 70 years of tradition and a highly-skilled workforce, this University has been and will be providing for those that put their beliefs in their fantastic dreams. To end my speech to the Y2K generation, let me recount a few sentences in the letter of President Abraham Lincoln sent to the teachers of his son: “Teach him if you can the wonders of books, but also give time to ponder the extreme mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hill….. Teach him to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind…)

I wish all of you, distinguish guests, professors and staff, and beloved students good health, a successful and fortunate new academic year! Thank you very much for your attention.

Author: ussh

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