Our work in Vietnam supports closer links between colleges and employers in Vietnam and the UK and gives greater visibility to the skills agenda. 21 colleges in Vietnam have entered partnerships with UK colleges with an aim to improve the quality of their vocational training through adapting UK approaches to quality assurance.
Vietnam has a population of just under 90m of whom around one fifth are aged between 20 and 29. Vietnam is in turn part of the wider Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region of 600m people and has ambitions to play a leading role within this wider regional trading block.
A priority for ASEAN countries is to develop a Qualifications Reference Framework, which will support comparison and mutual recognition of qualifications across the region. In this context, Vietnam is implementing an ambitious National Vocational Training Development strategy for the period 2011–2020.
Our Skills for Employability programme in Vietnam is working in partnership with the General Department of Vocational Training (GDVT) within the Ministry of Labour Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) to:
- facilitate collaboration with the UK that supports Vietnam’s Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) strategy 2020
- play an increasingly visible and valued role in skills policy development and discussion at country, regional and global level
- contribute to up-skilling young people and employees to meet high level skill needs and employer demands in the growing economy.
International Skills Partnerships have been central to the Skills for Employability programme in Vietnam.
NATIONAL OCCUPATIONAL STANDARDS
A partnership between UK Sector Skills Council Proskills and the building materials and ceramics conglomerate Viglacera has focused on the development of National Occupational Standards (NOS) that ensure training fits employer needs.
The partnership built on a series of seminars and study tours organised by the British Council and GDVT to explore employer engagement and the role of Sector Skills Councils in the UK. It has led to the development of five sets of National Occupational Skills Standards, which have been approved by the GDVT. They cover all technical and general roles within the glass, ceramics, granite, sanitary ware and terracotta industries in Vietnam.
Quality assurance (QA)
The development of quality assurance system in colleges in Vietnam is part of the British Council global skills and employability programme which runs in more than 30 countries aiming at providing people with opportunities to broaden their horizons and build their future through international education.
Hosting Bringing the Learning Home, the British Council’s annual International Skills Partnership seminar, in Hanoi in October 2014 at the same time as the 10th ASEAN Skills Competition gave a greater visibility to the skills agenda and the UK’s potential contribution to its development in Vietnam.
Building on these foundations, in January 2015 the British Council in Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the GDVT to develop a framework, system and set of tools for college-based QA. Three International Skills Partnerships will work with nine Vietnamese colleges to achieve this. The partnerships will develop them as high-performing beacon colleges, which will pilot QA approaches to be rolled out nationally.
A student-centered approach to teaching and assessment
A partnership between Westminster Kingsway College (UK) and Vinh University of Technology (Vietnam) has resulted in Vinh University thinking about assessment in a completely new way: “We realised that assessment isn’t just pass and fail... assessing includes training and a circular process.” Vinh University has recently been given approval by the GDVT to set up a new assessment centre.
Improving skills and capacity for vocational teachers in Vietnam to meet international standards in vocational teaching is one of core activities in the International Skills Partnership project between Vietnamese vocational colleges and Westminster Kingsway College, United Kingdom. The project creates opportunities for Vietnam colleges to access many up-skilling training courses which meet international standards of City and Guilds, United Kingdom. Read more about this project.
The partnerships have gained significant visibility at policy levels. As one Vietnamese college principal said, “When officials from the Ministry (GDVT) come to visit the college, they always talk about our International Skills Partnership”.
A partnership between Bradford College (UK) and VCAM (Vietnam) has strengthened links with employers and has helped VCAM develop its ties with Honda, one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world.
The International Skills Partnerships are helping the UK colleges involved develop a global outlook for their teachers and students. One UK stakeholder summarised how the challenge of working with partners and students in a truly different culture is itself a learning experience: “Teachers in London think there is diversity – but it is completely different teaching a student who has come directly from Vietnam”.