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USAID, education ministry sign first MOU to improve Vietnam’s higher education

The MOU expands USAID’s support to MOET to advance Vietnam's higher education to be more innovative and competitive.

Minister of Education and Training Nguyễn Kim Sơn (right) and USAID/Việt Nam Mission Director Aler Grubbs signed a first-ever Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education and Training of Việt Nam (MOET) to improve the quality of Vietnamese higher education on Friday. — Photo from US Embassy in Hà Nội

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Monday announced that it has signed its first-ever Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education and Training of Việt Nam (MOET) to improve the quality of Vietnamese higher education.

MOET Minister Nguyễn Kim Sơn and USAID/Việt Nam Mission Director Aler Grubbs signed the MOU on Friday evening, September 9, at a ceremony hosted by MOET.

The MOU builds upon USAID’s decade-long cooperation with Việt Nam on higher education partnership programs. The MOU expands USAID’s support to MOET to advance Việt Nam’s higher education to be even more innovative and competitive.

“We applaud the Government of Việt Nam on its reforms to build a globally-competitive higher education system,” said Mission Director Grubbs during remarks delivered at the ceremony. “This first-ever MOU between USAID and the Ministry of Education and Training marks our ongoing commitment to collaborate on a wide range of higher education partnership programs that will directly support MOET’s ambitious higher education reform goals.”

Education Minister Sơn thanked the US Government for its support for Việt Nam, especially its in-depth cooperation with Việt Nam in terms of education-training and scientific research.

Sharing that Vietnamese higher education was standing in front of a ‘major revolution,’ Sơn said that in this process, internal efforts were playing a key role, but outside support would also be important, and asked for continued assistance from the US Government and education institutions.

Việt Nam’s 2018 Revised Law on Higher Education is prompting significant changes to move the country toward a more open higher education system.

The law sets out details for public universities to have new authorities around curriculum, recruitment, enrolments, and resource mobilisation and management.

USAID said it supported Việt Nam’s efforts to modernise its higher education system.

In partnership with US higher education institutions and the private sector, USAID was helping Vietnamese universities to improve academic quality and enhance institutional governance to serve as modern models of higher education and drive Việt Nam’s socio-economic development. Many of these programs had connected Vietnamese universities with leading US higher education institutions and private sector companies to develop innovations in teaching and learning, accreditation, curriculum reform, research, and university and industry linkages.

With the signing of the MOU, USAID would support MOET with a new project that would provide direct technical assistance to review and improve higher education policies.

Improving policies would advance university autonomy, quality assurance, digital transformation and innovations in key sectors that are critical to Việt Nam’s continued economic growth and development. — VNS

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