President attends opening of new academic year at VNUHCM hinh anh 1President Nguyen Xuan Phuc beats drum to launch new academic year at the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) President Nguyen Xuan Phuc  on October 13 attended a ceremony to launch the new academic year at the Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City (VNUHCM), which is Vietnam’s leading centre of higher education and scientific research.

Highlighting the importance of innovation to build and develop the country, the President said that universities and institutes should continue serving as pioneers in this field.

He noted that Vietnam is lagging behind in terms of technological readiness, innovation and labour productivity compared to other Asian countries, while both the public and private sectors have not prioritised spending on science and technology in an effective manner.

A lack of policies to stimulate creativity among scientists and experts has led to the failure to create a driving force for the development and application of science and technology, the State leader noted.
Stressing the need for VNUHCM to be a pioneer in promoting innovation, President Phuc asked the university to update, innovate and develop its training programmes towards the level of top universities in Asia, change its management outlook,  and innovate scientific activities to maximise resources and brainpower of professors, lecturers, and students.

The President also expressed his hope that students will actively grasp and master technologies amid the fourth industrial revolution.

With a total area of 643.7 hectares, VNUHCM is one of the largest educational institutions in Vietnam with 38 units, including seven member universities. Each year, it trains more than 80,000 undergraduate students, more than 7,000 graduate students, and over 1,000 PhD students./.