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Education Cooperation Opportunities between Vietnam and the United States (April 16, 2010)

On 15/04/2010, Access American Education (AAE) has organized an exchange day between Chris Runckel – Runckel and Associates Chairman, the representatives of universities, colleges and enterprises to learn and promote the education system among Vietnam, other Asian countries and the United States.

School Representatives participated on exchange day consisted of Lotus University, Saigon Technology University, Nguyen Hoang Group, MYA Business Corporation, HCMC University of Foreign Languages and Information Technology (Huflit), College of Information Technology, HCMC University Theater Cinema, HCMC College of Economics – Technology and so on.

During the presentation, Chris Runckel had pointed out some role key topics below:

  • The differences between the education system of Vietnam and other Asian countries
  • The strategy of training and enrollment of international cooperation of the U.S. universities
  • Experience in promoting international cooperation between Vietnam universities and international institution.

Mr. Runckel emphasized that the recent world economic crisis has had an enormous impact on the United States. The major funding for activities in the US universities has long supported financially by Government, organizations and alumni contributions somewhat decreased lately. Therefore, to increase revenue for training service activities, the States universities started being interested in the additional revenues from school fees. In general, international students’ tuition fees are much higher than local students, so international student enrollment policies have been more concerned in comparison with the previous years.

Interestingly, Chris Runckel also added that the proportion of international student studying in the United States has increased dramatically, especially in Vietnam. The growth has made Vietnam become top 20 countries sending many international students to America. Starting at the bottom of top 20 in 2006/07, Vietnam rose to No. 13 in 2008/09, and remained at number 9 since 2007. For example, in Porland State University, international students are mostly from Arab countries, followed by China, South Korea and then Vietnam.

In the near future, Vietnamese students will be more concerned because the need of studying abroad of Vietnamese students is growing rapidly. Furthermore, the US universities are also quite interested in the learning ability and progressive spirit of the students in Vietnam.

These factor will open up opportunities for cooperation and investment in education between Vietnam and the United States, especially the cooperative program of short-term training on specialized skills, the exchange program to learn more about education system and local culture will be the foundation for the cooperation of formal training programs later.

Regarding the co-operation between the universities in Vietnam and overseas schools, an effective way to bring benefits to both parties is the exchange program with 2:2 or 3:1 (i.e. 2 academic years in Vietnam 2 years in a foreign country, or three years in Vietnam and a year abroad).

Actually, such partnership helps save costs for students and at the same time, schools in Vietnam and abroad are guaranteed to attract students. One of the important factors affecting this collaboration is the differences in education system between Asian countries and Western countries.

The passive way of learning in Asian countries is completely different with the way of discussing questions between teachers and students of Western countries, or a scale marked as A, B, C, and D compared with a scale of 10 in Vietnam education and some Asian countries.

Besides, some visa related-questions were raised such as “Is student visa easy to be granted?” To answer the question whether it is difficult to get student visa, students must be confident to articulate their learning plans and avoid giving out false information that unreliable education agencies advised them to.

Students who plan to study undergraduate or post-graduate programs got an equal opportunity, so long as to ensure adequate finance, particularly for post-graduate level, students have more opportunities to access scholarships from many more research projects. Besides, a question related to the cooperation between Vietnam and foreign universities was “Currently, there are so many foreigners want to establish the cooperation relationship, but they only want to sign the MOU (memorandum) and substance of their projects, so what is the advice to this problem? “.

Chris stated that Vietnam universities must change their way of thinking “Education is a business” and that they should always be cautious when signing cooperation contract. On the top of that, they need to require benefits achieved after that so that cooperation will be benefit for both parties.

The exchange day ended in a friendly atmosphere, bringing more useful information for those who want to attend the US universities.

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