New university majors in Vietnam to answer Industry 4.0 demands

The great influences of the Fourth Industrial Revolution have been clearly reflected in the upcoming tertiary education entrance exam in Vietnam. Several universities are eagerly organizing new majors to meet high demands of the market at present.

Students are learning in an AI lab of HCMC University of Science. (Photo: SGGP).
Students are learning in an AI lab of HCMC University of Science. (Photo: SGGP).

In the 2020 university entrance exam, many universities in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), especially members of the Vietnam National University HCMC, announce that they will organize new majors related to Industry 4.0 such as those concerning artificial intelligence.

For instance, HCMC University of Technology is going to introduce 5 new majors of aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, logistics and supply chain management, mechatronics engineering – specializing in robotics technology, computer science (teaching in Japanese).

According to Associate Prof. Dr. Bui Hoai Thang, Head of the Academic Affairs Department of this university, these new majors are the key in Industry 4.0 and smart city establishment. Therefore, in the near future, the demands for people in these fields will be quite high.

Similarly, HCMC University of Science is going to open 6 new majors, including data science.

Both the University of Information Technology and the International University have already organized courses for the same major. HCMC Banking University holds a similar major of data science in commerce.

HCMC University of Technology and Education in the new academic year will have 2 new majors of embedded system and Internet of Things (IoT).

Besides the new major of IoT, the Industrial University of HCMC will have other new majors of AI applications and data science.

Hong Bang International University is going to open the AI major this new academic year.

Despite the limit of choices for Industry-4.0-related majors in the previous higher education enrollment period, this year is expected to witness a positive blooming as an indispensable trend to satisfy the market’s growing demands.

As reported by Associate Prof. Dr. Tran Van Top, Vice Principal of Hanoi University of Science and Technology, in 2019, his university only piloted 2 majors of data science and AI with 40 new students each in order to answer the requests of foreign enterprises and leading domestic ones.

To be able to open these majors, this university had to prepare both education facilities and human resources.

Understanding the difficulties that might arise, Dr. Top commented that many universities want to organize new hot majors just to attract more new students, not aware about the potential trouble regarding educational infrastructure. This is truly worrying.

According to Associate Prof. Dr. Do Van Dung, Vice Principal of HCMC University of Technology and Education, last year his university only accepted 20 newcomers for the major of Robotics and AI. However, the registration number reached 293. He shared that Robotics and AI is an essential field to prepare for the digital era, and requires high-leveled trainers as well as sufficient learning facilities for the quality of graduates.

According to Circular No.22 issued by the Ministry of Education and Training about conditions to open a new major for a bachelor degree, there must be at least 10 full-time lecturers possessing a master degree or higher on the same or similar major. Among them are at least 1 doctorate and 4 master degrees or 2 doctorate and 2 master degrees of the same major.

Associate Prof. Dr. Ho Thanh Phong, Principal of Hong Bang International University, said that in order to open the AI major, his university had to first employ skillful teaching staff, and then signed collaboration agreements with foreign as well as domestic businesses for the output. Coming after that is the time working with experts of the field to prepare a suitable practical curriculum.

Industry 4.0 means a fierce technology race in the topics of IoTs, Big Data, AI, 3D Printing, Nano material, Biotechnology, Robotics, new energies, new materials, and smart city, as stated by Associate Prof. Dr. Le Minh Phuong, Vice Principal of HCMC University of Technology. In this competition, universities play a particularly important role in training capable human resources that are both innovative and highly flexible to adapt to new working environments.

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