What is it about?

This study explores early career academic mentoring in Vietnamese higher education. It examines the State’s and university’s documents together the social and cultural influences. The findings indicate that the State and the institution aspire to maintain their control with policy documents and grant the mentors with reporting power. The mentoring policy seems to have a range of flaws but the participants are not encouraged to voice their critiques or to construct an alternative discourse. It is concluded that the policy is unlikely to create active academics.

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Why is it important?

This is the first time Foucault’s governmentality concept has been used to explore a policy discourse in Vietnamese higher education. The use of Fairclough’s approach to critical discourse analysis to examine the State’s and university’s documents reveals that the mentoring policy seeks to frame and regulate the academics but not necessarily optimise their capacities and thus it may not deliver its productive function. The study suggests that a similar phenomenon may hold true for future research attempts into State policies in Vietnam.

Perspectives

This article offered me the chance to bring in the data that I collected and analysed while working on my doctoral candidature but is not presented in my dissertation. Having TESOL and applied linguistics background, I found so much fun in the process of data analysis and article drafting.

Minh Nguyen
La Trobe University

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This page is a summary of: The distant “gaze” on academic mentoring, Text & Talk - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language Discourse Communication Studies, September 2019, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/text-2019-2043.
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