The 11th Conference of the Association of Francophone Universities (AUF) in the Asia-Pacific opened in Hanoi on April 23, gathering representatives of 84 member universities from 10 regional countries.

Initiated in 2000, the biennial event is an opportunity for AUF members to meet and share information on projects in the Asia-Pacific as well as determine future orientations for French-language education in the region.

Participants discussed policies and operation directions for the association in the region in the next four years alongside collaboration strategies.

Three new AUF members were introduced at the event: Mongolia, China and Vietnam. The delegates also elected an executive board for the next four-year tenure.

Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Bui Van Ga noted that association membership is rising, demonstrating AUF growth and increasing university interest in the association.

This also expands cooperation prospects in higher education among universities in the Asian-Pacific region and the world.

Currently, Vietnam is focusing on comprehensive education reform and improving the quality of higher education to meet the requirements of the country’s industrialisation and modernisation, he said.

Ga stated that Vietnam encourages its universities to set up partnerships with other universities in the region and around the world to help better local higher education.

According to Bernard Cerquiglini, AUF General Director, the AUF is one of the world’s largest organisations grouping 804 education and research institutes using the French language around the world.

He called on the association’s members to increase specific cooperation activities for the common development of AUF.

He pledged that the association will design support policies for projects enhancing tertiary education quality.

He also requested more member contributions in terms of resources and scientific policies.-VNA