The 1st “Engaging with Vietnam: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue” Conference

The 1st “Engaging with Vietnam: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue” Conference

23-24 February 2010

Monash University Conference Centre, 30 Collins Street, Melbourne

Sponsored by:

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) Office;

The Cultural Sociology of Education and the Language, Literacy and Education Research Groups, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia


This conference aims to feature Vietnam-related research work by Vietnamese and international researchers and research students in Australian universities and organisations. It aims to cover a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from education to geography, social sciences to art, and from health to business and economics. The conference wishes to explore how knowledge about Vietnam has been constructed and reconstructed in the context of globalisation, mobility and transnationality, and how processes of knowledge mobilisation take place at the local, regional, global and glonocal levels. It also wishes to listen to the participants’ perspectives regarding the issues of ‘brain drain and brain exchange’ and making contributions to Vietnam through research work. Suggestions from researcher presenters and participants on how to build and sustain effective collaborations between researchers working on Vietnam-related issues will be sought as well.

You are invited to submit an abstract of 200 to 300 words describing your research in relation to how it contributes to constructing knowledge about Vietnam in the context of globalisation, mobility and transnationality. You may also want to address your perspectives regarding the issue of ‘brain drain and brain exchange’ and how your research work may help with this issue.


Please click here to download the Conference Program: .


Madame Ton-Nu-Thi Ninh is President of the Founding Committee of Tri Viet University in Viet Nam. This university, to be opened in early 2013, ambitions to be innovative in the context of a Viet Nam in transition: albeit a private enterprise, Tri Viet will dedicate itself to public service, and, while rooted in Vietnamese reality, will be boldly open to the world. In her present project, Madame Ninh’s leadership draws upon her first calling as a scholar and academic, when she taught at the Sorbonne after obtaining an Agregation from the Ecole Normale Superieure de Fontenay- Aux-Roses (France) and Cambridge University (the United Kingdom).
Madame Ninh served Viet Nam’s international integration as a diplomat for more than two decades specializing in multilateral institutions and global issues. From 2000 to 2003, she was Viet Nam’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and Head of Mission to the European Union in Brussels. At the 11th National Assembly of Viet Nam (2002-2007),Madame Ninh served as Vice-Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, focusing on North America and Western Europe.
On the social front, Madame Ninh has been consistently active, with a special interest on gender and post-war legacy issues, such as the impact of Agent Orange/dioxin in Viet Nam. In August 2007 she established the Global Vietnamese Women’s Network – her own women’s NGO – aimed at linking up Vietnamese women within and outside the country contributing in different fields to Viet Nam’s international integration.

Dr. Simon Marginson is Professor of Higher Education at the Centre for the Study of Higher Education in the Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. A Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia since 2000, holder of Australian Research Council project funding continuously since 1995 and a frequent contributor to public discussion of higher education in Australia, his work is focused on globalization and higher education, international education, national policy and systems in education and innovation, and problems of the ‘knowledge economy’ and creative work. He is a member of ten international journal boards including Higher Education, Higher Education Policy, Journal of Higher Education, Educational Researcher and Thesis Eleven. The author of the highly cited Markets in Education (1997) and The Enterprise University (with Mark Considine, 2000), his next two books will be Global Creation: Space, mobility and synchrony in the age of the knowledge economy (with Peter Murphy and Michael Peters, published by Peter Lang in New York in February 2010) and International Student Security (with Chris Nyland, Erlenawati Sawir and Helen Forbes-Mewett, published by Cambridge University Press in May 2010). He has completed several papers for OECD and provided advice on policy to governments in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong China, Ireland and the Netherlands. In Vietnam he has provided recent advice on the development of university rankings, and conducted a case study of the global position, perspectives and strategies of Vietnam National University in Hanoi as part of a program of research on the global position and strategies of research universities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr. Philip Hirsch is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sydney. He is Director of the Mekong Research Group and chairs the Executive Committee of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Professor Hirsch has research interests in natural resource management and land issues, rural change and the politics of environment and development in Southeast Asia, notably Thailand, Cambodia Laos and Vietnam and the wider Mekong Region. He has been involved with collaborative field projects in each country. He has published widely on environment and development in Southeast Asia and is involved in research and teaching networks among geographers and others in a number of Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam. Professor Hirsch is fluent in spoken and written Thai and Lao, speaks and writes intermediate Vietnamese and elementary Khmer.


Dr. Thao Le completed the Bachelors Degree in English linguistics at Saigon University in 1969. With a special interest in ethnography and an enthusiasm of a young graduate, he moved on to undertake a research Masters in Jarai, a highland minority language in Central Highlands of Vietnam. However his dream of living with culturally isolated mountain people as a part of his research fieldwork was dashed due to the fierce war taking place throughout Vietnam at that time. In 1971 Dr. Thao Le was awarded a research scholarship by Monash University, Australia, to undertake PhD in linguistics. His PhD thesis was on theoretical linguistics. Dr. Thao Lê was offered a lectureship at the University of Tasmania in 1974 and has been teaching in the Faculty of Education till now. He has held various positions and played important roles in the development of the Faculty such as: Senior Lecturer, Assistant Dean, Director of the Masters Program, Graduate Research Coordinator and Associate Dean (Research). Currently he is lecturing in postgraduate courses and supervising eighteen research students. He was awarded: – Faculty of Education Mentor Award , – University of Tasmania’s Teaching Excellence Award, – University of Tasmania’s Award for Excellent Contribution to Graduate Supervision and Research. His research interests cover a wide range of academic areas: linguistics, educational multimedia, intercultural studies, and research methodology.

Dr. Adam Fforde is one of the most widely cited authors working on contemporary Vietnam. He holds an honorary position at the Asia Institute of the University of Melbourne and is part-time Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University. He is also Chairman, Adam Fforde and Associates p/l. He studied Engineering and Economics at Oxford and then worked as an economic consultant in London before taking Masters and Doctoral Degrees in Economics at Birkbeck College London and Cambridge respectively. His PhD (1982) was about agricultural cooperatives in north Vietnam and he was a student at Hanoi University in 1978-79. From 1983-87 he was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and since then he has combined academic and consulting work related to Vietnam and to development issues more generally. He worked for the Swedish-Vietnamese cooperation in 1987-92, and was a Senior Fellow at the SEA Studies Program, NUS, in 2000-2001. In Melbourne he has taught sessionally at Monash, Latrobe and the University of Melbourne. His most recent book on Vietnam is Vietnamese State Industry and the Political Economy of Commercial Renaissance: Dragon’s tooth or curate’s egg? Oxford: Chandos 2007. A book on development, Coping with facts – a skeptic’s guide to the problem of development, will be published later this year by Kumarian Press. His current consultancies include studies of the Vietnamese civil service, educational socialization in Ho Chi Minh City and relationships between the environment, foreign trade and human development in various rural sectors in Cambodia.

Dr. Tran Van Hoa holds higher degrees from the University of Western Australia and Monash University, Victoria, Australia. He has taught widely at universities in Australia, Asia (eg, Thammasat, Thailand, and National Economics University, Vietnam) and the US (eg, Stanford), and visited major international research institutes and universities in the US (eg. Columbia, University of California) and Europe (eg, LSE and Cambridge (UK), UCL (Belgium), INSEE and CEPII (France), Kiel Institute of World Economics (Germany), Institute of Advanced Studies (Austria), Rotterdam Econometric Institute). He has trained government officials and business executives in market economics, trade, development and competition policy and business economics in major Asian countries. Professor Tran Van Hoa was Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne, and has published 26 books, over 110 refereed articles in the major applied and theoretical areas of social and welfare economics, economics, business, finance, energy and econometrics in Australian and international professional journals, and over 140 government commissioned reports and conference papers.

Dr Tran Van Hoa is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Asia and Pacific Nations, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Australia, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, 2000 Outstanding People of the 20th Century, 1000 Great Intellectuals of the 21st Century, Dictionary of International Biography, and in Living Legends. He also is a Director of T&M Enterprises P/L (Australia) which provides education and consulting services. In the past few years, he has been a consultant to a number of international (e.g., UNESCAP) and national (e.g., AusAID, ACIL-Cardno, ICC) organisations, and various ministries in Thailand (e.g., commerce) and Vietnam (e.g., trade, and natural resources and environment).


Dr. Phan Le Ha (Phan is the family name), PhD, is a Full Professor in the College of Education, University of Hawai’i at Manoa, USA. Professor Phan also holds adjunct positions at universities in Vietnam and Australia. Her expertise includes language-identity-pedagogy studies, knowledge mobility and production, TESOL, and international and higher education. She is the founder of Engaging with Vietnam, which since 2009 has brought together policy makers, researchers, and professionals working in a wide range of countries and organizations to engage with Vietnam-related scholarship from inter- and multi-disciplinary perspectives and approaches. She looks forward to your helping the Initiative to blossom and sustain itself as a continuing rigorous dialogue.

Phan Le Ha’s expertise, knowledge and experiences are largely informed by her work in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and North America. She has been supervising/advising research projects at Honours, Master’s and PhD levels on a wide range of topics, including identity studies, English language education in global contexts, transnational/offshore education, and the internationalisation of education more broadly.

Her publications can be found on:

Professor Phan is currently developing a new interest in engaging with the arts, the media and the digital world to produce multimodal multidisciplinary scholarship and to push research and knowledge production into new directions.

Dr. Pham Quang Minh is associate professor of history and politics at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH), Vietnam National University-Hanoi. After receiving his PhD in Southeast Asian Studies from Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany) in 2002, he first became deputy head, and then head of the International Studies Department at USSH, and in 2012 Pham Quang Minh was promoted to Vice-Rector for research affairs at the university. His main teaching and researching interests include world politics, Asia-Pacific international relations, and Vietnam’s foreign policy. His articles have appeared in International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, the Journal of Vietnamese Studies, Asia-Pacific Review, and Asia Europe Journal; he has also recently contributed a chapter “East Asia and the Pacific: The Regional Roles of Vietnam and Korea,” to Joon-Woo Park, Gi-Wook Shin, and Donald W. Keyser (eds.), Asias Middle Powers? The Identity and Regional Policy of South Korea and Vietnam, the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University 2013, pp. 73-97.

As Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) of Monash University, Professor Stephanie Fahey is responsible for setting the university’s strategic direction for global engagement in research and education.

Professor Fahey’s career has included positions at several Australian universities, most recently as Director of the Research Institute for Asia Pacific and Acting Assistant Pro Vice-Chancellor (International – Asia Pacific) at the University of Sydney.

Professor Fahey holds a Bachelor of Arts with honours from the University of Sydney and a PhD from the Australian National University. Her research interests have covered socio-economic development in the Pacific, primarily Papua New Guinea, transition of Vietnamese society and economy and more recently the use of the internet in the expression and development of international relations among youth in North East Asia.

Active in community engagement, Professor Fahey has been appointed to many influential government boards, non-governmental organisation boards and business councils including the Foreign Affairs Council, the national board of the Australia China Business Council, the Australia Korea Foundation, and a subcommittee of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Committee which looks at Australia’s engagement with China and India.