Fulbright University Vietnam (Fulbright) recently participated in the first annual “The Teaching and Learning Summit”, hosted by VinUniversity, and is proud to be part of a consortium of leading universities in Vietnam in our shared path towards academic innovation, a creative learning and teaching environment, and equality in education.

The “High-Level Roundtable: The Leadership Role of University in the 21st Century” was organized as part of VinUniversity’s Summit, which took place on June 17-18, 2022. The roundtable gathered various universities leaders from prestigious universities such as VinUniversity, Vietnam National University (VNU-HN), Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology – VNU-HCM, University of Social Sciences and Humanities – VNU-HN, Fulbright University Vietnam, and Ho Chi Minh City Open University. The roundtable discussion played a pivotal role in initiating a long-term commitment in reimagining higher education in Vietnam through shared innovations, visions, and collaboration. The roundtable was also witnessed and fostered by Dr. Nguyễn Hữu Độ – Deputy Minister of Education and Training, and representatives from Hanoi University of Science and Technology, and Foreign Trade University Hanoi.

Throughout the discussion, university leaders presented their initiatives in accordance with five main themes: (1) digital transformation; (2) equality in education; (3) social/community responsibility; (4) connection/cooperation among higher education, community college, and secondary education; and (5) innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Innovation in higher education helps strengthen the quality of teaching within higher education and produce high quality manpower for the Vietnamese and global labor market. It also raises the standard for PreK-12 and other types of education to foster a more sustainable system for Vietnam. “Universities play a pivotal role in leading the future of education in the 21st century […]. They have the responsibility to collaborate with community colleges to build open courseware or resources to aid life-long learning, to establish a holistic learning environment, and foster a community of learners for everyone, at any age,” affirmed Dr. Nguyễn Hữu Độ, Deputy Minister of Education and Training.

Dr. Nguyễn Hữu Độ, Deputy Minister of Education and Training, at the High-Level Roundtable

Believing in that strategic role, since 2019, Fulbright University Vietnam has partnered with IEG Foundation to launch the Pioneering Educators Network (PEN) workshops to promote innovative teaching methods, updated educational trends, cutting-edge pedagogical practices for a community of educators from education institutions across Vietnam. This is an initiative that Ms. Đàm Bích Thủy, President of Fulbright University Vietnam, shared at the roundtable to call for collaboration from other leading universities to expand the program.

Ms. Đàm Bích Thủy calls for collaboration from other leading universities to expand Pioneering Educators Network (PEN)

Our approach is to educate the whole person based on three main aspects – Knowledge, Skills and Mindset. And we believe that if students can get access to this new style of teaching and learning from a younger age, they can have a more solid foundation to thrive in universities,” Ms. Đàm Bích Thủy shared in her presentation. Heading towards the same goal, Ho Chi Minh City Open University also shared its initiatives to transfer knowledge and support the growth of community colleges and secondary education.

On a different front, Vietnam National University attached its role to the United Nation’s 17 sustainable goals, toward a high-quality, fully accredited undergraduate program. With its advantage in technology and entrepreneurship, Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology – VNU-HCM and VinUniversity presented their initiatives to promote digital transformation and students’ creative ideas. And finally, the University of Social Sciences and Humanities – VNU-HN advocated that equality in education could only be achieved through scholarships, financial aid, and soft-skills training programs.

Dr. Lê Mai Lan, President of VinUniversity, shares VinUni’s initiatives

The roundtable opened door to a new network of leading universities across Vietnam to understand each other’s goals and missions and foster long-term partnerships. Six major universities proceeded to sign a joint statement to establish such a consortium to affirm the leadership role of universities in the 21st century. This consortium is the first step to attracting more universities in Vietnam to participate and together, to further develop high-quality education and achieve equality in access.

To build a more sustainable education system, we need not only the commitment of university leaders but also the shared goals, knowledge, and the willingness to learn from each other. “[Through this Summit], leading educators will join hands to create positive impacts in education, accelerate students’ entrepreneurial ideas, and improve the feasibility of adopting a research idea into real life,” Dr. Lê Mai Lan, President of VinUniversity affirmed.

The second Summit will be hosted by Vietnam National University in 2023.