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NUOL seeks to improve infrastructure for human resource development

The National University of Laos (NUOL) is drawing up a master plan for infrastructure development at its Dongdok Campus with a view to improving teaching and learning-based activities.
The master plan was tabled for debate at the government’s monthly meeting late last month, which was chaired by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and attended by other cabinet members.
Meeting participants directed the relevant sectors to revise the master plan based on the recommendations of cabinet members, which mostly related to land use.
NUOL Vice President, Assoc. Prof. Dr Phouth Simmalavong, told Vientiane Times on Wednesday the master plan would serve as a template for the university’s future development and better meet the nation’s needs with respect to human resource development.
“The master plan is very important for infrastructure development on the Dongdok Campus, with particular attention paid to roads, and equipment and facilities for teaching and learning-based activities,” he said.
Under the master plan, the campus, which covers over 200 hectares, is divided into zones comprising an academic zone, dormitory area, sports centre, laboratories, and green spaces.
“We will plant more trees and build footpaths in the academic zone and provide more facilities for our teaching and learning activities,” Assoc. Prof. Dr Phouth said.
“What we are lacking is equipment and facilities for research purposes. We don’t have enough labs for students to do research. If possible, each department should have its own lab for research purposes, otherwise we will fall behind other Asean universities.”
Assoc. Prof. Dr Phouth said NUOL would also ensure that lecturers obtained higher degrees so that teaching standards were improved.
In theory, 200 of the university’s lecturers should have PhD degrees, but many of these have retired or taken other jobs. Currently, there are 150-160 staff with PhD degrees. 
Human resource development is essential for the NUOL to improve teaching quality, ensuring that most new graduates are qualified to serve the nation.  
The National University of Laos is the first comprehensive or fully-fledged university in the history of Laos. It was established on November 5, 1996, through the amalgamation of existing higher education institutions which then operated under different ministries.
According to the university website, the NUOL aims to be a centre of excellence in higher education, research and cultural preservation by contributing to capacity building and the strengthening of human resources through fostering intellectual vitality, promoting knowledge and skills, positive attitudes, loyalty, dignity, and good physical and mental health.
One of its main aims is to make graduates the most-sought-after source of manpower by the country and, eventually within the region, so that they satisfy the most demanding employers and become accomplished professionals.

By Somsack Pongkhao
(Latest Update
March 16,

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