26 October 2022, the British Council in Viet Nam kicked off the UK Inward Mission programme to facilitate further high-level engagement and commitments in education between Viet Nam’s and the UK’s governments and devolved administrations. Led by Assoc Prof Nguyen Thu Thuy, Director General, Higher Education Department, Ministry of Education and Training, the delegation of 14 Presidents, Vice President, Head and Deputy Head of Departments from six universities in Viet Nam will visit seven UK universities in London, Wales, Portsmouth, and Bournemouth, meeting with nearly 50 government organisations, UK universities and professional bodies from 24 to 28 October 2022.
Viet Nam and the UK signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2010, since then the partnership has been going from strength to strength, of which Education is a key pillar. By April 2020, there were 14,000 Vietnamese students studying in the UK at all levels of education, from English courses to PhDs (Ministry of Education and Training – MOET). The UK ranks 4th as an English-speaking study destination and is the leading country in terms of TransNational Education (TNE), with more than 5,100 students studying through UK accredited programmes in Viet Nam. The Newton Fund programme, introduced in 2014, has enabled stronger science and research partnerships between the UK and Viet Nam in key priority areas for Viet Nam development, such as health, agriculture, innovation and future city, environment and life sciences.
Aiming to strengthen UK–Viet Nam engagement and partnership in higher education, especially in innovation, digital transformation, social impact, and quality assurance, the UK Inward Mission, organised by the British Council, has created opportunities for teaching and research collaboration in priority areas of participation in higher education institutions, identified opportunity in student and staff exchange, and established transnational education collaboration.
The British Council, the UK–Viet Nam Higher Education Network, and the Viet Nam Intellectual Society in Viet Nam and Ireland (VIS UK & Ireland) also established the Memorandum of Collaboration in the capacity of developing opportunities for early career researchers (ECRs) in Viet Nam through the British Council’s Researcher Connect and on-going professional development opportunities with VIS UK & Ireland for ECRs in the network.
On behalf of the British Council, Mr Mark Stephens, Global Director Cultural Engagement started the programme in London and emphasised that Viet Nam is a priority country for the British Council and the UK government, including Wales as a devolved administration. He reiterated that the British Council would continue to deliver on our commitment to work closely with Ministry of Education and Training and universities in Viet Nam to support the internationalisation of higher education as part of the Memorandum of Collaboration in higher education, English and assessment.
At the opening event, HE Ambassador to the UK, Mr Nguyen Hoang Long also emphasised the importance of people-to-people links and skills development that education would bring to Viet Nam’s socioeconomic development and the priority of education partnership development between the two countries to prepare for the 50th anniversary of UK–Viet Nam diplomatic relations and 30th anniversary of the British Council in Viet Nam in 2023.
Assoc Professor Nguyen Thu Thuy, Director General, Higher Education Department, Ministry of Education and Training said: 'The UK is one of the strategic partners in the journey of reforming higher education in Viet Nam, and the British Council has been playing a critically important role in promoting and facilitating higher education collaborations and partnerships between the two countries.’
She added: 'I believe this working visit to the UK will set a foundation to promote more effective and successful partnership programmes in higher education between both nations in priority areas of Viet Nam higher education, which includes digital transformation, innovation, ensured and enhanced education quality and social impacts for sustainable development.'
Vietnamese delegates have had the opportunity to learn from UK universities about their experiences and success stories in areas of innovation, digital transformation, quality assurance and impact on society. At the same time, Vietnamese universities shared teaching and research priorities with UK partners, setting the groundwork for future collaboration across universities.
The visit is one of the activities included in the British Council's Going Global Partnerships programme and part of the Memorandum of Collaboration between the British Council and the Ministry of Education and Training in Viet Nam.
For more information about the Going Global Partnerships, please visit www.britishcouncil.org/going-global-partnerships