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International publications and Hue University's surge into top rankings in Vietnam (02-05-2019 17:00)

Ranked No.2 among the top 28 Vietnamese higher education institutions having the most publications in international prestigious journals, Hue University has been affirming its position and high scientific research quality.


Exhibition of science and technology products at University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University


Proving brand equity


Scientific publication is widely considered one indicator of scientific and technological development. Publications in international prestigious scientific journals is one of the key aspects to prove one institution's contribution to human development, not to be left behind in the race of engineering and technology research, to leapfrog and get ahead.


In the past, the close connection between training and scientific research was the target of only a few large-scaled universities. However, notably, this close connection has recently been in focus of many domestic universities, including Hue University's affiliated universities and schools.


In March 2019, Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) announced the number of international publications in ISI, SCI, and SCIE indexed journals by Vietnamese universities under MOET in 2018. It is worth noting that Hue University with 195 publications took the 2nd place among the top 28 universities, just behind Hanoi University of Science and Technology ranked 1st (315 articles), up by 4.3% compared to 2017; Hanoi University of Education up by 2.4% (129 articles - ranked 3rd). Furthermore, Hue University has a high increase of nearly 20% compared to 2017.


Regarding authors of Hue University's 195 publications, outstanding are researchers with international publication "collections". Most noticable was Assoc.Prof.Dr.Bui Dinh Hoi (University of Education) with 19 papers published in ISI indexed magazines related to in-depth studies on physics or Assoc.Prof.Dr.Dinh Quang Khieu (University of Science) with 9 papers on physicochemistry published in SCOPUS, SCIE indexed magazines.


It is not easy to have a large number of papers published in ISI, SCI, SCIE indexed journals. Researchers go through the process of thinking, exploring, calculating, experimenting, comparing, synthesizing, interpreting, reasoning, etc. and concluding and annoucing. In addition to expertise, they must have good foreign language command. "Doing scientific research is difficulties, but it is a must to consider research and teaching as a profession, trying to "live" by profession and sticking to the profession. That is the motivation for me to stick with the job I chose, to work hard and overcome difficulties”, Assoc.Prof.Dr.Bui Dinh Hoi revealed.


Evidently, because it is a difficult criterion to achieve, regional and global university ranking agencies use it as a basic ranking criterion (international publication's weight in the ratio of criteria accounted for 20-30%). According to the Webometrics ranking (by Cybermetrics Lab of the Spanish National Research Council - CSIC), for the period of January 2019, Hue University was ranked 10th compared to other Vietnamese institutions, 115th in Southeast Asia and 3,704 in the global ranking. It is worth noticing that Hue University's position in the global ranking tends to gradually increase, from 4,122 (July 2017) to 4,107 (January 2018), 3,708 (July 2018) and up to 3,704 (January 2019). In the ranking of top 400 Asian universities by QS rankings, Hue University is one of the five Vietnamese universities listed.


In April 2019, THE (Times Higher Education World University Rankings - one of the three most-widely read university rankings in the world, along with Academic Ranking of World Universities and Quacquarelli Symonds) called out Hue University as one university which foreign students should attend in Vietnam. THE is a prestigious magazine based in the UK, famous for its World University Rankings and one of the most prestigious and influential education ranking tables in the world. Assoc.Prof.Dr.Huynh Van Chuong, Vice President of Hue University, emphasized that currently some Vietnamese universities have taken some spots in Webometrics and QS rankings, but little chance to be called out by THE.


Strengthen position


In the recent Webometrics rankings, the places of Hue University fluctuated: ranked 12th in Vietnam in July 2017, ranked 13th in January 2018, then ranked 8th in July 2018 and lastly ranked 10th in January 2019. Although the ranking tables differ in the number and nature of indicators, as well as the ways data are obtained, the number of publications of research results in international prestigious journals has a great impact on this ranking result.


With a vision to 2030 to become one of the leading research universities in Southeast Asia, Hue University is taking cautious steps to make sure to realize its objectives. The most typical is the selection and recognition of 12 strong research teams that attract Hue University's leading experts to carry out very specialized or interdisciplinary studies. Their targets are international publication in the world's prestigious journals (ISI, SCOPUS indexed), thereby enhancing position of Hue University in global scientific research map.


According to leaders of Hue University's Department of Science, Technology and Environment, early in 2019, Hue University set scientific publication targets for each affiliated unit. According to this initiative, this year, it is expected to have 445-450 papers in ISI, SCOPUS indexed magazines - which will definitely further improve Hue University's position in domestic, regional and global rankings tables.


Hue University is focusing on a number of criteria to improve its place in university ranking tables and has launched a reward policy which is worth billion VND each year. In addition, thanks to the new circular 08/2017/TT-BGDĐT which requires graduate students to have international publications, Hue University with a large number of graduate students, there will certainly be more happy news.

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