Wednesday 14 June 2023
  • A landmark programme marking 30 years of the British Council’s presence in Viet Nam and 50 years of UK-Vietnamese diplomatic relations.
  • Live and digital performances at the Season launch showcasing innovative and creative works from UK and Vietnamese artists. 
  • A long-lasting cooperation between the British Council in Viet Nam and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has also been fostered through the signing of a MOU 

Hanoi, 14 June 2023 – British Council, the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations, today announced the UK/Viet Nam Season 2023, a series of programmes from June through December that showcases and celebrates the best of educational and cultural exchange and collaboration between the two countries. 

Celebrating the British Council's 30-year anniversary in Viet Nam and 50 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Viet Nam, the UK/Viet Nam Season, themed on both Climate and the Environment and Shared Heritage, will bring together thought leaders, academics, educators, entrepreneurs, and artists from various organisations in the UK and Viet Nam to share ideas and experiences, and discuss existing and future collaborations in the areas of arts and culture, education, and English language. 

Around 200 dignitaries, stakeholders, and partners attended the opening ceremony of the UK/Viet Nam Season at the Vietnam National Museum of History in Hanoi. The launch highlighted the role of the British Council as the partner of choice and a leading advocate for arts and education in Viet Nam, focused on environmental sustainability, digital heritage, and inclusive growth. At the event, some of the most innovative and creative work from UK and Vietnamese artists and organisations were showcased. 

Scott McDonald, Chief Executive of the British Council, said “We are delighted to bring our exciting collaboration to Viet Nam in celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Viet Nam and the 30th anniversary of the British Council here in 2023. We hope that the UK/Viet Nam Season will deepen the UK’s relations with Viet Nam and provide an opportunity for people from both countries to strengthen existing bonds and forge new creative partnerships in English, Education, and Arts and Culture – areas that we believe have the power to unite people around the world.”

Tackling climate change is a key theme of the UK/Viet Nam Season and a shared priority for the citizens and governments of both the UK and Viet Nam. In collaboration with top universities and organisations from both countries, the UK/Viet Nam Season will host hackathons, residencies, symposiums, and digital exhibitions to introduce and showcase innovative and creative solutions to addressing climate change – such as an illustrative exploration of our endangered natural habitat through the perceptive eyes of children that raises awareness about protecting our planet and shaping a better, more livable environment for the future. 

Another key theme of the UK/Viet Nam Season is shared heritage, where participants will share, reflect, and explore UK and Viet Nam ties through cultural heritage in all forms. The Season will feature diverse programmes that showcase the richness of the special relationship between the two countries, including one-of-a-kind major music festival performances that promise a sonic journey into the heart of residents from Hue to Manchester. 

Within the framework of the UK/Viet Nam Season, continued cooperation between the British Council in Viet Nam and the government has also been fostered through the MOU signing between the British Council and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The MOU will enable both parties to engage in a mutually beneficial cooperation in the arts, heritage sector, and cultural and creative industries, and reinforces the shared vision of supporting UK – Vietnamese collaborations and partnerships and strengthening connections between the people of Viet Nam and the UK. 

Donna McGowan, Director of British Council Vietnam, said “The British Council has witnessed the amazing flourishing of Viet Nam over the past 30 years, and we are excited to continue to contribute to the development of its English proficiency, education, and arts and culture. By bringing together experts from the UK and Vietnam to discuss and help us address the global mission of creating a more sustainable world, participants of our programmes can learn and raise their voice about some of the most important challenges facing our planet and how to nurture cultural heritage from our shared histories. The UK/Viet Nam Season 2023 programme furthers the British Council’s mission to foster discussions, cooperation, and initiatives around key issues to strengthen the development of the UK-Vietnam partnership and ignite a brighter future ahead. By providing a foundation for the creation of lasting partnerships, the UK/Viet Nam Season will connect ideas and experiences from Viet Nam and the UK, giving a platform for conversations on shared challenges.”

Reflecting on the partnership between the British Council and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Dr Nguyen Phuong Hoa, Director General, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said, “The British Council and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have worked closely for years to strengthen relations between the UK and Viet Nam and develop our capabilities in arts and culture. Our cultural heritage is an important source of creativity and innovation, and we are committed to nurturing new initiatives and works inspired by our shared heritage. By creating contemporary dialogues and stimulating new narratives, we can draw inspiration from our shared histories and forge a stronger bond between our countries. The UK/Viet Nam Season celebrates the long-standing relationship between Viet Nam and the UK and promises to build new connections and create a shared future for the next generation.” 

Find out more about the UK/Viet Nam Season 2023. 

About the British Council

British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We support peace and prosperity by building connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and countries worldwide. We do this through our work in arts and culture, education and the English language. We work with people in over 200 countries and territories and are on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2021–22 we reached 650 million people. 

About British Council Viet Nam

British Council has an established presence in Viet Nam, with a dynamic portfolio spanning the arts and creative industries, education (higher, vocational and non-formal), and English teaching, learning and assessment, delivering a range of academic and professional UK qualifications. We have 345 staff in Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City across six offices and teaching centres. Four more Young Learner language centres will open in 2023, with 10 further centres planned in the coming two years.

We have built extensive networks, connections and partnerships between UK and Vietnamese individuals, organisations and institutions across all areas of our work, and with ambitions to further expand these networks.

Our work in Education strengthens partnerships between the UK and Vietnamese Higher Education sectors through system collaboration, supporting quality and internationalisation of institutions, the curriculum, teaching and learning experiences, quality assurance and accreditation. This will further enhance science and research collaboration, creating more opportunities to learn from global and UK practice, promoting student mobility and growing the market for the UK sector. We also work to enhance networking opportunities for UK Alumni.

Our work in English improves standards of teaching, learning and assessment of English, supporting MoET and HEIs on English medium education. We support the National Foreign Languages Project, connecting UK ELT providers with Vietnamese partners, increasing the number of teachers benefiting from professional development and resource provision, including increased digital engagement, and resulting in improved learning outcomes for students.

Our work in Arts and Culture increases collaboration and strengthens networks between UK and Vietnamese artists and arts organisations. This includes mutual cultural exchange, enhancing the capacity of UK and Vietnamese professionals, organisations and institutions in developing the creative economy. We focus on arts and cultural approaches to help address social and environmental issues and promote inclusive growth. This includes cultural heritage, particularly involving young people and grassroots organisations. Our work in the Arts enables us to showcase collaboration and innovation by both countries and engage large scale audiences in partnerships with cultural venues and festivals in Viet Nam.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Thuy Nguyen
Communications Manager, South-East Asia (based in Viet Nam)
British Council