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Vietnam, EU seek closer higher education cooperation

10:36 | 04/11/2016

Vietnam should improve the quality of training and scientific research in order to attract more foreign universities to invest in, heard the conference, themed “Higher Education Internationalisation: Opportunities and Challenges,” in Hanoi on November 3rd.

(VNF) - Vietnam should improve the quality of training and scientific research in order to attract more foreign universities to invest in, heard the conference, themed “Higher Education Internationalisation: Opportunities and Challenges,” in Hanoi on November 3rd.

The issue of teaching foreign languages, especially English, was given much attention in the mid-session Q&A, with many participants stressing on the importance of the English language. Even in pre-university education levels, English must be prioritised should Vietnam wish to focus on high-quality higher education in the context of international integration in general and when studying abroad in particular.

Besides, Vietnamese students should equip themselves with IT skills in a bid to effectively engage in international integration, they said.

vietnam eu seek closer higher education cooperation

Bui Van Ga, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education and Training, delivered a speech at the forum. (Photo: dantri.vn)

Speaking at the conference, Bui Van Ga, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), appreciated the many scholarships European Union has offered to Vietnamese students, and said Vietnam itself has also sent students to EU by state funding via projects 322, 911 and 599.

However, Vietnam and EU cooperation in education is “modest” and has not realised its full potential, he added. Students in Vietnam are not yet well-informed about the prestigious institutes or universities in Europe.

Thus, the forum was organised by MoET to provide “a chance for universities, lecturers, researchers and education managers to connect; share practical experience on teaching, research and management; explore opportunities for bilateral and multilateral cooperation on joint-training programmes, collaborative research projects, students and lecturers exchange programmes and exchange scholarships; and aim to sign cooperation agreements,” he said.

International mobility in higher education is also high on EU’s agenda, via the “European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students” (ERASMUS) that enables students to pursue programmes in more than just one university in EU, Tom Corrie, Deputy Head of cooperation of the EU delegation to Vietnam, said.

Academic cooperation is a natural extension of what he calls “partnership of equals” evidenced by increasingly deepened economic ties and political relations between the two sides.

vietnam eu seek closer higher education cooperation

Tom Corrie, Deputy Head of cooperation of the EU delegation to Vietnam, at the Forum. (Source: VNA)

He also noted that even though 15,000 Vietnamese students currently in Europe is an “encouraging” number, and there have been bachelor-master-doctorate exchange programmes between universities in EU and Vietnam plus 18 research projects were funded under ERASMUS, there is still “plenty of scope for more cooperation and the EU is keen to support this whenever possible.”

The official expressed his hope that the figure would increase in the coming time.

Based on current stastics on joint-training programmes, Nguyen Thi Thanh Minh, deputy head of the International Education Development Department (under MoET), called for more joint programmes and capacity building projects for provinces outside of Hanoi and HCM City, in more perse majors (aside from economics), and from different countries in the EU bloc.

The forum was attended by representatives of about 80 domestic and foreign education institutions, embassies and international organisations.

Within the framework of the forum, Sweden’s Uppsala University – the oldest university among Nordic countries – signed memoranda of understanding with Hanoi Medical University and Vietnam University of Traditional Medicine on dual degree programmes, cooperation in clinical research, bio-banking and healthcare.

The Hanoi University of Science and Technology has organised an exhibition on European higher education on November 4th with the participation of 22 international educational organisations./.

( Compiled by VNF )