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US helps strengthen Vietnam's higher education in US$14-million partnership

The partnership will drive socio-economic development by benefitting more than 200,000 students and equip them with skills to thrive in an increasingly competitive global market.

The United States on August 1 launched a five-year, US$14.2-million partnership with three leading Vietnamese universities to strengthen higher education in Vietnam.

The funding, through US Agency for International Development (USAID), is part of the Partnership for Higher Education Reform announced by Vice President Kamala Harris during her visit to Hanoi in August 2021 will collaborate with universities, key government officials, and industry partners in Vietnam.

Under the USAID-supported project, US partner Indiana University will work with Vietnam’s three largest universities including Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh (VNU-HCM), Vietnam National University-Hanoi (VNU-HN), and the University of Danang (UD) to improve their academic quality, enhance institutional governance, and enable them to serve as models of modern higher education across Vietnam. 

The partnership will drive socio-economic development by benefitting more than 200,000 students and equip them with skills to thrive in an increasingly competitive global market.

  US Ambassador Marc Knapper speaks at the event. Photos: USAID

“The United States is a committed partner in supporting the success and long-term sustainability of Vietnam’s higher education institutions,” US Ambassador Marc Knapper said in his remarks delivered at the event.

“Through this partnership, together, we will collectively improve the quality and market-relevance of higher education to drive lasting growth,” the ambassador added.

The partnership will work to achieve three objectives for the universities: increase sustainability and autonomy, improve academic quality, and strengthen research and innovation capacity.

 Representatives of Vietnamese and US partners press the button to start the project. 

Core activities will strengthen university governance and financial systems, provide faculty training in the design of state-of-the-art courses, facilitate research collaborations, expand research capacity, and develop guidelines and incentives for prosperous partnerships between universities and the private sector.

The Partnership for Higher Education Reform is the product of an extensive consultation process between USAID and the three largest Vietnamese universities, with numerous relevant entities such as the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Science and Technology, Indiana University, and the World Bank.

Industry partners during implementation will include Purdue University, Amazon Web Services, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among others.

The partnership helps advance higher education reforms that were called for under Vietnam’s 2018 Revised Law on Higher Education. 

USAID is assisting public and private universities in Vietnam to improve institutional governance and sustainability, implement curriculum and teaching reform, advance technology and innovation, and strengthen partnerships and industry linkages.

Its educational projects in Vietnam include Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance; Improving Access, Curriculum and Teaching in Medical Education and Emerging Diseases (IMPACT-MED) Alliance; Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV); and Partnership for Higher Education Reform (PHER).