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Dec 08, 2023 / 18:31

Opening up opportunities for vocational training in Australia

Around 80,000 Vietnamese graduates in Australia have returned to their home country.

"Could you elaborate on the learning environment and experience for culinary careers in Australia?”

Nguyen Ba Hung, a high school student from Hanoi, timidly inquired at the Vietnam-Australia seminar on education, vocational training, settlement policies, and investment cooperation opportunities held in Hanoi on December 6.

 Students explore study opportunities in Australia during the seminar. Photos: The Hanoi Times

Hung is just one of many students who expressed interest in exploring learning and training prospects in Australia, a destination that currently hosts some 25,000 Vietnamese students.

Jennifer Bahen, the Education and Research Counselor at the Australian Embassy, noted that the number of international students in Australia has been on the rise, especially since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it has not yet reached the levels seen before the global health crisis.

Three advantages of vocational training in Australia

Bahen underscored the significance of education as a  focus of bilateral cooperation, especially as Vietnam and Australia celebrate 50 years of establishing diplomatic relations.

Australia currently has 40 public universities responsible for both education and research, along with 130 private universities that focus primarily on training. Vocational training stands out as a highlight of  Australian education, with 30 public and numerous private institutions.

According to Bahen, vocational training in Australia differs in three key aspects.

First, it is hands-on, allowing students to learn through observation and practice. Second, teachers are not necessarily university graduates but must come from the industry, and possess relevant experience—an essential requirement. Teachers in vocational training schools are also required to have a pedagogical certificate in vocational training issued by their former employer. Third, there is a strong emphasis on cooperation and links between educational institutions and businesses. Enterprises actively contribute to the design of the curriculum,  with the flexibility to add elements based on real-world circumstances.

In response to Hung's inquiry, Bahen explained that culinary education in Australia goes beyond theoretical learning. Students not only sit and write down recipes but also engage in practice-based observation activities. Many vocational schools in various fields have classrooms designed to resemble workshops, studios, or even hair salons.

She also shared that approximately 80,000 Vietnamese students who studied in Australia have returned to their home country.

 Jennifer Bahen, the Education and Research Counselor at the Australian Embassy, at the seminar. 

Hanoi steps up educational cooperation with Australian localities

Nguyen Ngoc Quang, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam-Australia Friendship Association of Hanoi, emphasized that the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-Australia relations provides an opportunity for both nations to strengthen cooperation in various fields, including education.

During the discussion session at the seminar, Quang noted teachers and students will have the opportunity to hear from representatives of Australian universities and educational organizations, gaining valuable advice on training, settlement, and collaborative opportunities between Vietnam and Australia. The aim is to enhance understanding of the education landscape and explore potential study and job prospects in Australia, Quang said.

Nguyen Thi Diep Hong, the Secretary General of the Vietnam-Australia Friendship Association in Hanoi, highlighted the significant achievements in the recent cooperation between Hanoi and Australia. Since 2008,  Hanoi's Department of Education and Training has partnered with the International Education Agency of the Australian Embassy to organize the "My Future Career" career guidance workshop for high school students in Hanoi.

In 2011, the municipal Department of Education and Training provided support for Australian education centers in Hanoi and the city's schools to host competitions such as Hello Australia, logo design, and talent competitions.

Between 2010-2012 and 2013-2015,  Hanoi's Department of Education and Training signed cooperation agreements with the South Australian Ministry of Education, facilitating teacher exchanges and conducting short-term training courses for school management staff in Hanoi.

From 2011 to 2019, collaborative efforts between the Department of Education and Training and the Australian Embassy Trade Service resulted in an annual Australian high school education exhibition in Hanoi, featuring study abroad consulting organizations and high schools.

Moreover, numerous people-to-people exchange events between the two countries have witnessed substantial and enthusiastic participation from the people in the capital and internationally.

Hong highlighted a  notable competition to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam (1973-2013), which attracted nearly 2,000 entries from individuals both at home and abroad.