Celebrating 40 years of establishment of the Dalat University Faculty of Literature and History

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     On December 31, 2022, the Dalat University (DLU) Faculty of Literature and History solemnly held the 40th Anniversary of the Faculty’s establishment (1982 – 2022) with many meaningful activities.

Delegates attending the celebration

     The celebration was attended by Dr. Le Minh Chien – Secretary of the Party Committee, President of DLU and leaders of the faculties and functional departments of the University. A large number of permanent lecturers, visiting lecturers, former lecturers, students, and alumni of the DLU Faculty of Literature and History over the years have gathered to recall the proud 40-year journey together.

     At the celebration ceremony, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Duong Huu Bien – Dean of the Faculty of Literature and History recalled the 40-year journey. Over the past 40 years, the DLU Faculty of Literature and History has trained tens of thousands of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral graduates for the Central Highlands region in particular and the country in general. Therefore, the lecturers and students of all generations of the Faculty have the right to be proud of what they have achieved on the journey of research, teaching, learning and dedication to the homeland and the country. For many consecutive years, the Faculty of Literature and History has been an excellent labor force and has been awarded certificates of merit many times by the Ministry of Education and Training. Currently, the Faculty has a team of highly qualified lecturers, including: 2 associate professors – PhDs, 15 PhDs and the remaining lecturers all have master’s degrees. The faculty is in the top of the school in terms of the proportion of highly qualified lecturers.

     At the same time, on behalf of the lecturers, alumni, and students of the Faculty of Literature and History, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Duong Huu Bien expressed his gratitude to the leaders of DLU and generations of leaders of the faculties and departments and staff of the University for directing, supporting, and collaborating with the Faculty during 40 years of development. The Dean of the Faculty of Literature and History expressed his sincere thanks to the generation of leaders and lecturers of the Faculty, as well as tens of thousands of alumni, students, trainees, and doctoral students of all training disciplines.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Duong Huu Bien – Dean of the Faculty of Literature and History recalled a proud 40-year journey

     Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Le Minh Chien affirmed that the Faculty of Literature and History is one of the specialized units with the longest tradition of the university. For many years, generations of staff, lecturers, students and faculty members of the Faculty have made unremitting efforts in teaching, learning, research, technology transfer and responsibility to the society and the country. The Faculty has made great contributions to the cause of education and training, being one of the pioneers and leading units in training innovation, improving the quality of vocational education. Thereby, the Faculty is becoming one of the important factors contributing to the general development of DLU today.

     In the series of activities celebrating the 40th Anniversary, the DLU Faculty of Literature and History has selected, edited, and published 02 anthologies:

(1) The book LANGUAGE AND HISTORY ISSUES consists of 2 volumes: Volume 1 – “Problems of Literature and Journalism” and Volume 2 – “Problems of History and Culture”; with the work of some deceased scientists which were selected by their families or by the Editorial Board from previously published works as an effort to show gratitude to the lecturers who have devoted their lives to higher education, social sciences and humanities of the country. In addition, there are contributions from former lecturers and specialized and interdisciplinary faculty members. A number of PhD students and graduate students in the Vietnamese History and Vietnamese Literature programmes were also encouraged by the Dean’s Committee to participate with their first research works.

(2) The proceedings “Memories of alumni of the Faculty of Literature and History throughout 40 years (1982 – 2022)” with articles about the lecturers and memories, from the acquisition of knowledge, learning and research methods to the feelings between lecturers and students. This is not a chronicle of the Faculty of Literature and History, but more or less through the proceedings, certain periods of development, some important events, respectable names have been mentioned…

Dr. Le Minh Chien – President of Dalat University presented flowers to congratulate the Faculty

     Looking back on the past 40 years, generations of lecturers and students of the Faculty of Literature and History today will continue to inherit and develop proud values and traditions to become the best institution of Literature and History training of the Central Highlands.

In 2022, 40 years have passed since the Faculty of Literature and History, then known as the Faculty of Literature – History, was present in the faculties of Dalat University. On August 6, 1982, many lecturers of the Faculty of Literature and History left the Faculty of Pedagogy of Tay Nguyen University to work at DLU. Normally, universities will establish a Faculty and then conduct enrollment, or develop a department into a faculty, or separate a branch of a multidisciplinary faculty to establish a new faculty. As for the DLU Faculty of Literature and History, since its establishment, there had already been Literature students of the 3rd, 4th and 5th courses, along with their lecturers. When moving to DLU, the Faculty had the 6th course, the first official enrollment course at this university. So as soon as it was established, the Faculty already had lecturers and had all 4 training courses. That is a rare and memorable feature in the history of the Faculty of Literature – History in the early days and the Faculty of Literature and History today.

The faculty and students of Faculty of Literature and History acknowledged the leading generation of the faculty, including respectable lecturers: Mr. Le Van Son – the first Dean of the Faculty of Literature – History, along with many lecturers of Literature: Mr. Pham Hau Thanh, Mr. Nguyen Khac Huan, Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, Ms. Phan Thi Hong, Mr. Vu Minh Tien, Mr. Nguyen Van Kha, Mr. Nguyen Huu Hieu, Mr. Do Quoc Cuong, Mr. Nguyen Hong Dung; and respected lecturers of History: Mr. Nguyen Canh Hue, Mr. Cao The Trinh, Mr. Le Dinh Ba, Mr. Nguyen Thong, Ms. Hoang Thi Nhu Y, Ms. Thu Nhung Mlo Duon Du, etc.

These first generation lecturers come from two training institutions which are Hanoi General University and Vinh University of Education. They are the pioneers of the Faculty. Overcoming many difficulties and challenges at the end of the subsidy period, with a love for the profession and love for students, the lecturers in their 30s have made many important contributions to the formation and opening of an intellectual incubator, especially is in the work of recruiting, training and managing students. Most of these lecturers have tried their best to practice and have achieved PhD degrees or associate professor titles, many of them later became faculty and department leaders.

Between 1982 and 1994, the Faculty continuously added new teaching staff including researchers from the North, from research institutes and universities in Hanoi: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Khac Tung from the Institute of Anthropology, became the Dean of the Faculty of Literature and History; Mr. Nguyen Tuan Tai (from the Institute of Linguistics) and Mr. Le Van Son are co-Vice Deans of the Faculty. There was also Mr. Le Hong Binh from the Institute of Anthropology, who was the Dean of the Faculty of History; Assoc. Prof. Ho Tan Trai – former lecturer of Hanoi University, was the Dean of the Faculty of Literature – History, then the Dean of the Faculty of Literature. Associate Professor Nguyen Gia Phu from Hanoi University also went to Da Lat and served as Head of the History Department. In 1994, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Chi Dung from the Ministry of Education and Training went to DLU to assume the position of Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities and then Head of the Faculty of Literature. We are grateful for the timely presence of well-known scientists who have made great contributions to professional work, especially in the field of social science and humanities research of the Faculty and of the University. Since then, many research projects have been implemented, mostly associated with training and serving the Central Highlands, many collective works have been published, and many seminars and conferences have been held.

During this time, besides some former lecturers of The Catholic University of Dalat such as Mr. Nguyen Thanh Chau, Mr. Nguyen Hong Giap, the Faculty was supplemented with lecturers from colleges and high schools, such as Ms. Ho Thi Kim Hoang, Mr. Pham Quang Trung, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Hao, Mr. Nguyen Minh, Mr. Hoang Trong Ha. Some excellent graduates have also been invited to work as lecturers such as: Mr. Hoang Duc Lam, Ms. Ha Thi Mai, Ms. Huynh Thi Minh Phuong, Mr. Nguyen Van Minh and Mr. Huynh Van Thong.

The Faculty also recruited graduates from the Faculty of Literature, the Faculty of History of Hanoi General University and Ho Chi Minh City General University. They are Mr. Pham Quoc Ca, Mr. Tran Van Bao, Mr. Le Hong Phong, Mr. Nguyen Cong Chat, Mr. Duong Huu Bien, Mr. Bui Van Hung, Mr. Le Minh Chien,… Mr. Ha Nhat Tinh, a university graduate from the Soviet Union, also worked at the Faculty during this time. Most of these lecturers have continued to contribute to the development of the Faculty, many of them in turn becoming leaders of the University and leaders of faculties and departments.

The lecturers – scientists just mentioned above, most of them are retired or near-retired, some have changed jobs, some have passed away… The Faculty has gone through many development stages with different mergers and separations, but has always developed in terms of organization and team building quite continuously. The process of training intellectuals for the country is also the process of self-training and scientific research of the lecturers themselves. Currently, the key force of the Faculty of Literature and History are lecturers aged 35-45, most of them have master’s degrees or higher, more than half of the teaching staff are PhDs. The young generation of lecturers is both the present and the promising future of the trustworthy and proud Faculty of Literature and History.

About recruitment and training: there have been a lot of achievements but also certain ups and downs over the 40-year period. As mentioned above, right from the beginning of the Faculty’s establishment, we immediately had 4 courses in Literature major. K6 literature class in 1982 and K8 History class in 1984 were the first classes enrolled at the new school. In the first courses until1990, the Literature and History classes had an average size of 30-50 students. In the context that the total enrollment target for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Literature and History major was only about 100 and later increased to 200 students/year, the percentage of Literature and History students was quite high. There was an interdisciplinary training course in Literature and History in the first 2 years, the 12th course, but then returned to regular training in Literature and History separately, until the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities was established. By 1991, the 15th course of the Literature major had about 120 students. Since then, the number of students has steadily increased. Perhaps the 20th course is the highest peak in terms of the number of candidates taking the exam and being admitted to the programmes, with over 400 students joined the Literature programmes and over 300 students joined the History programmes from 1996 and earlier. The 23rd course was the last course training in 2 stages. From the 24th course, students joined the Faculty right from the first year, but the numbers of students joining Literature and History majors were high until courses 26, 27… with 2 classes A and B for each major in many courses. That was also the time when our university reached the scale of 25-28 thousand students.

In 1986, the Faculty started enrolling students for the first part-time undergraduate course in both Literature and History in order to meet the learning needs of learners, mainly school-going staff. Later, there were a few distance training courses, but basically both the faculty and the university did not promote this distance learning system in order to maintain the prestige and quality of the brand. The Faculty of Literature and the Faculty of History also ensured the teaching quality while collaborating with the Faculty of Pedagogy to train the secondary school teacher who hadn’t had bachelor degree.

In addition to research and teaching Literature, Literature Education, History, History Education, members of the Faculty also contribute to the opening, training, or management of new disciplines, new faculties such as: Faculty of Education (with successive Deans, Dr. Nguyen Khac Huan and Dr. Nguyen Manh Hung), Department of Vietnamese Studies and Faculty of Oriental Studies (Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cao The Trinh was the Head of the Department, then the Dean), Faculty of Law (Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bui Van Hung was Dean), Department of Sociology (Ms. Ha Thi Mai was Dean), Faculty of Social Work – Community Development (Mr. Nguyen Tuan Tai is Dean), Department of Cultural Studies (Assoc. Prof. Dr. Phan Thi Hong was Dean cum Head of Department), Postgraduate Faculty (Dr. Hoang Thi Nhu Y and Dr. Vo Tan Tu were faculty leader), Department of Culture and Tourism (Dr. Vo Thi Thuy Dung – Head of Department), Department of Chinese Studies (Dr. Nguyen Canh Chuong – In charge of the Department)… Thus, the permanent lecturers of the Faculty have contributed to the construction and development of many faculties and disciplines of the School ever since.

Up to now, in terms of enrollment and training, it cannot be denied that, due to objective reasons, the number of students enrolled in the university’s basic sciences faculties, including Literature and History, has decreased markedly in the last 5 years. The Faculty and the University are trying to maintain the majors, and fortunately, in 2022, the enrollment of Literature and History majors has shown signs of improvement. Especially, the Faculty has been allowed to enroll and train two new majors: Culture and Tourism and Chinese Studies. The good news is that the Chinese studies major has recruited over 60 students in the first course and 120 students in the second course. The university is creating the best conditions to help the Faculty recruit students and maintain and develop majors.

Not only training undergraduate majors, the Faculty has been strongly developing postgraduate training. Since 1994, the joint master’s courses opened by the University of Social Sciences Ho Chi Minh City at Da Lat University have mainly trained lecturers in Literature, Linguistics and History majors for the University. Currently, the Faculty is training the the 30th Master’s course majoring in Vietnamese Literature and Vietnamese History. The Faculty has also been training doctoral level. The Department of Vietnamese History is one step ahead in organizing the thesis defense for the University to grant a doctoral degree; The Vietnam Literature major in early 2023 will also conduct procedures to organize doctoral theses defense for 02 PhD students. The Faculty also warmly welcomes undergraduate programmes alumni to go back to school to study for Master’s or PhD degrees.

During 20 years of the Master’s and PhD programmes, both History and Literature majors have received the continuous cooperation and support of dozens of professors, associate professors, and PhDs outside the university. They have lectured, guided, critiqued and participated in thesis grading committees. Prior to that, dozens of lecturers of the Faculty had studied to become PhDs at training institutions outside the University, most of them from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities and Ho Chi Minh City University of Education.

In terms of research: Research achievements of lecturers and students have increased in parallel with the training and self-training process of lecturers. Hundreds of university-level research projects, dozens of ministerial-level research projects, many student-level research projects, and provincial-level research projects have linked education with research, university with localities, and initially having certain practical applications. Hundreds of articles by lecturers are published in prestigious international journals, dozens of books are published with international indexes. It can be said that, the good or excellent doctoral theses are published and have received central and local awards.

In addition to the achievements and results on organizational structure and team building, enrollment and training, research, the Faculty of Literature and History in the past have always received the close leadership and direction of the Party Committee, the Executive Board and the cooperation of functional departments. Thanks to that, the Faculty has also done well in other activities such as: political work, student service, trade union work, Youth Union – Student Union work, quality accreditation and many other important works.

With the achievement of training tens of thousands of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral graduates for the Central Highlands in particular and for Vietnam in general, the teaching staff and students of the Faculty of Literature and History have the right to be proud of what they have gained through research, teaching, learning and contribution to society. For many consecutive years, the Faculty has been an excellent labor collective and have received the Certificate of Merit from the Ministry of Education and Training and the university’s awards many times.

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Department of Journalism and Communication