Nowadays, there have been increasingly many young Vietnamese wishing to learn science to follow a research career. However, being confused by misleading social and in developing science, these people are challenged by many questions regarding science, research career and tend to lose their determination of pursuing a research career. A sustainable and basic approach for developing science and research for our home country is to do from the bottom in which the young generations are enlightened by the essence of science, by scientific backgrounds, and fundamentally suited by essential skills of research methodology. The establishment of the Vietnam Summer School of Science (VSSS) is an innovative solution to realize this approach.
The VSSS aims at inspiring and supporting young Vietnamese generations (including young higher-education academics, young researchers, and students) who are potential and/or keen as well as full of passions on pursuing research as a career. The summer school is held annually on the basis of purely academic and non-profit activities. The lectures given at the summer school will cover essentials of science, research skills as well as selected studies in natural, technical, social, and economic fields.
Vietnam Summer School of Science (VSSS) is an initiative of a young Vietnamese scientist group (Ngo Duc The, Luu Quang Hung, and Giap Van Duong) working oversea and nationwide who wished to inspire young students in their home country. It aims to inspire courage and support Vietnamese students and young generations who are keen as well as full of passion for pursuing research as a career.
The activities of VSSS are run through the Board of Directors which is headed by Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Anh and is advised by Prof. GS. Jean Tran Thanh Van. Other members of the Board of Directors since 01/2020 include Dr. Ngo Duc The, Dr. Giap Van Duong, Dr. Luu Quang Hung, Dr. Dang Van Son, Dr. Nguyen To Lan, and Dr. Nguyen Tu Mai. Students who attend VSSS are exempt from 100% of attendance fees and given a part of living expenses support if funding conditions allow. The Board of Directors operates without remuneration, and they are responsible for mobilizing social resources to support the cost of organizing the summer school, as well as a travel and accommodation part of the lecturers and students.
The first summer school (VSSS’01) was held in August 2013 thanks to great support from VNU University of Science via several staff members including Dr. Trinh Thi Thuy Giang (Vice president, VNU Scientist Link – VSL). The VSSS’01 took place in two days (5, 6 August 2013) with 80 students selected from 180 competitive applicants. The students enjoyed 10 lectures from 6 speakers, ranging from the basis of science, research experiences and skills, and their application to the experiences in getting admission and scholarships. Organizers of the summer school thereafter received a large number of positive feedback from the participants and student communities regarding teaching programs and inspired lecturing methods in the summer school.
Triggered by the success of the VSSS’01, the second summer school (VSSS’02) was organized at Vietnam National University Hanoi in 2014 summer in three days (20-22/8/2014) with a larger scale. The organizers received lager numbers of applications submitted by over 500 applicants, among them 250 excellent applicants were invited to participate. The lectures were increased to 23 presented by 18 lecturers. The lectures covered not only natural science and engineering but also economics and social sciences. Several VSSS’01 students, who obtained certain successes after the first summer school was invited to share their experiences in the interactive and experience-shared session.
In summer 2015, the 3rd VSSS was again held successfully in Hanoi (24-26/8/2015) with over 200 students. Together with basic lectures optimized from the last summer school, new lectures on interactive and team-work exercises were added to the teaching program. This content was further developed and optimized in the 4th and 5th VSSS where the participants had more time to practice their lesions via interactive activities and team-work assignments. Since the 4th VSSS, we have been received important support and sponsor from Rencontres du Vietnam. The 5th VSSS (2017) was the first time the summer school was held in Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh at Interdisciplinary Center for Science and Education as an official activity of the Rencontres du Vietnam. Especially, at the 7th VSSS(2019), we had more than 120 passionate participants who were selected from 1721 applicants!
After seven summer schools, the VSSS have received a large number of positive feedback from the participants who praised our teaching program and teaching method, as well as encouraged the organizers to keep developing the summer school. This feedback is crucial for the organizers to keep optimizing the teaching program at the future summer schools. Several alumni, who reached certain successes in their study, were invited to present at the summer schools as typical experiences for the present participants.
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