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Universities try new techniques

Update: July, 30/2016 - 09:00
The annual higher education conference provides a platform to discuss quality leadership and management. Photo courtesy of SEAMEO RETRAC
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — Globalisation and technology are transforming universities and colleges worldwide, leading to different approaches in research and education, including in Việt Nam, the president of University of Victoria in Canada said at a conference in HCM City.

Professor Jamie Cassels told conference attendees that higher education worldwide was focusing now on skills instead of only information, and on knowledge creation and management as well as lifelong learning - or knowing ‘how’ instead of just knowing ‘what’.  

The two-day conference was organised on Wednesday by the Việt Nam-based Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation’s Regional Training Centre (SEAMEO RETRAC) in co-operation with the British Columbia Council for International Education.

The annual conference, with the theme of Towards Excellence in Leadership and Management in Higher Education, is featuring presentations on the internationalisation of higher education, a top priority for governments around the world, including Việt Nam.

This approach creates curricula that meet world-class standards, which is part of the Việt Nam’s Strategy for Education Development 2011-2020 plan.

Mary Beth Marklein of George Mason University in the US and Nguyễn Lan Hương of the Việt Nam Association of University and Colleges spoke about the new approach during their talks.

As many as 30 programmes in nine universities in Việt Nam have invited faculty from overseas partner universities to participate in exchanges to improve and internationalise the curriculum, according to Hương and Marklein.

Under the Law on Higher Education, the country has seen an increase in joint programmes between local universities and foreign institutions, from 27 in 2001 to 174 in 2015, according to a report from the Việt Nam International Education Department issued late last year.

Moreover, the government has sought to internationalise its higher education system through a variety of strategies, including sending students to study overseas and borrowing more than $1 billion in loans to establish world-class universities.

Three world-class universities have been developed in partnership with other governments via the loans, and more than 110,000 Vietnamese students are studying in 47 countries.

The conference was attended by 100 foreign and local educators, researchers and rectors as well as managers. —VNS

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