“Do the opposite thing,” Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communications, Nguyen Manh Hung told university students and lecturers in an event at the Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology (PTIT).
As digital technology is at the core of the fourth industrial revolution, Minister Nguyen says that ‘doing the opposite thing’ should be the motto that drives the modern work ethic. This means embracing creativity and doing things differently from predecessors.
“Every revolution only creates opportunities for a few countries to make a breakthrough to become developed countries, and for a few universities to become top-tier schools,” Minister Nguyen.
Industry 4.0 technologies are associated with the creative destruction of legacy systems to create new ways of doing things, a statement by the Ministry of Information and Communications of Vietnam said.
In mature markets, technology pioneers may not have the courage to destroy what has come before, but those in emerging markets who have nothing to lose might have more opportunities to leapfrog the competition by inventing new, disruptive technologies.
“In the past, universities strived to become MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), the leading US technology university, and it was a difficult task. But nowadays, they don’t need to be MIT, and they use new technologies to do, teach and study differently,” the statement said.
Minister Nguyen urged the PTIT to set higher goals and take the lead in Vietnam’s domestic digital transformation.
“There are still enterprises that need MIT graduates and employ them. But there will be enterprises that want non-MIT graduates, and they will find workers among PTIT graduates. However, when doing things differently from MIT, one needs to do it in an excellent way,” the statement added.
PTIT already has the potential to become the country’s leading university in scientific and technology research, as ‘it belongs to a ministry of digital technology with 50,000 digital technology firms, millions of domestic workers and an annual revenue of US$100 billion’.
Three companies that have seats in PTIT’s Council, namely Viettel, Vietnam Post and Telecommunication, and CMC are the leading technology firms in Vietnam.
Therefore, according to Minister Nguyen several steps have to be taken in order to realise the university’s success.
Firstly, a goal of at least 25% of revenue from the PTIT should come from research works, and 25% of the time spent by professors and associate professors should be on research.
PTIT should build digital platforms and shift its contents onto these platforms. At least 70% of teaching content should be digitised, and lecturers and students should work together to turn the institute into a ‘miniature global country’, a digital environment where all activities are carried out virtually.
A new department should also be established to provide tech training and reskilling with ample personalisation in its learning softwares.
In recent months, the Vietnam Government has been setting ambitious digital transformation efforts for the country with the aim of becoming a global technology powerhouse.