The STEM Education Programme will support knowledge exchange and partnership opportunities between the UK and partner countries on STEM education approaches and in doing so build the human resource capacity in a vital area for economic development and social well-being.

The programme will:

Support dialogue and knowledge exchange between the UK and partner country around STEM education approaches for improved curricula for primary, secondary and tertiary STEM education.

  • Support development of new and improved pedagogies and teaching and learning resources, relevant to partner country context and development need, leading to enhanced capacity for teaching STEM subjects.
  • Support centres of excellence for STEM education in partner countries through partnerships with UK experts.
  • Equip students with a better understanding and appreciation of STEM education in an international context


Activities under the STEM Education Programme will include but not limit to STEM curriculum development and consultancy, partnerships for STEM resource development and piloting innovative approaches to formal and informal STEM learning.

UK experts in STEM education will be engaged to develop/deliver activities. All opportunities will be listed on this web page, and the general British Council Science and Research opportunities page.


During the academic year 2016–2017, the British Council in Vietnam worked with Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) to implement a pilot project titled “Applying UK STEM Approach in Vietnam context in 2016–2017”. The project has the following main objectives, including, but not limited to: 

  • Building capacity for teachers and school leaders with regard to applying STEM education approach in their teaching practices so as to improve students’ academic performance and practical competence;
  • Developing coursebooks, renovating textbooks and teaching methods along the line of STEM approach, and developing STEM education learning materials;
  • Designing STEM-oriented extra-curricular activities (e.g. science clubs, science competitions, STEM ambassadors, STEM learning materials, STEM summer camps, etc. to encourage the participation of different social organizations into STEM).

The project featured 15 state-owned and private secondary schools and high schools in five provinces in the north of Vietnam. These were:

Hanoi Department of Education and Training Hai Phong Department of Education and Training
Hoa Binh - La Trobe Schools Chu Van An Secondary School
The Olympia Schools Tran Phu Secondary School
Vinschools Hai Duong Department of Education and Training
Ta Quang Buu Secondary School and High School Hung Dao High School
Le Loi Secondary School, Ha Dong Nam Sach II High School
Nguyen Trai Secondary School, Ha Dong Thanh Ha High School
Chuc Dong High School  Nam Dinh Department of Education and Training
Highschool of Education and Science Le Hong Phong High School for Gifted Students
  Quang Ninh Department of Education and Training
  Hon Gai High School 

The pilot project has successfully concluded and has brought about substantial improvement in the operations and teaching methodology in the participating schools. Below is a more detailed description of components of the project.

Component 1: Roundtable discussion on STEM education (Jan 2016) and scoping visit to evaluate the current teaching of science

From 22 to 24 January 2016, theBritish Council in Vietnam worked with the Department of Secondary Education, MOET to organise the first STEM Education conference with three sessions on STEM education:

  • Discussion on STEM education for policy makers
  • Roundtable discussion on individual and collective roles in STEM education
  • Training on STEM Education for teachers.

The speaker at the conference, Mr Mark Windale from the Centre for Science Education of Sheffield Halam University, UK, shared experience in implementing STEM education in his country and the Southeast Asian region.

The conference was well received and given positive feedback by all the participating individuals and organizations, including those from the Ministry of Education and Training, Ministry of Science and Technology, researchers and academics from universities, enterprises and particularly about 100 teachers from 20 schools in the north of Vietnam.

For the agenda and presentations of the event, please click here.

Following the fruitful discussion session, between 14 and 21 May 2016, the British Council conducted yet another scoping visit to evaluate the teaching of science and other supporting activities in northern schools and universities. The visit was made by two UK experts, Alan West and Richard Palfrey who examined the schools’ facilities and equipment such as laboratories, documents and materials, observed science lessons, interviewed students and science teachers and talked to the local STEM coordinators. After this trip, the experts issued a report on landscape and potential of STEM education in Vietnam.

Component 2: Intensive training for subject teachers and leaders (August 2016)

As a follow-up to the scoping visit that evaluated the STEM education possibilities in Vietnam, in May 2016, the British Council started the second component of the Project with an intensive training course that aimed to establish for the school leaders and teachers an understanding of STEM education so that they can make practical preparations for the introduction of this approach to their own schools.

The training course was attended by Associate Professor Dr Nguyen Xuan Thanh, Deputy Director-General of Secondary Education Department under the Ministry of Education and Training, and lasted from 2 to 6 August 2016 with the participation of 54 science teachers (mathematics, physics, biology, and technology) from 15 pilot schools in the north of Vietnam and 22 leaders representing five Departments of Education and Training of provinces that took part in the pilot project. The training was delivered by Dr Mark Hardman who is currently responsible for teachers’ professional development programmes under King’s College London and Canterbury Christ Church, UK.

After attending the training course, Ms Le Thi Phuong Dung, Vice Principal of Le Hong Phong High School for Gifted Students in Nam Dinh province said: “My observation as a school leader is that some teachers have previously been very reluctant to changes because they think that it is too difficult to apply new teaching methodology. This training course, however, has shown that optimal effect can be made with minimal resources.

Ms Nguyen Thi Kim Oanh, Mathematics teacher of Nam Sach II High School in Hai Dương confided that STEM has so far been a very exotic term in her province. “With this training, however, I have come to realise that STEM is way different from, and is a lot more advantageous than, the traditional teaching methodology. Interdisciplinary and integrated lessons really make students more active and more relaxed in their learning.

After the training, the vast majority of the teachers became convinced that the application of STEM approach would be beneficial to their schools. This is evident in the fact that responses to the questionnaires distributed before and after the training changed remarkably, indicating higher confidence and a more positive and optimistic attitude. Nearly 90% of the participants now chose to mark their answers as “totally agree” or “extremely useful” instead of simply “agree” or “uncertain”.

For a copy of training materials, please click here.

Component 3: A Study Tour on STEM models in the UK for school leaders (October 2016)

After the intensive training course in August, the third component of the STEM Education Programme was kicked off according to schedule with a “Study Visit to Learn about the UK’s STEM Model”. This was not only a chance for school leaders and teachers to see with their own eyes how STEM is delivered in a country known worldwide for education quality, but also a good opportunity for them to be inspired by a modern, flexible teaching method that is suitable for the training of a new generation of people who will shape the future of the world. The Vietnamese delegation to the UK was led by Vice Minister of Education and Training, Associate Professor Dr Nguyen Trong Hoan and was made up of 24 leaders from those schools and five provincial departments of education and training and schools that participated in the pilot project. It was also joined by private organisations working in the field of STEM and representatives of the National Television channel VTV7 which specialises in covering educational issues.

I love inspiring my students and help them build their own future. It is a personal reward to see those kids who originally shrugged off science subjects now intent on choosing technology and engineering as their majors at the university.” said Ms Yolanda Bollen, one of the two experts who provided training to the Vietnamese team on this study tour. 

The trip took place from 10 to 14 October 2016. The delegates paid working visits to six schools and universities of the UK that are well-known for the delivery of STEM Education. In the UK, STEM has become part of the National Education Agenda and has been lauded by employers who are keen to recruit a new generation of workforce that can meet the requirements of the fourth Industrial Revolution.

Ms Pham Thi Le Hang, Head of the Ha Dong District Division of Education and Training had this to say after the trip “I had a chance to visit the schools, observe the lessons and learn from my colleagues in the UK and their students about the application of STEM in teaching and learning. I also saw that students were really engaged in activities like dying fabrics with usual types of foods. I was also in an ICT class where students were given opportunities to design fashion using the knowledge they had learned before, and in so doing, they demonstrate their responsibilities and their perception of the surrounding world.

For her part, Ms Le Minh Nguyet, Principal of Nguyen Trai Secondary School in Ha Dong came to realise that “STEM is a meaningful programme with a practical objective and a long vision for this world we’re living in”.

For an agenda of this Study Visit and the presentations therein, please click here.

Component 4: Monitoring and Evaluation exercise undertaken by Exscitec (February 2017)

The mid-term Review and Evaluation was conducted in February 2017 jointly by British Council and the Ministry of Education and Training, under the leadership of Alan West OBE, CEO of Exscitec and Dr Graeme Atherton, Head of the AccessHE London, UK. During the review and evaluation trip, they observed lessons, talked in great length to school leaders and conducted a questionnaire for teachers and students who took part in the project. 

Mr Alan West said he was most impressed with the enthusiasm with which the school leaders and teachers participated in the project. That was why he decided to spend extra time to provide them with additional training and advice.

Apart from the periods spent at school, the students also had a chance to experience real life situations through field trips outside the classroom. It was during these trips that they identified for themselves several projects that they then implemented on their own, such as the “Chemistry Labyrinth” or “Making dishwashing liquid from vegetative wastes”. More than 80% of the students answered in the survey that learning through STEM approach helped them to better understand and apply knowledge of science while 48% said they would like to pursue a STEM-related discipline in higher education or career in the future.

Click herefor more information about the Midterm Review and Evaluation, and herefor some photos about the trip.

Taking advantage of Alan West’s visit, the British Council also worked with Hanoi Department of Education and Training to provide additional extended training for several other lower and upper secondary schools in the city.

On Monday 16 February 2017, a training session led by Alan West, the STEM expert from UK-based Exscitec company, was delivered in a friendly manner for 50 school teachers and leaders. The session involved a lot of group work and real experiments.

Besides, Mr Alan West also introduced some of the most fundamental STEM-related concepts and explained the need to contextualise or localise the STEM problems so that they become more real and authentic. The training course was joined by Danny Whitehead, Vice Director of British Council in Vietnam, and Chu Xuan Dung, Vice Director of Hanoi Department of Education and Training.

We participants were asked to work in small groups, which was extremely interesting and useful. What impressed me most was that no unique definition of STEM was given by the trainer beforehand. Instead, he just gave us some guiding, thought-provoking questions and accepted more than one answers. There were no right or wrong answers. And this is something I think I can learn and apply.”, said Ms Lai Thi Hoang Yen, a teacher of chemistry from The Olympia Schools.

During this training, the important role of STEM education was once again reiterated in the face of the wide-ranging and deep-going Industrial Revolution 4.0. STEM plays a pivotal role in providing the future generations with high technological skills that are conducive to the mastery of modern life.

Project-final Conference titled: "STEM Education in Vietnamese Schools" (May 2017)

As the one-year pilot project came to an end, a final conference titled “STEM Education in Vietnamese Schools” was held with the participation of more than 100 delegates from MOETs and DOETs, universities and schools. The conference was overseen by Vice Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thi Nghia and a lot of time was spent for questions and answers. The participants also discussed the potential challenges and the type of policies that state management agencies can make to ensure the success of STEM education application in Vietnam in the new academic year 2017-2018.

Always look out of the window – I mean, we can read and listen to the news to know about the real-life problems we’re facing. These problems can provide useful ideas for teachers to think of STEM education topics for their students.”, said Alan West, CEO of Exscitec.

The Final Report on the Pilot Project “Applying UK’s STEM approach in Vietnam context, 2016-2017 has been completed and submitted to the Ministry of Education and Training and relevant bodies for reference and use.

Click here for some photographs of the conference.