The annual higher education conference provides a platform to discuss quality leadership and management (Photo courtesy of SEAMEO RETRAC. Source: vietnamnet.vn)
HCM City (VNA) - Globalisation and technology are transforming universities and colleges worldwide, leading to different approaches in research and education, including in Vietnam, the President of University of Victoria in Canada said at a conference in HCM City.

Professor Jamie Cassels told conference attendees that higher education worldwide is now focusing on skills instead of only information, and on knowledge creation and management as well as lifelong learning - or knowing ‘how’ instead of just knowing ‘what’.

The two-day conference was organised last week by the Vietnam-based Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation’s Regional Training Centre (SEAMEO RETRAC) in cooperation with the British Columbia Council for International Education.

The annual conference, with the theme of Towards Excellence in Leadership and Management in Higher Education, is featuring presentations on the internationalisation of higher education, a top priority for governments around the world, including Vietnam.

This approach creates curricula that meet world-class standards, which is part of Vietnam’s Strategy for Education Development 2011-2020 plan.

Mary Beth Marklein of George Mason University in the US and Nguyen Lan Huong of the Vietnam Association of University and Colleges spoke about the new approach during their talks.

As many as 30 programmes in nine universities in Vietnam have invited faculty from overseas partner universities to participate in exchanges to improve and internationalise the curriculum, according to Huong and Marklein.

Under the Law on Higher Education, the country has seen an increase in joint programmes between local universities and foreign institutions, from 27 in 2001 to 174 in 2015, according to a report from the Vietnam International Education Department issued late last year.

Moreover, the government has sought to internationalise its higher education system through a variety of strategies, including sending students to study overseas and borrowing more than 1 billion USD in loans to establish world-class universities.

Three world-class universities have been developed in partnership with other governments via the loans, and more than 110,000 Vietnamese students are studying in 47 countries.

The conference was attended by 100 foreign and local educators, researchers and rectors as well as managers.-VNA