Encouraging Educational Partnerships
Vietnam is encouraging educational partnerships with foreign providers in a wide range of fields, including IT, telecommunications, electronics and electronic commerce, and engineering.
Vietnam is the 15th most densely populated country in the world, and 39 percent of the population is aged under 25. Consequently, Vietnam has extensive potential for jobs development and a pool of talented young people who are eager to work for overseas companies. Internal migration from poorer rural areas to the city is commonplace in Vietnam, as employment opportunities are abundant – especially in Ho Chi Minh City. Young people stand to benefit financially by migrating to the city, and having the right skills boosts their job prospects.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has praised the Vietnamese Government for supporting young people in vocational training and promoting youth entrepreneurship. There is increased attention on work opportunities, and the match of labour market supply and demand. The Department of Youth Affairs, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, came in to being in 2010, with the role of designing, implementing and monitoring youth policies. In 2017, all provinces have their own youth development programs.
Going forward, the Vietnamese Government’s national strategy aims to monitor quality, strengthen curricula, and expand international collaboration. The OECD reports that Vietnam is encouraging educational partnerships with foreign providers in a wide range of fields, including IT, telecommunications, precise mechanics, industry maintenance, food technology, electronics and electronic commerce, natural science, engineering, technology, health, environment, agriculture, tourism, business management, accounting, finance, international law, and foreign languages.
It is also expanding its education and training partnerships as part of the Australia-Vietnam Plan of Action, which was signed in November 2016. Both countries have committed to cooperating in the vocational education and training sector and strengthening educational linkages through partnerships between educational institutions. This is important, as with so many young people in the overall population there is an ongoing need to improve skills development through relevant training, as this leads to marketable skills and professional qualifications that are recognised by employers. Vietnamese students now have access to skills training through a variety of new models and new collaborations. Both Vietnam and Australia recognise the importance of mutual recognition of qualifications, and both countries are working to address skills gaps and enhance the mobility of students, professionals, and workers.
Intel Vietnam has invested in the national higher education system to help boost the supply of engineering graduates. The company collaborated with Arizona State University in the US to further the education of students, and also put a focus on improving the curricula and training Vietnamese university faculty members. The training introduced the Vietnamese lecturers to new ‘active learning’ methods and a practical approach to modernise education.
Educational achievement and business opportunities go hand-in-hand in Vietnam. This is important when considering locating business operations offshore. Young Vietnamese now have better English tuition in school, and foreign and local education providers understand the need for relevant qualifications and practical skills. Vocational centres in Ho Chi Minh City increasingly engage with local enterprises to teach in-demand skills, including IT, digital marketing, and engineering. There is no doubt that collaboration between Vietnam and overseas companies and educational providers is improving prospects for employers and employees.