Today, 15 August 2018, with the new Ambassador of the UK to Vietnam, Mr Gareth Ward, as witness, the British Council in Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Educational Collaboration with the Hanoi Department of Education and Training (Hanoi DoET). Together with the Memorandum of Collaboration (MOC) with the Ministry of Education and Training Vietnam signed just a month ago (in July 2018), the British Council in Vietnam continued to demonstrate its commitment to education as a strategic focus in its operations in Vietnam, as well as an important area in the strategic cooperation between the UK and Vietnam.
This year, 2018, the United Kingdom and Vietnam celebrate the 45th anniversary of our Ambassadorial relationship, and it is also the 25th year of operations of the British Council in Vietnam: this means the signing of the Memorandum of Educational Collaboration between the Hanoi DoET and the British Council in Vietnam marks another important milestone. Representing the UK in Vietnam, Ambassador Gareth Ward stated: ‘Over the past few years, the British Council has played a major role in promoting the cultural relationship between Vietnam and the UK, especially with support for the quality of education in Vietnam. I am confident that today's MOC will lay a strong foundation for continuing fruitful collaboration between the two countries and I affirm that education has always been a pillar in the relationship between the UK and Vietnam.’
Mr. Danny Whitehead, Director of British Council in Vietnam also spoke at the signing ceremony: ‘The agreement we are signing today will create opportunities for teachers, students and educational institutions in Hanoi to develop teaching and learning skills. Besides, this agreement will also help drive forward the education reform which the Hanoi DOET has been carrying out successfully.’
With over 20 years co-operation between the British Council and the Ministry of Education and Training in Vietnam, with the importance of education and training, aligning with the Strategic Partnership between the UK and Vietnam, the British Council in Vietnam and Hanoi DoET commit to further explore mutually beneficial educational partnership opportunities. In the three-year period (from 1 September 2018 to 1 September 2021), Hanoi DoET and British Council Vietnam have agreed and committed to implement the MOC in the following areas:
- supporting the professional development of English language teachers in terms of both language proficiency and teaching skills and methodologies aligned with the National Foreign Languages strategy of the Government of Vietnam and the priorities of the Hanoi People’s Committee;
- supporting the improvement of teaching and learning in schools, targeting school leaders, teachers and students;
- enabling access for Vietnamese students and parents to information on the UK, UK education, UK and International Exams, Testing and Accreditation;
- supporting the quality provision of English language testing and assessment for teachers and students, aiming to raise the level of English proficiency among teachers and students in Hanoi;
- raising awareness of educational opportunities for Vietnamese students in the UK and at the British Council.
The MOC with Hanoi DoET results from the British Council’s wide-ranging efforts and contributions to education in Hanoi, including quality assurance of schools, teaching methodology, core skills training, English language development, and STEM education. Recently, the British Council and Hanoi Department of Education and Training have implemented a number of cooperative projects with very encouraging results: 1,837 English teachers have received training; 1,230 teachers attended Professional Development workshops in 2013, 2014, 2015. The Kids Read project has been launched successfully, with 3,615 pupils in six primary schools in Hanoi directly participating in project activities, including teacher training, reading sessions, competitions and community events – and nearly 6,800 students have access to over 2,000 books, which have been supplied to six schools through the project; 1,400 Primary teachers in Hanoi attended a one-day workshop in story telling/teaching methods.
The British Council also plays a key role in brokering partnerships between Hanoi schools, teachers, and education managers with their counterparts in the UK – building trust and understanding through cooperation and collaboration. British Council has been working closely with Hanoi DoET to support the City’s efforts in improving the quality of its schools and equipping students with the skills to lead, through capacity building and embedding an international dimension in teaching and learning, and, as a result, every year over 1,000 students from Hanoi go to study in the UK – this accounts for nearly half the total number of Vietnamese students to the UK. In addition, 12 universities in Hanoi have TNE programmes with UK institutions.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Chu Xuan Dzung, Director of Hanoi DoET, emphasised: ‘To have the signing ceremony today, the British Council and Hanoi DoET have had cooperative programmes that we find effective and suitable for the Hanoi education system. Today’s Memorandum will be in effect for three years, not a long period, so we look forward to the immediate action plan for fruitful implementation of today's MOC.'
The British Council has been working with Vietnam since 1993. In 2018, we are marking this 25th anniversary with a series of events celebrating cultural relations and exchange between the UK and Vietnam.