Today, 23 June 2021, in the presence of Ministry of Education and Training Vice-Minister Nguyen Huu Do and representatives from the UK Department of International Trade, as witnesses, the British Council in Viet Nam signed a Collaboration Plan with the National Foreign Languages Teaching and Learning in Education System Project (NFLP) for 2021–2022 with a vision for collaboration until 2024–2025.
Education is not only critical to national development in Viet Nam but is also one of the key pillars in the strategic collaboration between the UK and Viet Nam. The National Foreign Languages Project and the British Council in Viet Nam continually seek ways to develop cooperation in the areas of English language teaching, learning and assessment and this is evident in the activities proposed in the Collaboration Plan 2021–2022 with a vision for cooperation until 2024–2025 with four main areas:
- research and insight – where a strengthened evidence base can inform policy and decision making and support specific interventions aimed at improving English language teaching, learning and assessment systems.
- engaging with stakeholders in both VN and the UK – Increasing the dissemination of relevant research and insight between Vietnamese and UK partners. We shall also enhance our contribution to thought leadership in ELT through conferences, policy dialogues and symposia aimed at policy and decision makers, academics, teacher educators and teachers themselves.
- capacity building and CPD – Improving access to evidence-based, quality digital, blended and face-to-face continuing professional development (CPD) programmes and Communities of Practice (CoP) for both teacher educators and teachers across Viet Nam, in improvements in English language teaching, learning and assessment systems.
- curriculum, resources and assessment – Offering improved access to better-quality, teaching and learning resources, especially online, that help improve teacher language levels and student learning outcomes.
Cutting right across these four activity areas is our commitment to inclusion and digital provision to enhance equitable access to English language teaching and learning. Speaking at the signing ceremony British Council in Viet Nam Country Director Ms. Donna McGowan shared ‘Collaboration. Capacity building. Virtual support. Continuing Professional Development. Partnership. Over the past twenty plus years these themes and activities have endured. We wish to explore with MOET and NFLP collaboration opportunities for both British Council and the UK ELT and EdTech sector to develop innovative research, solutions and approaches to engage with DOETs, particularly in remote locations, to enhance the quality of English teaching and learning and also by working with key Universities in foreign languages training and teacher development as well as local, regional and international education advocacy organisations such as the SEAMEO Secretariat, the VietTESOL Association and others.’
English Language Teaching in support of NFLP’s 2025 Strategy has always been a priority area for the British Council. Today’s signing ceremony is the continuation and inheritance of the achievements which are built on a foundation of mutual cooperation stretching back more than two decades.
For example, two of the first programmes were ‘VTTN’ – the Viet Nam English Teacher and Trainer Network (2000-2008) and ‘Primary Innovations’ (2009–2013). Both were pioneering in developing partnerships between the national ministry, provincial DOETs and local universities and teachers to build capacity and enhance skills among upper secondary and primary teachers respectively, all while developing cohorts of teacher educators who could continue planning and delivering teacher development activities in a sustainable way.
More recently, in May 2021, we saw the formal launch of our ‘Digital Learning Innovation Fund’ and the three UK–VN partnership projects which are currently being implemented by four UK educational institutions in collaboration with three Vietnamese Universities across the country – generating new research, insight and innovations to improve the teaching and learning of English through digital and online access. With the current global disruption to teaching and learning, particularly the restrictions on face-to-face education, once piloted, these three initiatives will be considered for further application in online and blended teaching, enabling a wider and more inclusive education for all.
Looking forward to the British Government's continued support to promote funding and support for Viet Nam in the field of education, Vice-Minister Nguyen Huu Do highly appreciated the support and cooperation of the UK in general and the British Council in particular in the field of English language teaching, learning and assessment as well as supporting the National Foreign Languages Project. The Vice-Minister emphasised: ‘High-quality projects representing the long-term commitment and strategic collaboration between the two countries will have the potential to benefit Vietnamese teachers and learners. Based on the achieved results I believe that with the new collaboration plan signed today NFLP and the British Council will be able to further develop and implement cooperation plans to ensure the effectiveness of our activities in the short-term to have a more positive impact on the long-term teaching and learning of English in Vietnam.’
The Collaboration Plan for 2021 with a vision for cooperation until 2024 is the result of the British Council's efforts, contributions and support to improve the quality of English language education in Vietnam. The range of activities set out in the Collaboration Plan has been developed in accordance with the Prime Ministerial Decision 2080/QD-TTg for a four-year duration with reference to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Government of Viet Nam and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland signed in 2019; and the Memorandum of Cooperation between British Council and the Ministry of Education and Training signed in 2018.