Vietnam Wins at Japan Foundation Awards for First Time

The Japan Foundation recently announced winners of the 2021 Japan Foundation Awards. For the first time since it was conferred in 1973, representatives from Vietnam won the awards.
September 18, 2021 | 11:30

The Faculty of Japanese Language and Culture of the University of Languages and International Studies under the Vietnam National University – Hanoi branch, the Faculty of Japanese Language of the Foreign Trade University and the Faculty of Japanese Language of the Hanoi University were honored at the 2021 Japan Foundation Awards for their contributions to for Japanese education in Vietnam, developing high-quality human resources and boosting mutual understanding between Vietnam and Japan. This was the first time Vietnamese representatives have received the awards.

Vietnam Wins at Japan Foundation Awards for First Time
The 2021 Japan Foundation Awards was conferred to the Faculty of Japanese Language and Culture of the University of Languages and International Studies under the Vietnam National University – Hanoi branch, the Faculty of Japanese Language of the Foreign Trade University and the Faculty of Japanese Language of the Hanoi University. Photo: The Foreign Trade University

A 2018 survey on Japanese education in Vietnam showed that Vietnam had the six-largest number of Japanese learners in the world, almost three times more than in 2015. In addition, the number of people registered for the Japanese Language Competency Test in Vietnam rose from 319 people in 1996 to 69,843 in 2018.

This rapid development was aided by the economic exchange within the traditional relations between Japan and Vietnam, cultural exchange expansion, the development of Japanese companies and improvement in job opportunities in Japan. Teaching and studying Japanese has been made available at the primary and lower-secondary school levels in Vietnam.

The three Vietnamese universities that won the awards played an important role in bringing about these accomplishments.

The Foreign Trade University started to provide Japanese language education in 1961 and has since been training human resources with good Japanese competencies in the fields of economics, foreign relations and administration.

Soon after, the Faculty of Japanese Language of the Hanoi University was established in 1973, providing high-quality human resources mostly in interpretation/translation. In 2010, the faculty began providing a master’s degree in the Japanese language.

In addition, the Faculty of Japanese Language and Culture of the University of Languages and International Studies under the Vietnam National University – Hanoi branch launched its first Japanese language training program in 1992. To date, it is the only education institution in Vietnam that provides training programs for Japanese language teachers employable at primary and secondary schools. It was also the first university in Vietnam that developed a Japanese language degree at the graduate level in 2009.

Vietnam Wins at Japan Foundation Awards for First Time
Students at the Foreign Trade University atttended a communications skill training courses in professional environment held by Japan Airlines. Photo: The Foreign Trade University

The human resources nurtured by the three universities have enhanced the close-knit relations between Japan and Vietnam, contributing to boosting Japanese education at primary and lower-secondary schools in Vietnam.

In 2017, as Japanese language education became more popular in Vietnam, these educational institutions actively cooperated and advised other universities to teach Japanese across Vietnam, establishing the Association of Japanese Linguistics and Japanese Education in Vietnam.

“These educational institutions have been supporting Japanese language education in Vietnam for many years, contributing to producing human resources of high quality and boosting mutual understanding at the international level. Their accomplishments were in line with the criteria set by the Japan Foundation Awards,” according to the foundation’s representative.

The Japan Foundation Awards has been conferred since 1973, one year after the Japan Foundation was established, and will celebrate its 48th anniversary in 2021.

The Japan Foundation Awards honors individuals or groups with significant contributions to enhancing mutual understanding, boosting international friendship and goodwill via academic, artistic and cultural activities.

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