31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Mar 31, 2022 / 11:18

Higher proficiency of English attracts more investment, tourism dollars: US Ambassador

English teaching will be enhanced in Vietnam as the country will soon welcome US Peace Corps volunteers for the first time ever.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper has said that countries with higher levels of English attract more investment and tourism dollars.

 US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper at the conference in Hanoi on Mar 30. 

Marc Knapper made the statement at the ongoing conference on the future of English language teaching and learning in Vietnam, reaffirming the US Government’s continued support for English language education in the Southeast Asian country.

Knapper stressed the importance of well-prepared language learning in academic and professional success and the ways that language can open a whole world of possibilities for future generations.

He observed that English is now widely spoken by Vietnam’s large youth population. “We can all see young Vietnamese people using English in just about every possible way – in the classroom, on the street, and online in conversations with people from other countries,” he said.

In this regard, the US Embassy in Vietnam extends assistance to the Vietnam English Language Teaching Forum, which aims to support Vietnamese educational institutions as they shape the way they teach English in a post-pandemic era.

Sponsored by the US Embassy in Vietnam’s Regional English Language Office and organized by the VietTESOL Association, the National Foreign Languages Project and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), the Vietnam English Language Teaching Forum brings leading voices in the Vietnamese English language education community together to identify global, regional, and local trends in education and to discuss challenges and opportunities in English language learning and teaching going forward.

At the two-day conference starting on March 30, leading Vietnamese policymakers, influencers, educators, and other key stakeholders working in the field of English language education gathered in Hanoi to discuss the future of English language teaching and learning in Vietnam.

Participants at the conference include Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Huu Do, other representatives from the Ministry of Education and Training, the General Department of Vocational Training, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Justice, Provincial Departments of Education and Training, leading universities and vocational training colleges, and influential leaders from the private sector.

 The conference attracts a large number of participants. 

Education – a high priority in the US-Vietnam relations

 

Education is one of the key pillars in the bilateral relations between Vietnam and the US.

According to the US Embassy in Hanoi, the US is committed to supporting Vietnam’s efforts to develop a 21st century higher education system to produce trained, job-ready graduates with the skills necessary to compete in an increasingly globalized market.

The US expanded support is demonstrated in science, technology, engineering, math, and medical education fields. By leveraging expertise and funding from the private sector, programs in higher education have a far-reaching impact and are addressing the demands of a rapidly changing Vietnamese economy.

Meanwhile, higher education represents one of the best examples of the rapidly growing people-to-people ties between the US and Vietnam.

The Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) is considered a watershed in US-Vietnam education cooperation. FUV is the first independent, non-profit university in Vietnam. By modeling core principles including academic freedom, meritocracy, transparency, and equal access, FUV will bring a world-class university to Vietnam and foster greater linkages with the US.

The Fulbright Program, since 1992, has supported thousands of Americans and Vietnamese for study, research, and teaching. Vietnamese Fulbrighters now occupy leading positions in all sectors. Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh himself is a Fulbright alumnus.

The Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP) began in 1994 to teach market economics in Vietnam at a time of great transition. It has become a Master’s degree program in the context that the bilateral economic ties increase exponentially. President Nguyen Xuan Phuc is an alumnus of FETP’s Vietnam Executive Leadership Program.

The Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) is an independent US agency created by Congress in 2000 to support Masters and PhD study in science fields by Vietnamese at US institutions. Its fellows will continue to serve as a source of US-trained academics to help lead Vietnam’s development.

An issue that demonstrates the closed education relations is the number of Vietnamese students studying in the US. According to Ambassador Marc Knapper, the US welcomes 30,000 Vietnamese students each year. Vietnam continues to be the leader in Southeast Asia in this field.

Statistics by the Institute of International Education (IIE) showed that the number of Vietnamese students attending US education facilities grew for the 18th consecutive year by 2019.

Currently, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting Vietnam’s efforts to modernize its higher education system. In partnership with US higher education institutions and the private sector, USAID is helping Vietnamese universities to improve academic quality and enhance institutional governance to serve as modern models of higher education and drive Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

Given that the Vietnamese identify education as a top priority, there is much room for continued growth in US-Vietnam cooperation in this sector.