The trusted teacher of foreign architecture students in Viet Nam

Having a chance to talk with Dr. Pham Dinh Khue, Head of the Department of Politics and Student Affairs, Hanoi University of Architecture, I understand more about why this school is always famous as the cradle for the country's architectural talents.
Ảnh 2: Thầy giáo, Ts. Phạm Đình Khuê và các sinh viên Lào và Campuchia tại sân trường. (Ảnh: Anh Tuấn)
Mr. Pham Dinh Khue and his students at the Hanoi University of Architecture. (Photo: Nguyen Nhu Tuan)

I was fortunate enough to meet Mr. Pham Dinh Khue, Head of the Department of Politics and Student Affairs, Hanoi University of Architecture.

Discussing with him about the teaching and ideological life of students at the university, he said he was impressed by and interested in the 13th National Party Congress Resolutions which underlines the need to "focus on teaching methods in a positive way; develop qualities and capacities for students; promote political, ideological, ethical, lifestyle and life skills education for students”.

Through the way he communicates with students, it can be felt that he treats students like his own children.

International students’ lifestyle

Following Mr.Khue, I went to visit the spacious 5-story dormitory. Turning to Mr. Nguyen Gia Cat Luong who is in charge of the dormitory, Dr. Khue said: “During this Covid-19 epidemic, you should often remind students to keep the hygiene, lest they easily spread the disease.”

He explained: “In the past, there was a large number of foreign learners studying at the university. We had a separate floor for foreign students. But for the past two years, the Covid-19 epidemic has made the number of students staying in dormitories decrease. The university is renovating that area for international students and Vietnamese boarding students to live in the same block. It’s convenient for us to manage and the students can easily communicate with each other.”

Talking about the positive developments, Mr. Khue said with pride: “During the past many years, there were no Vietnamese or international students breaking the law. Especially, 100% of international students got their graduation degrees. Many international students also got high results in the National Olympics in mechanics and mathematics...”.

When we visited the Cambodian male students’ room, Mr.Khue said to his students: “This place used to belong to a very good math student. He won the second prize at the National Mechanics Olympics. You should follow his example and try to study hard!”.

Coming in a room of the Lao students, he asked Mr. Luong: “Is this the corner for the Mongolian student? Please arrange a private room for this student and a new Mongolian student. International students can stay in the same block with Vietnamese students to communicate, but each country has their own cultural and religious practices, therefore, we should arrange a private place for them”.

Teachers’ concerns

Mr.Khue said: “I’m very proud to work in this school. Formerly being the Architecture Department of the Indochina Fine Arts School during the French Colonial period, the school was established in 1926 in Ha Noi. In the past, the university was renamed and relocated many times before it was officially established according to Decision No 426/TTg dated September 17, 1969, of Prime Minister Pham Van Dong. The university belongs to the Ministry of Construction of Viet Nam.”

Regarding his work at the university since the 1990s, Mr.Khue has been posted to various positions, including lecturer in charge of teaching philosophy, head of the subject of basic principles of Marxism–Leninism, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Political Theory. From 2013 until now, he has worked at the Department of Politics and Student Affairs.

He said: “When I took up this position with the sense of responsibility and pride, especially at the Hanoi University of Architecture, the work of political, ideological, ethical, lifestyle, and social skills education for students has been promoted, as stated in the 13th National Party Congress documents that international cooperation is strengthened proactively and positively to meet the requirements for the development of the education sector toward the sustainable development and for the international integration of the country”.

Thầy giáo, Ts. Phạm Đình Khuê đang hỏi han sinh viên người Lào, Phathana Keoinda tại phòng Ký túc xá. (Ảnh: Nguyễn Như Tuấn).
Mr. Pham Dinh Khue talking with a Lao student. (Photo: Nguyen Nhu Tuan)

Currently, the Hanoi University of Architecture is cooperating with foreign universities such as the University of Adelaide (Australia); University of Nottingham (UK); University of Architecture Toulouse (France); Kitakyushu University (Japan); Muroran Institute of Technology (Japan), Catholic University of America (USA).

Quite busy when taking on “both roles”, teaching and managing students, Mr.Khue said: “In fact, these two roles have a dialectical relationship with each other, while I am working in the education sector".

According to Mr.Khue, a teacher should always be an example of life-long learning, i.e. learning at any age, especially with the assistance of technology.

He confided: “During the current situation of the Covid-19 epidemic in Viet Nam in general and in Ha Noi in particular, I was very emotional when all four Lao students volunteered to join efforts in the fight against the pandemic. Those experiences would help them grow up, be bolder and more active".

Seeing that some Cambodian students seemed to be eager to meet him, Mr.Khue kindly asked: “Please tell me whenever you have any proposals”.

To the students, Mr.Khue is both strict and close like a friend.

He said: “I hope all the students feel the love and sincerity like at home. The students, no matter which country they come from, should be encouraged to study well and then could contribute to their homeland.”

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