On Tuesday 22 January, the University of London, the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training and British University Vietnam co-hosted a one-day event, the UK-Vietnam Education Investment and Cooperation Forum.
The event, bringing together more than 200 education professionals, was aimed at the UK’s HE, FE, schools and private sectors, as well as agencies and professional bodies, to explore new opportunities for engagement with Vietnam’s ambitious new internationalisation plans for all levels of its education system. These envisage a rapid opening up of channels for global collaboration, from branch campuses to joint programmes, from student mobility to academic exchanges, and from English language initiatives to commercial agreements.
Underscoring the importance of the Forum, the Vietnamese Minister of Education and Training, Professor Phung Xuan Nha, brought with him a delegation of more than 80 senior representatives of the country’s universities, schools and agencies. Also presiding were Sir Graeme Davies, Emeritus Vice-Chancellor of the University of London; Ed Vaizey MP, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Vietnam; and His Excellency the Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK, Tran Ngoc An.
Reflecting the myriad opportunities for engagement, no fewer than 24 MOUs were signed under the official auspices of the Forum. These included a special new agreement between the University of London and the British University Vietnam, encompassing student scholarships, teacher training and expanded provision of University of London degrees and the International Foundation Programme.
Engagement between the two universities goes back to 2009, when discussions first started around the concept of a new university in Vietnam to offer British degrees. Since then, provision has grown steadily and in 2018 a brand new campus was opened in a unique development outside Hanoi that is offering first-class education opportunities to new cohorts of Vietnamese school-leavers.
It was fitting that our relationship both underpinned the event and exemplified the kind of long-term engagement that the Minister and his team aspire to.
[Main image. Standing, left to right: Ed Vaizey MP, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to Vietnam; Professor Phung Xuan Nha, Vietnamese Minister of Education and Training; Tran Ngoc An, Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK. Seated, left to right: Sir Graeme Davies, Emeritus Vice-Chancellor, University of London; Professor Ray Gordon, Vice-Chancellor, British University Vietnam.]