Can Tho, UK look to cooperation in education, health, transport infrastructure

Can Tho: Vice Chairman of the Can Tho People's Committee Duong Tan Hien on December 11 hosted a visiting delegation from the British Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, with the sides expressing their intention for better joint work in education, health, and transport infrastructure. Heading the delegation, Deputy Consul General Sam Wood expressed his hope that UK localities can connect and collaborate with the Vietnamese Mekong Delta city with a focus on the above-said areas, and enjoy favourable conditions created by and assistance from the municipal authorities. The diplomat vowed to engage in the organisation of various networking activities during his tenure to bring investors from the UK to Can Tho to seek opportunities for investment partnerships. Hien told his guests the three sectors are the city's investment attraction priorities, and that Can Tho welcomes UK enterprises to the city to study the local market and forming cooperation. Can Tho wishes to capitalise on opportunities brought about by the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) serving improved trade between it and UK firms, particularly regarding its strong fields such as rice, fruit, and fishery. Between January and October, Can Tho exported to the UK 19.51 million USD worth mostly of rice, aquatic products, apparel, handicrafts and processed farm produce./ Source: Vietnam News Agency

National University among 22% of Asia’s leading higher education institutions

Hanoi: The Vietnam National University - Hanoi (VNU) has been ranked 187th in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings: Asia 2024 (QS AUR 2024), according to the VNU.

With the ranking, it is among the group of 22% of Asia's leading higher education institutions.

The ranking, evaluating academic and employer recognition, research prowess, teaching resources, and internationalisation, is the largest ever, showcasing 857 institutions from 25 countries and territories, including 149 newcomers.

According to its website, the QS' methodology for its Asia rankings involves a criteria with indicators including academic reputation (30%), employer reputation (20%), faculty to student ratio (10%), international research network (10%) citations per paper (10%) and papers per faculty (5%), staff with a PhD (5%), proportion of international faculty and students (2.5% each), and the proportion of inbound and outbound exchange students (2.5% each).

The VNU has made steady progress in employer reputation when rising to the 131st place in Asia, reflecting that its training quality has been increasingly valued by the labour market.

Apart from the VNU, 14 other higher education institutions of Vietnam were also included in the ranking, including the Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City, the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, and the Hanoi National University of Education.

Peking University retains its title as Asia's best university for a second consecutive year, followed by The University of Hong Kong (China) and the National University of Singapore in second and third place, respectively./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

VNU-Hanoi has two more disciplines ranked by Times Higher Education

Hanoi: Courses in Education and Clinical and Health of the Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU, Hanoi) find a place in the Times Higher Education (THE)’s World University Ranking by Subjects 2024, which was released on October 26.

The two subjects, evaluated by THE for the first time, gained the global rankings in the 401-500 group for Education, and 601-800 group for Clinical and Health.

With the latest recognition, the VNU, Hanoi now has eight subjects listed on THE’s rankings. The others are Social Sciences (501-600), Business and Economics (601-800), Life Sciences (801-1000), Computer Sciences (801-1000), Engineering (801-1000) and Physical Sciences (801-1000).

THE’s rankings also cover Arts and Humanity, Law, and Psychology.

The rankings are based on THE’s survey, Elsevier’s Scopus database, and data provided by education establishments.

The 2024 version is based on THE’s new WUR 3.0 methodology, which includes 18 carefully calibrated performance indicators that measure an institution’s performance across five areas of teaching, research environment, research quality, industry and international outlook./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Six Vietnamese universities named in THE world rankings 2024

Six Vietnamese universities have been listed in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024 (THE WUR 2024) which include nearly 1,904 universities across 108 countries and territories.

In the rankings released on September 28, Duy Tan University and Ton Duc Thang University were placed between 601st and 800th, while Vietnam National University (VNU) - Hanoi in the 1,201st- 1,500th group, and VNU-HCM City, Hanoi University of Science and Technology and Hue University in the 1,501+ group.

Compared to the previous rankings, three universities have their places dropped, namely the Duy Tan University and Ton Duc Thang University that ranked in the 401st – 500th group and the VNU-Hanoi in the 1,001st - 1,200th group in 2023. The other three universities maintained their rankings.

This year, THE increased the number of evaluation criteria from 13 to 18 in five groups: teaching, research environment, research quality, industry and international outlook.

The rankings analysed over 134 million citations from 16.5 million scientific publications in the Scopus database and survey responses from 68,402 scholars worldwide. This edition of the ranking featured the largest number of participating universities, with 2,673 institutions.

According to THE WUR 2024, the top five universities in the world are Oxford University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, and Cambridge University.

In Asia, the top performers include Tsinghua University and Peking University (China), National University of Singapore, University of Tokyo (Japan), and Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Italian wood products, new technologies introduced in HCM City

The Italian Trade Commission (ICE) in Vietnam and Italia’s National Association of Italian Manufacturers of Footwear, Leathergoods and Tanning Technologies (ASSOMAC) opened a pavilion to introduce the latest wood products and technologies.

The pavilion is part of the 15th Vietnam International Woodworking Industry Fair (VietnamWood 2023) and the Vietnam International Furniture Accessories, Hardware & Tools Exhibition (Furnitec 2023) that opened in Ho Chi Minh City on September 20 and will run until September 23.

ICE Director Fabio De Cillis said that his office supports Italian enterprises in seeking Vietnamese partners who have the potential to import wood processing machines and equipment from Italy.

ICE also strives to build cooperative relationships with organisations and agencies to better connect the business communities of the two countries.

The Italian and Vietnamese economies are both similar and complementary. Vietnam is currently Italy's largest trading partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Italy is Vietnam's 4th largest trading partner in the EU. Those create a strong motivation for the development of industries in Vietnam and Italy in general and the woodworking sectors in particular.

Vietnam's real estate market is closely associated with the wood industry, particularly the furniture manufacturing industry. Therefore, Italian businesses expect to provide Vietnamese partners with technology to meet the requirements of production and business, he said.

In addition, Italy is famous for heritage restoration and jewelry while Vietnam is paying more and more attention to those fields to preserve its important cultural and historical values.

Moreover, Italian enterprises also have strengths in the green economy, and circular economy, particularly in infrastructure development, energy, and electrical vehicles.

VietnamWood 2023 attracted 320 exhibitors from 28 countries and territories. They showcase comprehensive automatic production lines and wood system integration with a focus on digital transformation.

It also featured eight pavilions from Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the US, and Taiwan.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

President attends opening of National Defence Academy’s new academic year

President Vo Van Thuong on September 12 attended the opening ceremony of the 2023-2024 academic year of the National Defence Academy - the leading military scientific research and training centre of the army and Vietnam at large.

Thuong requested the academy to continue working to increase the quality of education and training and actively contribute to improving the capacity of officers to meet requirements of the nation building and safeguarding in the new situation.

He stressed the need for the academy to develop military, defence and security theories, especially new awareness and new thinking on nation safeguarding.

It is also important to analyse, research, evaluate and accurately forecast situations related to national defence and security, with a view to promptly giving advice to the Party, State, Central Military Commission, and Ministry of National Defence on policies and preventive measures to protect the Fatherland early and from afar, he added.

The president asked the academy to pay due attention to building a team of lecturers and scientists with strong political will and absolute loyalty to Marxism-Leninism, the Ho Chi Minh thought, and the Party, State, people and army, and high qualifications.

President Thuong also emphasised the importance of promoting cooperation with defence and military academies and universities around the world to open more training classes for international defence officers, adding that this is a very important task, contributing to implementing the foreign policy of the Party and State in the current situation./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Food firms urged to study market demand carefully to expand int’l reach

Food enterprises should study the market demand carefully together with branding strategies to expand their international reach, experts said.

According to Nguyen Dang Hien, Vice President of the Food and Foodstuff Association of Ho Chi Minh City, most enterprises had not paid adequate attention to developing marketing strategies and increasing brand recognition for international markets, although Vietnam was a major exporter of agroforestry – fishery products.

An estimate by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that agricultural products exported with brands would have added value 200-300% higher, even 500%.

Thus, it was critical for Vietnamese food enterprises to invest in building processing systems for high-quality agricultural products and increase branding in the international markets.

Hoang Van Viet from the University of Economics HCM City, said that enterprises could consider promoting digital marketing through social networks, YouTube, TikTok, websites and email.

In addition, enterprises should study the demand of the target markets carefully to develop strategic plans for expanding in foreign markets.

Bach Ngoc Hai Yen, Director of Greatlink Maihouse Investment Company, said that to expand in foreign markets, enterprises needed to build and maintain good relationships with customers, which would be the key to increasing competitiveness for Vietnamese food enterprises.

The focus should be on market study to develop appropriate marketing strategies and customer care solutions.

General Director of Cholimex Food Diep Nam Hai said that food companies should pay attention to developing supply chains to ensure the competitiveness of the products in terms of quality and price.

According to Hien, expanding exports was a solution for food companies in the context of low domestic market demand.

He said enterprises should eye potential markets such as China and India and markets in Asia – Pacific regions.

As consumers were increasingly aware of their personal health and environmental sustainability when choosing foods, enterprises should focus on developing products to meet the consumer demands, such as products of plant origin or organic products, he said.

Transition to green production was important, Hien said, adding that green production became an advantage for food enterprises.

Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, President of the HCM City Union of Business Associations, said the association’s survey found that enterprises with green production were having better orders than others in the context of economic difficulty.

Green production was a passport for many enterprises to penetrate and expand in international markets, he stressed.

Vietnamese food products were now present in around 180 countries and territories around the world./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Education a highlight in Vietnam-US relations

Education has been one of the most prominent areas of cooperation between Vietnam and the US, with both sides designing many policies to strengthen bilateral partnership in this field based on the shared view that education is the foundation of national development.

According to the International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), in recent years, the US has actively implemented a number of programmes to support Vietnam in English teaching and education quality enhancing.

In July 2020, the Governments of Vietnam and the US signed an implementing agreement on English teaching under the Peace Corps programme. The programme was officially started in October 2021, aiming to help Vietnamese students develop their English skills to access studying and employment opportunities.

Volunteers of the Peace Corps programme have been sent to rural schools to train local English teachers and improve students' performance in English language.

According to the MoET, this project is strategically suitable to Vietnam's priorities. So far, nine volunteers from the programme have been assigned to nine senior high schools in rural districts of Hanoi. More volunteers are scheduled to arrived in the city in October for the 2023-2024 academic year.

On September 21, 2022, the MoET and the US's Educational Testing Service (ETS) signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in improving English training quality and testing capacity for the educational system in Vietnam.

In a meeting with ETS Vice President Rohit Sharma last month, MoET Minister Nguyen Kim Son suggested some priorities for cooperation in the immediate future, including sending ETS experts to Vietnam to give consultancy and share experience in testing activities, providing documents and information in organising examinations, and creating conditions for Vietnamese experts to receive training courses of ETS. He also underlined Vietnam's interest in digital transformation in this field.

Besides, universities of Vietnam and the US have enjoyed strong partnership, especially in training and researching.

Currently, about 50 out of more than 400 underway higher education linkage programmes in Vietnam are with US partners, mostly at graduate (655 students) and post-graduate (about 70 students) levels. Those linkage programmes are mainly in science-technology, computer science and economics.

In recent years, the US Government has provided Vietnam with hundreds of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships through the VEF Foundation, and supported improving English skills through the Fellowship and Fulbright programmes. The US has also provided Vietnam with practical support to strengthen tertiary education capacity through BUILT-IT and FURTHER projects funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

There are currently about 26,000 Vietnamese students studying in the US both as self-funded and scholarship recipients. Meanwhile, in the last five years, an average 10 - 20 students from the US have come to Vietnam to study Vietnamese and Vietnamese studies.

USAID has also provided significant support for Vietnam's education and training sector, with some 68 million USD in total granted to projects in Vietnam.

In September 2022, the MoET and the USAID signed a memorandum of understanding on providing development aid to enhance the higher education quality in Vietnam, with a total aid of 15.4 million USD starting from 2023.

A number of US-invested educational institutions have been established in Vietnam, with six general education institutions in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Binh Duong and a university in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Fullbright University Vietnam (FUV) was established in May 2016 as a 100% foreign-invested higher education institution operating not for profit.

Vietnam has focused on promoting international integration and attracting foreign investment in education in a bid to enhance education quality towards creating a breakthrough in human resources development. Therefore, there is great potential for educational cooperation between Vietnam and the US, contributing to promoting bilateral relations, strengthening the connections between the two peoples and boosting the sustainable development of Vietnam./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency