Education a highlight in Vietnam-US relations

Education has been one of the most prominent areas of cooperation between Vietnam and the US, with both sides designing many policies to strengthen bilateral partnership in this field based on the shared view that education is the foundation of national development.

According to the International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), in recent years, the US has actively implemented a number of programmes to support Vietnam in English teaching and education quality enhancing.

In July 2020, the Governments of Vietnam and the US signed an implementing agreement on English teaching under the Peace Corps programme. The programme was officially started in October 2021, aiming to help Vietnamese students develop their English skills to access studying and employment opportunities.

Volunteers of the Peace Corps programme have been sent to rural schools to train local English teachers and improve students’ performance in English language.

According to the MoET, this project is strategically suitable to Vietnam’s priorities. So far, nine volunteers from the programme have been assigned to nine senior high schools in rural districts of Hanoi. More volunteers are scheduled to arrived in the city in October for the 2023-2024 academic year.

On September 21, 2022, the MoET and the US’s Educational Testing Service (ETS) signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in improving English training quality and testing capacity for the educational system in Vietnam.

In a meeting with ETS Vice President Rohit Sharma last month, MoET Minister Nguyen Kim Son suggested some priorities for cooperation in the immediate future, including sending ETS experts to Vietnam to give consultancy and share experience in testing activities, providing documents and information in organising examinations, and creating conditions for Vietnamese experts to receive training courses of ETS. He also underlined Vietnam’s interest in digital transformation in this field.

Besides, universities of Vietnam and the US have enjoyed strong partnership, especially in training and researching.

Currently, about 50 out of more than 400 underway higher education linkage programmes in Vietnam are with US partners, mostly at graduate (655 students) and post-graduate (about 70 students) levels. Those linkage programmes are mainly in science-technology, computer science and economics.

In recent years, the US Government has provided Vietnam with hundreds of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships through the VEF Foundation, and supported improving English skills through the Fellowship and Fulbright programmes. The US has also provided Vietnam with practical support to strengthen tertiary education capacity through BUILT-IT and FURTHER projects funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

There are currently about 26,000 Vietnamese students studying in the US both as self-funded and scholarship recipients. Meanwhile, in the last five years, an average 10 – 20 students from the US have come to Vietnam to study Vietnamese and Vietnamese studies.

USAID has also provided significant support for Vietnam’s education and training sector, with some 68 million USD in total granted to projects in Vietnam.

In September 2022, the MoET and the USAID signed a memorandum of understanding on providing development aid to enhance the higher education quality in Vietnam, with a total aid of 15.4 million USD starting from 2023.

A number of US-invested educational institutions have been established in Vietnam, with six general education institutions in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Binh Duong and a university in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Fullbright University Vietnam (FUV) was established in May 2016 as a 100% foreign-invested higher education institution operating not for profit.

Vietnam has focused on promoting international integration and attracting foreign investment in education in a bid to enhance education quality towards creating a breakthrough in human resources development. Therefore, there is great potential for educational cooperation between Vietnam and the US, contributing to promoting bilateral relations, strengthening the connections between the two peoples and boosting the sustainable development of Vietnam./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency