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Vietnam Study Hub opens in Ho Chi Minh City

A study hub has opened in Ho Chi Minh City catering specially for Vietnamese students who are beginning their studies with providers overseas online as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"From the institution's side, we could see challenges with deferrals and attracting new enrolments"

The Vietnam Study Hub, initiated by the University of Auckland, LightPath and UP Education, will offer students a dedicated place to meet peers, study together, and receive learning and career support at no extra cost.

It will welcome its first students this month, and will work with other institutions in New Zealand, Australia, UK and beyond to enhance students’ experience as they commence their international studies online, according to Haike Manning, founder of LightPath Consulting Group.

“We want to transform Vietnamese students’ online international study experience,” he told The PIE.

Consistent feedback had indicated students face pain points such as lack of social engagement, motivation, lack of a good learning space, personalised learning support.

“From the institution’s side, we could see challenges with deferrals and attracting new enrolments in the current environment,” Manning explained.

“The more students we are able to support, the better”

“So our Hub was created as a solution for both students and institutions. Our goal is to create a sense of community and engagement among the students at our Hub, and better connect them to each other and to their institution.”

Services at the centre, operating in accordance with local government directives, include high quality, safe study spaces, study skills, career and other student support.

Additionally, regular engagement activities such as alumni talks, orientation and pre-departure events allow students to connect to fellow classmates.

It also offers localised learning and career support services online for students outside of Ho Chi Minh City or when the physical centre cannot be accessed.

The model is different to some other successful study centres in other regions set up during Covid-19 as the hub is independent from local university providers and services are available to students from multiple institutions.

“Institutions don’t need to rely on an existing partnership with a local university, or worry about whether they have sufficient scale (in terms of student numbers) – as we can accommodate smaller cohorts at the Hub,” Manning continued.

“The more students we are able to support, the better,” he said.

Edunation also runs a pathway study hub in Vietnam for students who are planning to transfer to Finland to complete their studies.

“Our immediate focus is on providing a solution while student mobility remains challenging,” Manning said.

“But we believe that the pandemic will lead to longer-term shifts in delivery models and student attitudes towards online/blended learning (even once borders re-open), so we see a lot of potential to adapt our model of in-market student support services to a post-pandemic environment.”

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