Dr Abe V Rotor
The mythical bird Phoenix deserves a place in history. It is not confined only in the imagination shaped by the gods and goddesses of Mt Olympus. Go to Vietnam. Here mythology lost much of its myth. Myth after all is reality when people are able to rise from the ashes of war, specially by themselves alone.
I have visited their museum - the War Museum - and saw the atrocities committed during the two-decade US-led war against the Vietnamese enshrined in history and memory.
I have entered the Cuchi Tunnel, the underground network dug by bare hands which runs through more than 500 kilometers. It is an underground city complete with hospital, kitchen, living quarters and offices. It is indeed an engineering feat. Above it all, monumental human endurance and determination for freedom - first from their colonial masters the French, afterward the US invaders.
What I least expected in my visit in Vietnam is their tremendous zeal for self-improvement through education. Most scholars think of the West when it comes to superiority in education. Wrong. Go to Ho Chi Minh University of Technology, named after the national hero in the Vietnam War. It is here where my wife, a friend of ours - Atty Edna Loberia, and I found Vietnam of today and how it is going to face the world - and win another war.
Author and wife, pose with Vietnamese alumni at the entrance to the University
Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (HCMUT) is the leading university in teaching and research activities of Vietnam. It plays the active role in the fields of talents cultivation and providing manpower with strong technical skills to the Southern areas of Vietnam .
HCMUT is a center of technology - industry and management training. Graduate students from HCMUT have strong professional skills, which are recognized to be equivalent to those in advanced countries in the Southeast Asia. Its training activities have made remarkable contribution to satisfy the requirements of manpower for the industrialization and modernization of Vietnam generally and Southern Vietnam areas in particular.
Moreover, HCMUT is also the science research and technology transfer center which plays the key role in providing information and applying advanced technologies of developed countries and transferring to concerning industries in the Southern areas of Vietnam .
Professors are relatively young. They are idealistic and nationalistic. Many trained abroad, particularly in the Asian region.
HCMUT has 11 faculties, 10 science research and industry transferring centers, 4 training centers, 10 functioning offices and one limited company. During the past 30 years since the Liberation of South Vietnam and country unification, 45,000 engineers and Bachelors have graduated from the university. Since 1994, it has granted 20,000 Bachelors of Science, 1,503 Masteral and 25 Doctorate, many of whom are either keeping management roles and or leading experts in state-owned or foreign-investment enterprises of different industries in Ho Chi Minh City and other southern provinces. HCMUT celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2007 highlighted by a national conference on science and technology.
The university is linked up with well known institutions like the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok, Maastritcht of Netherlands, and Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Western Australia. Vietnamese students studied agriculture at UP at Los Baños and IRRI. Today the Philippines import rice from Vietnam, the second largest rice exporter in the world.
New buildings have been built after liberation and reunification on the university's sprawling campus half an hour drive from the heart of the city - Ho Chi Minh, formerly Saigon
HCMUT's publishing house and book store.
A laboratory for microbiology
Environmental awareness outreach program of the University
The University continues to build new buildings to keep pace with research, education and training needed by the rapidly growing nation. Vietnam has posted an average growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 10 percent in the last decade, second highest in Asia after China.
A few minutes drive from the university is the city's plaza and garden which takes pride in protecting trees spared by the war. Third to the last photo is the historic brick cathedral built by the French during their occupation in Vietnam for more than two centuries.
Acknowledgment: Chi Minh University of Technology E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 268 Ly Thuong Kiet St, Ward 14, District 10, HCM city. From Internet.