History of formation & development

Vietnam Women’s Academy (VWA) is a public higher education institution established under Decision 1558/QD-TTg dated October 18, 2012 of the Prime Minister. Inheriting the development of more than 50 years of the Central Women Cadre Training School, VWA organizes: (1) Training and fostering staff of Women’s Unions (WU) at all levels, female officials for the political system; (2) Participating in training highly qualified human resources (undergraduate, postgraduate) with high quality to meet social needs; (3) Researching from theories and summarizing from practices to advise the Executive Committee and the Presidium of Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) in directing and organizing the work of the Union and the Women’s movements, and proposing to the Party and State issues related to women, women’s work, gender equality and research for training and fostering of VWA.

On March 27, 2013, the Minister of Education and Training issued Decision No. 1103/QD-BGDDT allowing VWA to organize full-time university training in 2 majors: Social Work and Business Administration since 2013.

History of formation and development

On March 8, 1960, the Standing Committee of the Central VWU issued a Resolution to establish the Central School of Women’s Agitation & Propaganda, with the function of training and fostering to improve the qualifications of the officials of VWU at all levels, as well as staff in the work of Women’s Agitation & Propaganda in all sectors. The School’s mission is to improve the theoretical level and ideological awareness of students about the socialist revolution, and to foster professional skills in the work of VWU to promptly meet the central tasks of the Party and of the Women’s movements.

Immediately after the establishment resolution was issued, the organization and staff of the School were also established with more than 10 people, under the direct command of the Party, the Youth Union and the Standing Committee of VWU. The School’s Board of Directors, officers, and employees are mobilized from the Boards of Central VWU and localities. While there was no location yet, the School’s Board of Directors rented the land of Central Agricultural Vocational School (in Van Dien town, Thanh Tri, Hanoi) as a location to organize the first course opening on May 20th, 1960 with a total of 126 students. By the end of 1961, the School had opened 2 courses.

In 1962, the School was allowed by the State to build a location in Lang Thuong ward, Dong Da district, Hanoi. After completing the construction of facilities, the School began to consolidate the Organizational apparatus, including: Board of Directors, Content Department, and Service Department. From a small Party group, the School established a Party cell under the Party Committee of the Central VWU and established a trade union group under the Trade Union of the Central VWU.

In April 1962, the School opened the first course of the long-term program with the content of political theory and the work of Women’s Agitation & Propaganda.

In 1964, to meet the requirements and tasks of the Revolutionary cause and the Women’s movements, the Standing Committee of Central VWU decided to change the name of the Central School of Women’s Agitation & Propaganda to Central Women Cadre Training School with the mission of training and fostering a team of officials responsible for VWU’s work at all levels; the operation and management of the School during this period was in charge by two leaders of VWU. The School has established a Personnel Organization Office, an Administration Office, a Cultural Supplement Branch and a Content Department. During this period, there was a significant change, the Content Department established Departments: Philosophy, Political economy, Party history, Policy, Economic Management, and Women’s Agitation & Propaganda. This is the premise for the establishment of specialized faculties later on.

The School’s management and teaching staff during this period were very young, most were around the age of 30, the majority had secondary and high School education, intermediate level of political theory, some with advanced level; all officials and employees are trained in primary political theory and cultural enrichment.

From 1960-1964, the School organized 4 training courses with a total of 600 students, including 301 long-term students.

From 1965-1975

It was a period of consolidation and development of the School. In 1965, the School’s apparatus was consolidated and perfected. The Board of Directors includes 3 comrades (1 Director and 2 Deputy Directors). The groups of Departments (Policy group, Philosophy group, Economics group, Women’s Agitation & Propaganda group) and Offices (Administration, Library, and Cultural Enrichment Branch) are formed.

Also during this period, to meet the Revolutionary situation and the need to train southern cadres, Le Thi Rieng School was established (March 8th, 1969).

By 1971, the organizational apparatus was increasingly improved to implement the intermediate theoretical training program. From the Departments, the School has formed the following faculties: Philosophy, Political Economy & Economic management, Science Socialism, Party History & Party Building, Work of Women’s Agitation & Propaganda. The School’s teaching staff is increasingly improving in quality. The School is supplemented and strengthened with staff from political theory schools from the Ministry of Education and the Central Propaganda Department.

During this time, the US sabotage war was fierce, the School had to organize evacuations to preserve its forces. Officials and employees had overcome difficulties and dangers to conduct training right at the School, promptly meeting the needs of training and fostering local officials. The School has organized 2 training courses in Viet Bac and a refresher course in Hoa Binh.

In 1972, in addition to training domestic WU’s officials, the School organized training for 133 women officials of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Many Lao students who attended training courses at the School later held key leadership positions in the Lao Women’s movements from central to local levels.

From 1975 – 1985

Facing the Revolutionary requirements and tasks in the new period, it is necessary to build a team of capable and qualified staff. The organizational structure, the team of teachers and employees of the School are also constantly being built, strengthened and developed. The School has established an additional Office of Organization – Education. The School’s organizational apparatus includes the Board of Directors, 5 specialized departments (Philosophy, Political Economy & Economic management, Science Socialism, Party History & Party Building, and Work of Women’s Agitation & Propaganda), and 2 functional Offices (Administration – Management, and Organization – Education). The total number of teachers and staff at the School is up to 60 people.

The staff of Le Thi Rieng School has also been consolidated and strengthened. From the 13 comrades returning from the war zone, the School recruited more service workers and teachers, bringing the total number of teachers at the School to 45 people. The School’s organizational structure includes the Board of Directors and 2 Offices: Academic Affairs and Personnel Organization.

In 1984, Le Thi Rieng School was renamed into School for Women’s Officials, Division II, with an organizational structure including the Board of Directors and 2 Offices: Administrative Management and Personnel Organization, with 29 officers and employees. 

From 1986 – 1990

During this period, the School’s organizational structure was streamlined, in a more positive and effective direction. Based on the functions and tasks of training activities, the School has consolidated and merged, renaming 5 specialized faculties into 2 faculties: Faculty of Marxist-Leninist Theory and Faculty of Logistics, and has established 1 new room called Women’s Empowerment – Service. The total number of staff and employees of the School during this period was only 40 people.

Compared to previous periods, during this period, the qualifications of the School’s staff, lecturers, and workers have continuously improved. 100% of teachers graduated from university, 50% are studying professional, graduate and doctoral programs, and almost 70% have level A and B in foreign languages.

From 1990 – 1996

This is the period when the organizational structure and staff of the University gradually improved the quality of operations. The School’s staff has been reduced in the direction of reducing office workers and service staff and strengthening the team of teachers and researchers. The total number of School staff by 1996 was only 28 people, of which administrators and teachers accounted for 60%.

During these years, the School’s teachers and staff have also actively studied to improve their qualifications: 100% of teachers have university degrees, in which 9 comrades have 2 university degrees, 2 comrades have master’s degrees, 8 comrades are graduate students and graduate students, and 2 comrades have high political qualifications.

During this period, the organizational apparatus and staff of the Central Women Cadre Training School II were also consolidated in a streamlined and efficient direction. The total number of staff is 21 comrades, of which the Board of Directors includes 3 comrades, 9 lecturers, and 9 service staff.

From 1996-2000

The School continues to strengthen its organizational structure to improve the operational capacity of its staff. The School has merged the Offices of Administration – Management, and Organization – Education into the Administrative Organization Office. The organizational apparatus includes the Board of Directors, Faculties, and Offices: Marxist – Leninist Theory, Women’s Agitation & Propaganda and Administrative Organization Office. The School’s staff qualifications have made significant progress: by 2000, there were 9 masters, 3 postgraduate staff and graduate students; 90% of lecturers have advanced degrees and bachelor’s degrees in Politics.

To meet the requirements of innovation, the Central Women Cadre Training School II continues to strengthen its organizational and staff apparatus. The Political Theory Faculty, Logistics Faculty, the Business Group and the Administration – Management Office are established. By 2000, the School had 5 teachers with master’s degrees, 1 postgraduate teacher and 40% of teachers with foreign language qualifications A, B, C.

From 2000-2004

This is a period with many major changes in the School’s organizational structure. In 2000, the Central Women Cadre Training School and the Central Women Cadre Training School II were merged to form the Central Women Cadre Training School.

Since July 2002, implementing the Resolution of the 9th National Women’s Congress, under the firsthand direction of the Presidium of Central VWU, the School has conducted research and developed a project to establish VWA. To bring training activities into order and professionally, the School has established a Training Office.

In order to prepare the conditions for establishing VWA and unifying training and research activities, in May 2004, the Central VWU decided to merge the Research Department of the Central VWU into the School and established the Women’s Studies Center under VWA.

The organizational structure has been consolidated, including the Board of Directors (including 1 Director, 1 Deputy Director in charge of Administration and Management, 1 Deputy Director in charge of Research, and 1 Deputy Director in charge of the operations of the Campus) and 6 affiliated units: Marxist-Leninist Theory Faculty, Women’s Agitation & Propaganda Faculty; Administrative Organization Office; Training Office, Central Women Cadre Training School Campus and Women’s Studies Center. The School also formed an Enterprise Department.

The total number of employees during this period is 73 people. The qualifications of the School’s staff and lecturers have improved significantly compared to the previous period. The School has 2 PhDs; 16 Masters and 18 Bachelors.

From 2005 – 2010

To prepare for the establishment of VWA, the organizational structure and staff of the School have undergone major improvements and changes:

In 2007, the name of Women’s Agitation & Propaganda Faculty was changed to Women’s Affairs Faculty, and Marxist-Leninist Theory Faculty became Basic Sciences Faculty.

In 2008, Business Administration Faculty was established based on Enterprise Department.

In 2009, the Center of Training and Capacity Building for Women was established; another 3 functional departments under the Women’s Studies Center were established as well, which are Gender & Development Studies Office, Women’s Movement Studies Office, and Family and Social Issues Studies Office.

The Campus in Ho Chi Minh City has Offices of Administrative Organization and of Training, and Faculties of Basic Sciences and of Women’s Work.

This is a period of outstanding development for the School in terms of quantity and quality of staff. The Board of Directors was supplemented with a Deputy Director in charge of Training. The total number of permanent and contract staff of the School has increased to 85. The professional qualifications of School officials and teachers are increasingly improving. The School has 6 PhDs, 7 PhD students, 31 Masters, and 32 Bachelors…

On March 3rd, 2010, the Prime Minister issued Official Dispatch No. 380/TTg-KGVX approving the policy of establishing VWA on the basis of upgrading the Central Women Cadre Training School.

From 1960 to 2010, the staff, lecturers, and researchers of the University have constantly innovated, united, overcome all difficulties, strived to well realize the goals of training, research, and implementation, fulfilled the tasks assigned by the Presidium of VWU, and gradually met the requirements of training for VWU officials at all levels. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its founding (March 8th, 1960 – March 8th, 2010), the Central Women Cadre Training School has received the Second Class Independence Medal.

From 2010 – 2020

On October 18th, 2012,  the Prime Minister signed Decision No. 1558-TTg on the establishment of VWA on the basis of upgrading the Central Women Cadre Training School.

Workshop on the Development Orientation of VWA

On March 27th, 2013, the Ministry of Education and Training issued Decision No. 1103/QD-BGDDT allowing VWA to train university-level majors.

From 2020 to present

In 2020, VWA was recognized as meeting educational quality accreditation standards according to the Standards for Assessing the Quality of Educational Institutions (EI) of Vietnam issued together with Circular 12/2017/TT-BGDDT of the Ministry of Education and Training. This is a set of standards for assessing the quality of EI in Vietnam following the AUN-QA standards approach – compatible with the US and European standards – which have been accepted by ASEAN countries. for consistent use within the Southeast Asian Universities Network (AUN).

On October 18th, 2022, VWA celebrated the 10th anniversary of its establishment with outstanding developments in training scale (increasing from 2 initial university training majors to 10 training majors, opening other High Quality training and International Joint training for Business Administration, and other Master’s trainings in Social Work and Business Administration). The number of students trained annually increased from 300 (2013) to nearly 5,000; the number of lecturers increased from more than 100 to over 200; the infrastructure conditions are invested and expanded in Gia Lam District…

In the 2023 – 2024 academic year, VWA enrolls 1,515 students for 10 regular university majors including: Business Administration, Law, Economic Law, Information Technology, Social Work, Gender & Development, Tourism & Hospitality Management, Multimedia Communications, Economics, and Psychology.

It is expected that VWA will continue to open other PhD training programs in Social Work and Business Administration in 2023.

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