Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has called on the Viet Nam National University- HCM City to make every effort to become a Vietnamese "brand name"
Speaking at the opening of the academic year yesterday, he said university officials should set a schedule for climbing up the list of leading world universities.
It should act as a link between the country's universities and research institutes to strengthen scientific research, he said.
He hailed its research successes and the initiatives taken by its research centres.
The university has 60 labs for research and training, which are also the setting for many of the country's main science and technology programmes in automation, IT, ICT, bio-technology, computer science, and telecommunications.
The number of science articles it published in foreign journals was up four times last year from 2006 at 110. In the period its articles' index of impact factor (IF) rose from 1.49 to 2.06.
In the 2014 Quacquarelli Symonds University Ranking in Asia, the two Viet Nam National Universities are in the top 200: the Viet Nam National University-Ha Noi is in the 161-170 group, and the Viet Nam National University-HCM City, in the 191-200 group.
Prof Dr Phan Thanh Binh, the university's president, said that the university aims to also become a research institute, a world-class one and a leader in the region.
In September its University of Technology became the first in Viet Nam to have two programmes — computer engineering and computer science — certified as meeting the US's Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology standards.
Dam said the university is likely to have more member universities meeting these standards, and then it would become a model for others in the country.
It should make suggestions on how to improve training quality to the education ministry and the Government, he added.
Dr Tran Hong Quan, a former education minister, said the Government should invest more in the country's main universities like the Viet Nam National University-HCM City so that they have enough money to build the facilities they require.
He also called for giving it autonomy in terms of administration, finance, and academic programmes, an urgent requirement for fixing the problems tertiary education faces.
Dam also met with and offered words of encouragement to the university's students.
"Put in a lot of effort, believe in yourselves, and set goals," he told them.
"Help the country develop quickly. You are Viet Nam's biggest strength."