Going Global, the British Council’s annual flagship conference from 13–15 May 2019 in Berlin saw international education leaders from 85 countries debate the future of higher education with the main theme: Knowledge diplomacy and the Digital world: does tertiary international education have a role?
Historically, international tertiary education has fulfilled a unique position as a global knowledge producer, developer of high-level skills and powerful anchor in local and global society. However, in a radically different future world, to what extent international tertiary education is appropriate and how it can contribute to society has been the focus of this year's conference. In particularly, Going Global debated the role of international tertiary education in this new paradigm, focusing through a policy or practice lens, on four roles: global knowledge producer, high level skill developer, global society anchor and solution provider and finally, leader and partner in a future world.
The Vietnamese delegation attending this year’s conference included Assoc Prof Nguyen Thu Thuy – Deputy Director General, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), Assoc Prof Ngo Thi Phuong Lan – President, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Prof Tran Thanh Hai – President, Hanoi University of Mining and Geology, Dr Ha Thuc Vien – Vice President, Vietnam German University, Ms Hoang Van Anh – Director Education and Society, the British Council Vietnam, along with other educational managers.
One of the important features of this year's conference was the publication of the report on Opportunities, models and approaches for UK-East Asia higher education partnerships to deepen university collaboration with industry and business enterprise conducted by Research Consulting and KE Metrics, commissioned by the British Council for its East Asia regional programme on UK-East Asia Higher Education Partnerships. This report confirmed Vietnamese higher education Institutes have UK partnerships around education and transnational education which would provide a useful foundation to build on in terms of university-industry linkages. In terms of national policy context, there appears to be significant desire to develop innovation policy, but it is not always well coordinated.
While Vietnam is still developing its university-industry policy it has some strong drivers to promote academic and industry partnership. The ministries of Planning and Investment, Science and Technology, Foreign Affairs and MoET recently formed the Connecting Vietnam Innovation Network which brought together scientists (including those with international experience) with leaders from industry and the public sector to fine tune objectives and implementation plans to approach and utilise the results of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for Vietnam. However, numerous sources suggest that the systemic challenges facing Vietnam are not ones easily solved by technology. Improvements to the quality of teaching, and therefore employability of graduates, are being sought through international exchanges of staff and good practice, but should also be supported through university-industry partnerships.
Speaking at the breakfast session of Going Global 2019 with theme of University links for industry engagement: new and flexible partnership models for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and beyond, Assoc Prof Ngo Thi Phuong Lan shared her view on the relevance and viability of current cooperation models with the development context of tertiary education in Vietnam. In addition, she also shared her vision for future university-industry partnership models and the responsiveness to the need for new and flexible skills triggered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution impact on higher education.
Going Global 2019 brought a special opportunity to share knowledge and connect local, national, regional and global agendas, provide a global network for policy-makers and practitioners working in the field of international education, support evidence-led policy decisions deriving from research and regional policy dialogues and support global thought leadership.
In a session to explore new internationalisation models for higher education in ASEAN, strategies for Vietnam and its and ASEAN’s efforts to foster cooperation with the UK through exchanging knowledge and practical experiences, Assoc Prof Nguyen Thu Thuy affirmed that internationalisation of higher education was one of the solutions to enhance higher education. The Government of Vietnam is committed to investing human resources and resources to improve the quality of Vietnamese universities. Going Global was an opportunity for Vietnamese delegates to learn more about the appropriate internationalisation aspects from the United Kingdom and countries in the region.
For further information about Going Global 2019 conference, please visit www.britishcouncil.org/going-global and use hashtag #GoingGlobal2019 @HEGoingGlobal #UKEALinks