The UK Inward Mission on the theme of Innovation, Digital Transformation, Quality Assurance, and Impact in Higher Education was organised by the British Council in Viet Nam from 24 to 28 October 2022. 14 Vietnamese Higher Education leaders visited seven UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in five UK cities and met with about 160 representatives from nearly 50 UK HEIs, governmental organisations, professional bodies and Ed-techs through networking events and workshops.
What has been shared through the mission?
- An update on Vietnamese HE policies that support partnership development with overseas partners, and partnership opportunities in Programme 89
- The scale of UK Higher Education Transnational Education (TNE), and value of TNE programmes
- UK Research and Innovation – how the UK delivers the Government’s UK Innovation Strategy and ‘creates knowledge with impact’ by working with UK Government, academia, and industry
- The UK models of Digital Twin technology for Smart Manufacturing, for Structural Health Monitoring, for Healthcare Resilience, and for Smart Agriculture
- Social Innovation in UK Higher Education, and how UK universities work towards Social Impact
- Teacher Training, to embed the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in UK Higher Education
- FutureLearn on MOOC development and Microcredentials (a short course credit-based model that allows students to build up credits to achieve undergraduate and postgraduate degrees), and the application of Extended Reality (XR) - an immersive technology for use in teaching and learning or in an educational environment
- Wales’ engagement plan with Viet Nam through Global Wales and Taith initiatives. Priorities include, amongst many others, supporting institutional partnerships for Welsh universities with Vietnamese universities; supporting mobility through the Taith initiative; and continuing with the existing scholarship schemes for Vietnamese students. Key areas of priorities are low carbon/green energy and sustainable agriculture, Cyber cities and Cyber securities; the Creative/Cultural sector; and Skills development
- The Taith initiative - funded by the Welsh government between 2022-2026, focusing on three main pathways of mobility, partnership and strategic collaboration, and capacity-building for higher education, further education, schools, youth, et cetera.
- The UK REF (Research Excellence Framework) and KEF (Knowledge Exchange Framework) exercises in the UK HE system; the Portsmouth Research Experience, that brings research quality in Physics up to the top six in the UK; and introduction to THE Impact rankings and the 17 UN SDGs
- Alignment with the UN SDGs in teaching programmes. International Learning Centre allows lectures and students teach and study with universities around the world through virtual or blended learning; Virtual Learning Pods allows students in many different countries to participate in joint projects
- The British Council’s education agenda globally and in Viet Nam, and current and future opportunities facilitating UK-Viet Nam Higher Education Partnership development.
- Mark Stephens, Director Culture Engagement, re-emphasised when welcoming the delegates, ‘We have been present in Viet Nam for 30 years… and I hope long-standing relationship and trust between the UK and people in Viet Nam in education, art and culture’.
- ‘The UK is one of the important strategic partners for the higher education reform agenda in Viet Nam, and the British Council has been playing a critical role in promoting and facilitating higher education partnership programmes. I trust that this UK Inward Mission will be a platform to start more efficient and successful higher education partnership programmes between the two countries in the key priorities of Vietnamese higher education, such as digital transformation, innovation, quality assurance and enhancement, and social impact for sustainable development.’ Associate Prof Nguyen Thu Thuy, Director General, Higher Education Department, Ministry of Education and Training.
- ‘The UK-Viet Nam Higher Education Network brings benefits to both UK and Vietnamese universities…’ Associate Professor Huynh Quyet Thang, President, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Chair, UK-Viet Nam Higher Education Network. ‘We are planning to do a lot of new activities in the future… all these are aiming to connect people together, to share experiences and practices, so we can all benefit from the partnership.’ Professor Raymond Lee, Associate Dean (Global Engagement), Professor of Biomechanics, University of Portsmouth, Co-Chair of the UK-Viet Nam Higher Education Network.
- ‘… I would strongly encourage that UK HEIs in the network work closely with VN HEIs on this visit as well as other VN HEIs and British Council to maximise the partnership opportunity, one of which is to take advantage of Programme 89 in training Vietnamese PhDs abroad.’ Associate Prof Nguyen Thu Thuy, Director General, Higher Education Department, Ministry of Education and Training.
‘Elevating’, ‘efficient’, ‘inspiring’, ‘cooperation’, ‘action’, and ‘trust’ are some of the words offered to describe the work that the British Council in Viet Nam has been doing through our education initiatives. The British Council in Viet Nam would like to thank all UK and Vietnamese universities and stakeholders for having contributed, supported and participated in the mission, and made it a supremely successful programme.