The Conference on Student Affairs of the year 2018-2019

Tuesday - 23/10/2018 23:44
The Conference on Student Affairs of the year 2018-2019 taking place on October 16th, 2018 not only summarized last year's activities but also mentioned new issues in managing, supporting and serving students.

Everthing changes rapidly

Chairing the conference, Assoc. Prof. Dr Hoang Anh Tuan (USSH's Vice Rector) recognized USSH's achievements in student affairs during the last academic year. However, he emphasized that society is moving dramatically, and the situation can be summarized with four key words: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Therefore, universities are facing many challenges and student affairs have to constantly be reformed and innovated. This is especially the case as in 2018, the University welcomed over 2,000 new students of the 63th year- this is also a challenge for student affairs.

The challenges mentioned by Assoc. Prof. Dr Hoang Anh Tuan were:

First, employers put increasingly higher demands on employees' quality and skills, therefore the competition between training institutions is high. In 2016, the Annual report of the World Economic Forum forecasted: "65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist". In the future, if 6 million jobs are lost due to technological replacements the newly-created ones will only make up 1/3 of the lost ones.

Second, the traditional training model involving basic sciences like at USSH is facing difficulties. Meanwhile, there is penetration and participation of foreign universities with attractive promises of study and job opportunities. Domestic universities also diversify their approaches and curricula such as through online and joint programs. It becomes even more difficult as the methods of student admission change each year.

Third, the employment structure is shifting: the ratio of graduates able to find jobs in the public sector is decreasing while that in the private sector, NGOs and start-up businesses is increasing.

Fourth, many educational managers and experts have warned about the slow progress of changing the management thinking at public universities, unable to catch up with the new trends and the demands of learners.

Fifth, previously, the leading priority of parents and students was job opportunities and scholarships, now it is increasingly student services.

All the above disturbances directly influence the providers of student services. "Has our administrative and management thinking with regard to training and supporting students changed to meet the new demands? That's the question we always have to pose to ourselves" - Assoc. Prof. Dr Hoang Anh Tuan said. "In a simple way, we have to make sure the students admitted into a university are cared for and supported to the fullest so they become closer and more attached to their university, attract more knowledge, methods and directions so upon graduation they can be more successful in today's competitive society".

Make it more practical

Assoc. Prof. Dr Nguyen Quang Lieu (Head of Office for Politics and Student Affairs) said, in the last academic year, student affairs saw practical reforms. One of the most important changes made by the University was the implementation of the "one-door" mechanism, minimizing the procedures of student services. The meetings between the University's leaders and successful alumni took place more regularly, thereby further consolidating the network of alumni. The relations between USSH and businesses were strengthened to create more internship and job opportunities for students.

MA. Dao Minh Quan (Deputy Head of Office for Academic Affairs) said there are currently overlappings in the provision of student services, as on the side of the faculties there are academic advisors and head teachers; on the side of the Office for Academic Affairs there are CASA and its staff. To improve the efficiency of academic advising, MA. Dao Minh Quan suggested increasing the interaction between the advisors and students, making regular evaluations of this activity, training the advisors regularly, and better acclaiming the contributions made by them.

In the year 2018-2019, some of the approved central activities concerning student affairs are improving academic discipline and culture, proprely implementing academic rules and regulations concerning student affairs; strengthening career orientation and the start-up spirit, increasing the job-hunting capability of students; strengthening the activities of head teachers and academic advisors; constantly providing students with knowledge and soft skills; and continuing to efficiently exploit and utilize scholarships. 

Student affairs have to be closely connected with academic affairs

Prof. Sc. Dr Nguyen Dinh Duc (Head of VNU's Academic Affairs Department) said: "Political and student affairs are themselves academic affairs. These are two interdependent functions". As such, student affairs are not only the responsibility of functional offices and academic advisors but also all of the lecturers. Through lecturing, they can educate students about how and for what to study, and how to live their lives. Each lecturer not only equips students with professional knowledge but also empathizes with and cares for them, learns about their personalities and capabilities.

"What qualities and skills should we provide for students now?", according to Prof. Sc. Dr Nguyen Dinh Duc, first of all it has to be a "vision", an ambition, an ideal; based on which they can define their corresponding qualities, knowledge and skills. The University and lecturers also have to provide students with a firm determination sharpened through difficult challenges. Therefore, student affairs have to follow the current trends and visions.

Concluding the conference, Vice Rector Hoang Anh Tuan reiterated the objective of student affairs in the upcoming time is to "make sure all the students are thoroughly cared for during their study process". To this end, the University will seek specific measures to efficiently combine the tasks of head teachers and academic advisors; further consolidate the connection among functional offices; create and combine the handbooks of head teachers and academic advisors; and ensure the rights of lecturers in providing student services. Above all, the Vice Rector suggested: "The provider of student services has to devote his/her entire heart and mind to the students - only then are we able to really connect with their thoughts, feelings and desires".

Author: Thanh Ha

Total notes of this article: 0 in 0 rating

Click on stars to rate this article

  Reader Comments

Newer articles

Older articles

You did not use the site, Click here to remain logged. Timeout: 60 second