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Promoting sustainable linkages between enterprises and universities

On October 23, Thai Nguyen University and Vietnam Australian Human Resource Development Program (Aus4skills) jointly organised a symposium titled "Promoting sustainable cooperation between enterprises and universities".

The symposium aimed at sharing experiences in building and developing effective linkages between universities and enterprises, as well as introducing models for cooperation. Solutions were suggested to successfully implement the cooperation models, enhancing opportunities for networking and further cooperation between higher education institutions and enterprises.

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Representatives of the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), Vietnam National Institute of Educational Science (VNIES), Thai Nguyen University (TNU) and RMIT University at the symposium.

Attending the symposium were Mr. Brendon Brooker - Second Secretary of the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, Mr. Michael Sadlon – Program Director of Aus4Skills, Dr. Pham Nhu Nghe - Deputy Director of Higher Education Department (MOET), representatives from VNIES, RMIT University, Tay Bac University; Thai Nguyen Department of Science and Technology, Department of Home Affairs; companies and enterprises in the whole country ...

Attendants from Thai Nguyen University including Prof. Dr. Pham Hong Quang - Member of the Provincial Party Committee, Secretary of the Party Committee, President of Thai Nguyen University; Ass. Prof. Dr. Tran Thanh Van – Vice President of Thai Nguyen University, leaders of partner universities, schools, faculties, functional departments and more than 100 representatives from departments and faculties, alumni of the program “Improving Quality of Universities in the Northern Mountainous Region of Vietnam” (QUNIS) under Aus4Skills. 

Speaking on behalf of the leaders of Thai Nguyen University, Prof. Dr. Pham Hong Quang emphasised the importance of universtity-industry linkages.

Prof. Quang stated: Linkages between education institutions and industry build a win-win relationship, in which enterprises act as information providers to help education institutions understand the labour market.

For their own sake, education institutions must be market-driven, and of course industry’s demands need to be taken into account. Therefore, it is necessary for them to link with each other.

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Speech by Prof. Dr. Pham Hong Quang - Member of the Provincial Party Committee, Secretary of the Party Committee, President of Thai Nguyen University.

Mr. Brendon Brooker, Second Secretary, Australian Embassy in Vietnam commented: Aus4Skills is a cooperation program between Australia and Vietnam since 2016, with the aim to improve the quality of human resources in northern Vietnam, including areas with high rate of ethnic minority groups. The program focuses on building capacity of managers and ethnic minority female officers, contributing to improve the training quality, increasing the rate of academic success for ethnic minority students and promoting women's leadership.

The program has supported thousands of students, contributing to uplift the success rate among ethnic minorities students, helping them find suitable jobs upon graduation.

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Speech by Mr. Brendon Brooker, Second Secretary, Australian Embassy in Vietnam.

The symposium received valuable inputs from professional academia at national and international levels, including: 

“Evaluation of the situation of TNU graduates and employment during the last five years”, by Assoc Prof Do Anh Tai, University Council Chairman, Thai Nguyen University of Economics and Business Administration.

“Overview of university-industry linkage in Australian universities and the role of government and governance in sustaining effective university- industry linkages”; by Ms. Jen Bahen - representative for Education and Research at the Australian Embassy in Hanoi;

and 

“RMIT practices in linkages with enterprises in Australia and Vietnam”, by Melvin Fernando, Manager, Employment & Industry Relations, Office of the Executive Dean.

In elaborating the linkages between universities and enterprises, there were two parallel sessions.

Cooperation between universities and enterprises in training and technology transfer: 14 presentations were made by educational experts from Tay Bac University, University Information Technology and Communications, University of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Science, University of Industrial Engineering, Thai Nguyen Department of Home Affairs, Department of Science and Technology, Hong Hai Technology Group, HL Education Company, Thai Son Trading Company, Kim Thai JSC, Ntea Vietnam Group, Chinh Dai Company ...

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“Evaluation of the situation of TNU graduates and employment during the last five years” - Assoc Prof Do Anh Tai, University Council Chairman, Thai Nguyen University of Economics and Business Administration.

The symposium has seen positive outcomes, enthusiastic participation experience exchange between universities and enterprises.

Experts pointed out that university needed to improve curriculum, inclusive teaching and learning method, student assessment, student’s self-study capacity, and to strengthen linkages with enterprises to help solve their problems right at the university.

It is also necessary to improve the role of enterprises in training by engaging them in lecturing. At the same time, universities need to change internship models, to equip students with more soft skills and other skills needed to perform workplace tasks. Relevance of training programs to the market needs is also a point of attention. 

With regards to the method of linking with enterprises, it is necessary to change the mindset of leaders, to change their viewpoints on cooperation, to develop a strategy that severs mutual benefits. There should be a common understanding that linking with enterprises is the task of all members, not just of leaders of the university.

To sustain industry linkages in the long run, it is important to improve the role of enterprises at university, e.g. engaging them in the university council or in the advisory board to obtain their feedback and recommendations. There is also a need to adjust or reduce lengths of training programs.

University-Industry linkages have received substantial support from the Party and the Government of Vietnam. 

During 2016 - 2020, the Aus4Skill Program has focused on key areas at Thai Nguyen University, including governance and leadership, curriculum renewal, quality assurance through a series of training courses on improvement of training and research, strengthening of the University’s capacity. The outcomes of these activities have contributed to the sustainable development of the Northern mountainous region, and helped promote linkages between Vietnamese and Australian education institutions.

Source: Education & Times

 

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