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Vietnam looks to internationalise VET sector

Vocational education and training in Vietnam requires a national strategy if the sector is to further internationalise and broaden, experts have suggested.

Photo: iStock

"VET providers should be given supports to strengthen their capacity"

The Ministry of Education and Training should consult with key national stakeholders in order to set targets for internationalisation within “realistic timelines”, lay out strategic geographic and subject/industry priority areas, and launch initiatives to “support the sector’s internationalisation efforts”.

The recommendations come after an EU-funded VET Toolbox, launched in September 2021, concluded.

The project was started in order to build a qualifications framework for institutions in Vietnam, with the hope that certificate recognition will create opportunities for Vietnamese students to work in both local and international markets while opening doors to higher education opportunities in the UK.

“A national international education strategy would provide a strategic framework for co-ordinating and channelling in the most effective and efficient ways the internationalisation efforts of the VET sector, with support from the different parts of government,” said Fabrizio Trifiro, head of Quality Benchmarking Services at Ecctis, which delivered the Qualifications Benchmarking project.

The strategy should be informed by a clear vision about the rationale and key objectives to achieve through internationalisation, Trifiro continued.

“Identifying key priority countries to focus internationalisation efforts will also be important”

“[This] will then help to identify specific targets and the right strategies to achieve them – such as developing a regulatory environment conducive to international collaborations through transnational education, or supporting student and academic mobility through adequate visa policies, and providing dedicated financial support to students and providers,” he said.

“Identifying key priority countries to focus internationalisation efforts will also be important, as well as identifying key industries that Vietnam might want to prioritise for internationalisation.”

At the project’s final dissemination workshop in July, deputy director general of the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training in Vietnam, Pham Vu Quoc Binh, said, “The project and its findings have opened many opportunities for future discussion and collaborations between the UK and Vietnam partners”.

Vietnam can now consider setting up sector-wide schemes and resources to improve the foreign language capacity of VET students and staff, Hoang Van Anh, director of Education and Society at the British Council Vietnam, added.

“To facilitate student and staff mobility, international partnerships, as well as international student recruitment, Vietnam’s education system in recent years has achieved positive results in improving the foreign language capacity of Vietnamese students and staff, particularly English language capacity as today’s global language, and other foreign languages of strategic importance for Vietnam,” she said.

“VET providers should be given supports to strengthen their capacity to offer education and training programs in English, which would facilitate both international student recruitment as well as the development of international academic and training partnerships. Sector-wide English Medium of Education programs could be considered at system level.”

“Vietnam Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Agency and DVET will continue to implement outreach activities in the national TVET system, combining with relevant strategies and national priorities to enhance project outcomes, bringing positive and long-term impacts in VET development in Vietnam,” Nguyen Quang Viet, director of VETA, added.

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