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Nguyen Thi Thanh Ha has been named the youngest female associate professor of 2020 in Vietnam. — Photo courtesy of Hanoi University of Science and Technology

Ha received the title at the age of 34 in early December last year by the State Council for Professorship.

“I spent a lot of time preparing the application and I was thrilled to receive the results. What surprised me most was the title of the youngest female associate professor of the year,” she said.

“This made me very happy and honoured.”

Ha was raised in a family with a tradition of teaching in northern Hoa Binh Province and often stood outside the classroom watching her mother teaching students after school.   

During her years at school, Ha showed promise in maths and considered studying economics or banking, which could have led to a high-income job.

However, Ha decided to follow her dream and entered the University of Education under Hanoi National University.

“My mother burst out with happiness. I had never seen her so joyful like that,” Ha said.

She graduated from the university and decided to continue studying for a master’s degree while working as a lecturer at Hanoi University of Science and Technology.


In more than 10 years of research, Ha has had 28 scientific articles published, of which 16 are in prestigious international journals such as Materials Chemistry and Physics, European Physical Journal, and Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids.

Ha said her career path was very smooth because she got support from many talented and dedicated teachers.

She recalled the day of her thesis defence when she was extremely nervous and got a bad feeling, so she called home to ask if her mother, who had fallen ill recently, was okay.

When she was informed that her mother had passed away, she immediately returned to her hometown, leaving the thesis defence incomplete.

After a week of mourning her mother, she returned and got support from her instructors and peers to complete her thesis defence.

“I'm truly thankful to be so lucky. Without those teachers and partners, I would not have been able to complete my research as smoothly as that,” she said.

Ha also said that she had learned a great deal from her mother in striving for the best in life.  VNS

The special teacher of Vietnam's youngest associate professor: her mother

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