Welcome to 2018. Could we pass on our best wishes for a prosperous and joyous year ahead.

As we step into the New Year, we can look back on what 2017 brought to education collaboration between the UK and Vietnam. It was a year with many exciting activities and significant achievements. As the UK’s organisation for cultural and educational relations, the British Council works to create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and the people of Vietnam. We share UK experience and expertise and create sustainable partnerships between UK and Vietnamese stakeholders. We make a positive contribution to both the UK and Vietnam by promoting mutual prosperity, and we change lives by creating opportunities, making connections, and building trust.

Internationalisation is the focus of our work in education, and also the priority of Vietnam’s government in developing the quality of its education and science sectors. We would like to share with you some highlights of our work in 2017 from all sectors: schools, colleges, and universities; with high level policy dialogues; capacity building activities for academic staff; and high-value partnerships in further and higher education, science and innovation.

2017 saw, amongst many other activities:

  • 250 Vietnamese teachers equipped with UK methodology in applying 21st century core skills in teaching school curriculum
  • 150 Vietnamese secondary students having their art works exhibited at the ‘Rivers of the world’ exhibition in London,  promoting the understanding of local environment, cultures and global issues
  • 15 schools in Vietnam awarded the British Council International School Awards in recognition of their promotion of the international dimension in teaching
  • 20 UK and Vietnam universities taking part in eight higher education partnerships which capitalised UK expertise to improve university governance, quality assurance, teaching and learning, graduate employability, and innovation, entrepreneurship and start-up culture 
  • 43 higher education leaders attending training for quality assurance reviewers and 31 being awarded the QAA (UK Quality Assurance Agency) certificate
  • Over 60 higher education leaders joining higher education workshops on internationalisation of higher education strategy and higher education autonomy
  • 60 Vietnamese and UK researchers benefitting from two Researcher Links workshops
  • 11 partnerships in science and innovation being supported under the Researcher Links and Research Environment Links sections of the UK’s Newton Fund, one of which was awarded with the Newton Prize of GBP200,000 for its innovation and impact. 

It was also encouraging to hear positive feedback from partners working with us across many projects:

‘For vocational education - particularly further education and higher education generally - quality assurance is vital. This is especially true in the context of integration which requires quality to satisfy enterprises and employers. Working with the UK has helped us roll out quality assurance to vocational education system in Vietnam’ Vice Minister Le Quan, Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs. 

‘The project enabled Birmingham City University to extend its global reach. The team was able to build a highly trusting, dynamic extended partnership, and had clear ideas about possible future partnerships in academic development, research, international student and staff exchanges, and shared postgraduate and undergraduate programmes,’ Prof. Alex Kendall, Birmingham City University (BCU).

'I am so pleased to have won the 2017 Newton Prize. Natural disasters are a big problem not just in Vietnam but throughout the whole world, and the impact is worse for those in remote and isolated areas with no access to the ICT facilities that are essential to providing vital warning information and aiding in rescue missions. This prize money will allow me and my team to develop the system further and to work with the key telecommunications companies in Vietnam,' Dr Trung Duong, Queens University Belfast.

2018 will mark the 25th anniversary of the British Council in Vietnam, and we look forward to working with you all next year, and for another 25 years and beyond. Highlights for 2018 will include Going Global in Malaysia in May – the international conference for leaders to debate about the future of further and higher education; the Higher Education Partnership initiative; and the Newton Fund.