Today, 30 October 2018, the British Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) of Vietnam organised the second Vietnam–UK Higher Education forum, themed ‘Global landscape in internationalising higher education – standing in favour of quality to quantity’ in Hanoi. The forum was attended by Associate Professor Nguyen Van Phuc, Vice Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam and Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Welsh Government, together with about 150 delegates who are higher education leaders and national experts from the Vietnam MOET, more than 60 UK and Vietnamese universities and organisations, and news agencies.
In Vietnam, the Resolution 29-NQ/TW on fundamental and comprehensive innovation in education and training during the international integration period had created the platform for international collaboration and development in education. With developing countries like Vietnam, Internationalising higher education (IHE) acts as a driver to enhance the quality of human capital and as a result, to enhance competitive advantage for the economy, to learn from the experiences of others to speed up education reform, and as an opportunity to establish excellent universities. For higher education institutions, IHE helps enhance capacity in teaching and research, renovate curriculum, promote student employability and student exchange. IHE brings benefits not only to the developing countries but also developed countries.
In 2015, the British Council in Vietnam worked closely with Vietnam MOET, and Vietnam Embassy in the UK, to successfully organise the first Vietnam–UK higher education collaboration forum ‘Connecting opportunities for sustainable education partnerships’ in London. In 2018, the second Vietnam–UK Higher Education forum is organised in Hanoi on the occasion of 45 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Vietnam, and on the occasion of the British Council’s 25 years in Vietnam. The theme is ‘The global landscape in internationalising higher education –in favour of quality to quantity.’
As a country with one of the most developed education system in the world, the UK also has one of the most 'internationalised' education systems. With a mission to promote knowledge and friendly understanding between the people of the UK and other countries around the world, the British Council is a pioneer in promoting IHE. Kirsty Williams AM, Cabinet Secretary for Education, Welsh Government, shared: Internationalisation of higher education plays a crucial role in developing international cultural and diplomatic relations. Through the British Council in Vietnam, we are very glad to have the opportunity to work in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Training in Vietnam to organise the second Vietnam–UK higher education collaboration forum today. I am delighted that the relationship between Wales and Vietnam, our governments, universities and students, is going from strength to strength. The Welsh Government is committed to working with the British Council, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Training, to address the challenges of the global landscape in internationalisation of higher education.
Vietnam is recognised as one of the countries with an ‘openness’ to international education rated as ‘very high’ and ‘high’ in terms of government support for international student mobility, joint training programmes and research**. However, in order to establish a position in the regional or international higher education sector, Vietnam government considers quality as the top priority and this needs to be balanced with the fast development in quantity. Opening of the forum, Associate Professor Nguyen Van Phuc, Vice Minister of Education and Training of Vietnam, stated: The global landscape of internationalising of higher education – in favour of quality over quantity is organised on the occasion of UK Vietnam 45 years of diplomatic relations, brings a very important message about the future of education collaboration of the two countries. The forum will connect higher education leaders of the UK, the region and Vietnam; debate national, regional and international issues and challenges in internationalisation of higher education (IHE); and share new trends in IHE with quality assurance being the driving force to move higher education to a new stage. At the forum today, experts from UK and regional universities will share experiences in key priorities of IHE in Vietnam which are i) university leadership and governance, ii) transnational education and quality assurance, iii) university industry link, and iv) research and mobility. I hope that delegates joining the forum today will actively discuss your ideas as to how to enhance partnerships between the UK and Vietnam in the context of globalisation of higher education.
Also, in the UK–Vietnam Higher Education forum, the Vietnam–UK Higher Education Network will officially launch ten collaborative projects in line with the four objectives above and the main priorities in IHE. This network consists of 56 universities and businesses from both Vietnam and the UK. The British Council committs to supporting Vietnam in its efforts to internationalise education, science and innovation, and promote higher education cooperation between the UK and Vietnam. Ms Donna McGowan, Country Director of the British Council in Vietnam, spoke at the forum: Higher education partnerships are a vitally important means of promoting inter-cultural co-operation, dialogue, engagement and shared understanding between the UK and Vietnam. Internationalising higher education is defined as one of the strategies to enhance the quality of higher education in terms of teaching, learning, research and innovation. As the pioneer in promoting internationalisation of higher education globally, the British Council is delighted to work in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Training in Vietnam to organise the Vietnam–UK higher education collaboration forum today. This forum highlights the crucial role of higher education in society, as well as the British Council’s strong commitment in supporting MOET’s internationalisation of higher education strategy in Vietnam.
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.
** ‘The shape of global higher education: National policies framework for international engagement’, British Council.