Digital transformation in education seen from the story of Van Lang University

(VLU04/10/2021) - At the beginning of the week, Vietnam Education Electronic Newspaper published an interview with Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri - Chairman of Van Lang University, discussing the story of digital transformation in University education. The website of Van Lang University republished the full text of the interview.


In the past few years, people have been talking more and more about “digital transformation”. In education, when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out on a global scale, halting all socio-economic activities, students could not go to school, digital transformation really became a process whose result can be a whole new face of education, with new methods, ways, techniques, tools and media.

In Vietnam, universities in general and Van Lang University in particular are gradually applying this trend in the teaching and learning process.

To better understand the digital transformation process at Van Lang University, a reporter from the Vietnam E-Journal of Education had an interview with Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri - Chairman of VLU.


Reporter: Van Lang University is one of the pioneering higher education institutions, very early access to digital transformation in education, why did the school decide to follow this path, sir?

Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri: In recent years, the keyword "industrial revolution 4.0" has been mentioned a lot, as an educational institution we have a feeling that something will come. That is why the campuses that we recently built all design facilities in a completely new direction, investing in information technology from the beginning because we understand that when anything happens, there must be infrastructure.

And the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed this process forward 5 years faster than we anticipated.

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Online training is obviously not a new and strange thing, but online training in the context of the complicated COVID epidemic has absolutely no option to approach face-to-face, leading to changes in many other aspects, requiring many new conditions. So from 2020 to now, how has Van Lang University changed, sir?

Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri: More than 1 year is not a long time to evaluate an educational process, but it is clear that online training has helped staff, lecturers and students change in terms of thinking and methods, with new challenges teachers - students together find ways to overcome.

We see that the students absorb the lectures well, the teachers have a method to assess their learning, the exams are still guaranteed, which means the learning process is still going on normally. Therefore, even if we do not meet face to face, the data about the classroom and the school are still completely measurable, and what can be measured will be managed.

According to statistics from Van Lang University, the number of students participating in the system to learn always fluctuates at 50-80%, so it requires a rich amount of lectures and good infrastructure preparation.

Overcoming the qualitative of Vietnamese people, in the new era, new technological elements and methods will help find each indicator in training and teaching, that is, it has gone into quantification. For example, if there are about 2,000 candidates taking the test, the school will evaluate the quality of the exam questions, difficult questions can only be done well, and normal questions can be done by all students, thereby helping to improve the quality of exam questions and assessment methods.

Not to mention, through the data at Van Lang University, it shows that students who want to achieve excellent grades from 9-10 will study for about 54 hours per subject, good grades only study 30 hours, medium grades only study 25 hours. 

vlu cs baOverall perspective of Van Lang education complex.

The educational philosophy of Van Lang University is to train students to become the best version of themselves, so in the past, if traditional teaching methods did not have measuring tools, when businesses needed to recruit, the school was confused in determining the true capacity of students.

Now with digitized data, everything is quantified, so I think the new generation will produce technocrats.


So in your opinion, in order to implement digital transformation successfully, where will the teacher's role be?

Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri: When changing from traditional teaching to new methods, it is true that teachers are confused, then the role of schools and educational organizations needs to have time to foster and train teachers. But in my opinion, the important thing when doing digital transformation is that the teacher's mindset must change.

If teaching in the traditional way of imparting knowledge, Google does a lot better than the teacher, students will find theory and knowledge faster and more up-to-date than the teacher.

According to statistics, for example, medical knowledge will double after 2 years while the teacher cannot update all his knowledge to teach, but he now only plays the role of leading and guiding the transmission of experience, say what the device, Google does not have, that is my experience and enthusiasm to inspire students.

What I want to emphasize is that, with digital transformation, learners can study anytime, anywhere, but the campuses of higher education institutions still exist and have value that nowhere can replace. Because whether learning online or face-to-face is still theoretical, then the campus is not only filled with classes but gradually becomes a place for students to experience such as becoming a place for clinical medicine experiment, that is a video studio for communication subjects, there is also a lab area, a studio room, etc. to turn theoretical knowledge into practice.

Sincere thanks to Dr. Nguyen Cao Tri.

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In March 2021, at a meeting with the Minister of Education and Training - Phung Xuan Nha, representatives of Van Lang University and some reputable experts in the field of information technology presented their ideas. The concept and implementation plan of building a national digital education platform in order to make fundamental changes in the online teaching and management model, meeting the requirements of digital transformation in education.

Appreciating the pioneering proposals of Van Lang University, Minister Phung Xuan Nha said that these proposals will make practical contributions to the implementation of the Politburo's Resolution on a number of guidelines and policies actively participating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Prime Minister's Decision on national digital transformation. However, according to the Minister, this is a new and difficult issue, so it is necessary to discuss carefully, take cautious and appropriate steps and need to be piloted, then learn from experience so that it can be replicated.

Agreeing with Van Lang University's pilot proposal to build a digital university, Minister Phung Xuan Nha emphasized that this model must have full functions from teaching and learning, to administration, services and connectivity in the higher education system.

According to Vietnam Education Newspaper


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Phone:  028. 38367933   Email: info@vlu.edu.vn

Main campus: 69/68 Dang Thuy Tram Street, Ward 13, Binh Thanh District, HCMC

Campus 1: 45 Nguyen Khac Nhu Street, Co Giang Ward, District 1, HCMC

Campus 2: 233A Phan Van Tri Street , Ward 11, Binh Thanh District, HCMC

Dormitory: 160/63AB Phan Huy Ich Street, Ward 12, Go Vap District, HCMC

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