Friday 11 September 2015

Vietnam-UK Education Cooperation Forum
Connecting opportunities for sustainable education partnerships

(September 11 – London, UK) Over 60 UK institutions and educational organisations and 20 universities and organisations from Vietnam gathered today in London at the Vietnam-UK Education Cooperation Forum. Attended by HE Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Vu Van Ninh, the bilateral education forum shed light on real opportunities to further boost Vietnam – UK ties in the education sector. 

The event was co-organised by the Ministry of Education and Training, the Embassy of Vietnam in the UK and the British Council Vietnam. It’s part of Vietnam Discovery Week in the UK to mark the fifth anniversary of Vietnam-UK Strategic Partnership and the Platinum Jubilee of modern Vietnam during its 70th birthday.

HE Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Vu Van Ninh said: ‘The government of Vietnam regards high quality human resources education as one of the strategic breakthroughs for sustainable development of the country. The basic and comprehensive renewal of the education system is currently our key mission for international integration.

I highly appreciate that the Vietnam-UK Education Cooperation Forum chose the theme as “Connecting opportunities for sustainable education partnerships”. This is a principal topic which will contribute to enhance the education cooperation between two countries. At the Forum, education leaders and experts from both countries will discuss and share their expertise and initiatives, as well as provide effective ways to foster cooperation in education between our two countries.

Vietnam and the UK have made specific commitments on cooperation in higher education. The government of Vietnam requested the UK to continue helping Vietnam with the implementation of the Vietnam-UK University in Danang, with the establishment of English Testing Center and mutual recognition of qualifications, and to support Vietnamese students in the UK.’ 

Vietnam’s Ambassador to the UK and Northern Ireland Nguyen Van Thao said: ‘Education and training has always been a priority in the strategic partnership between Vietnam and the UK over the years. Cooperation in this area has recorded remarkable achievements, serving as a bridge to enhance people-to-people contact and promote friendship between the two countries' people, especially young generations, thus contributing to the sustainable development of bilateral relations. In the coming time, the potentials for cooperation are great, and both sides still have a lot of work to do to make this important area of cooperation more comprehensive and intensified.’

The one-day event witnessed the signing of the Joint Statement between the Ministry of Education and Training, the British Council in Vietnam and UK Higher Education International Unit. The joint statement focuses on four areas of cooperation, which include policy dialogue, education development, academic and student exchange and qualification recognition and reference. In particular, all parties agreed to look at mechanisms to increase the number of Vietnamese students and lecturers to the UK through Vietnam governmental scholarship schemes such as Project 559 and 911 and through collaborative programmes between Vietnamese and UK institutions.

Professor Dr Bui Van Ga, Deputy Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam, did a presentation on challenges that faced by the education sector in Vietnam, a country which has 20 million students in all levels of study from early childhood education to higher education. The challenges mean vast opportunities to tap UK expertise in governance, building research capacity and collaboration (especially in science and innovation) and student exchange through institutional partnerships and experience sharing. 

The forum introduced best practices in building successful bilateral collaboration through three case studies in vocational education, student exchange and postgraduate education. The first case study looks at the establishment of the International Training and Assessing Learning (VITAL) as the partnership between Vinh University of Technical Education (VUTED), Westminster Kingsway College and City & Guilds, an internationally recognised UK Awarding Body for Vocational Qualifications. 

The second case study analysed the efficiency of student exchange at FPT University, a successful model of building an international higher education environment. The third one introduced the postgraduate collaboration between the Foreign Trade University Vietnam and the University of Bedfordshire. 

Leading a research group at the University of Education on developing the Vietnam Annual Report on Education, A. Prof Dr Le Anh Vinh, Director of the Centre for Educational Researches and Applications, University of Education, Vietnam National University (Hanoi), analysed how the clearing of supply with the demand takes place in the higher education system and the labour markets for qualified workers in Vietnam.  The employability of graduates is not only a hot topic in Vietnam but also an existing agenda in the UK.  

The forum also opened discussions on how to promote stronger and more sustainable research collaboration between Vietnam and the UK.

Cherry Gough, Director of British Council Vietnam said: ‘It is a great honour for the British Council in Vietnam to cooperate with the Ministry of Education and Training and the Embassy of Vietnam in the UK to organise the Vietnam-UK Education Cooperation Forum during the first Vietnam Discovery Week in the UK. The Joint Statement we will sign at the Forum between the Ministry of Education and Training, the British Council Vietnam and UK Higher Education International Unit is an important milestone in our mission to further internationalise higher education in our two countries.

‘The forum is a wonderful opportunity to bring together not only UK and Vietnam higher education institutions but also UK stakeholders and higher education policy makers from both countries. They will all have a chance to better understand the current state of higher education in both countries, and to learn about each other’s strategies and ambitions for the future. We hope this will lay a firm foundation for further collaborations at institutional and governmental level between Vietnam and the UK.

‘We believe that this forum will make a valuable contribution to our shared vision of more and deeper Vietnam-UK education partnerships, contributing to Vietnam’s development as a leading economy of the future, and building on the fact that UK is already among the three most preferred English-speaking destinations for study abroad for Vietnamese students.’

Notes to Editor

For further information please contact:

Mr Vu Hai Dang
Communications Manager 
British Council Vietnam
20 Thuy Khue, Hanoi
T +84 (0)4 3728 1920 ext 1957
F +84 (0)4 38434962