An Australia Awards scholar with a non-stop learning journey to improve VET quality

Luu Quang Vu, Head of training and career guidance at Dien Bien College of Economics and Technology, receives an Australia Awards Scholarship to study for a Master of Education at La Trobe University in 2024. He is the first vocational education management staff to receive an Australia Awards Scholarship in the last five years.

Luu Quang Vu shares his journey with Dan Tri newspaper.


Beating many other candidates, Mr. Luu Quang Vu, Head of Training Management Department, Dien Bien Technical and Economic College (DTEC), will pursue a Master of Education majoring in Leadership and Management at La Trobe University, Australia.

This is a prestigious international scholarship fully funded by the Australian Government to support Vietnam in developing human resources. Mr. Luu Quang Vu is the first vocational education and training (VET) college administration staff to receive this scholarship in the past 5 years.

Can you share your feelings when receiving the Australia Awards Scholarship Intake 2024?

– First, I am very excited and proud to be awarded an AAS for the Master of Education Program (majoring in Leadership and Management) at La Trobe University, Australia. In addition, I am very excited to be able to explore and experience life in Australia, a beautiful, developed and multicultural country.

Mr. Luu Quang Vu with H.E. Andrew Goledzinowski, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam at the Australia Awards Scholarship Ceremony (Photo: Aus4Skills).

How do you know about this scholarship?

– The AAS gives priority to candidates from economically disadvantaged areas.

Dien Bien is a mountainous province with very difficult economic conditions, so officers of the scholarship program went directly to DTEC to introduce the scholarship. After listening to information about the scholarship, I realised that applying for it would be a great opportunity for me and the teachers at my school to continue learning more deeply about educational administration in general and VET in particular. Therefore, I prepared my application right after the scholarship introduction in February 2023.

What has motivated you to apply for this scholarship?

– DTEC, the school I am working at, is one of 16 partner VET colleges of the project “Promoting industry linkages in vocational education and training” under the 10-Year Cooperation Program on Human Resource Development (2016-2025) between the Governments of Australia and Vietnam (Aus4Skills).

Through the engagement in the project, my school has had many changes. Teachers have developed their skills and knowledge, especially in training and assessment methods. DTEC has achieved many positive results in industry engagement, improving training programs, inclusion, and quality accreditation.

Therefore, when learning about this scholarship, I wanted to have the opportunity to study in a more systematic and intensive manner about educational management expertise to serve my work and continue to create greater changes.

Can you introduce your Master’s program? How do you plan to apply the knowledge and skills learned in Australia?

– Through studying the Master of Education program (major in Leadership and Management) of La Trobe University, I am very interested in some of the subjects designed in the program such as Management and international education policies; Gender and education; Leadership, diversity and inclusion. In addition, the program also designs some contents for learners to choose from in the final semester. I plan to propose a field trip to some Australian VET colleges in that semester to learn advanced Australian VET management skills.

Mr. Luu Quang Vu is pursuing a Master of Education (Leadership and Management) at La Trobe University (Photo: Aus4Skills).

I want to apply the knowledge I will learn in Australia to design, adjust and supplement training programs at Dien Bien College of Economics and Technology. This includes gender equality, social inclusion for people with disabilities, support for the poor, and special attention to over 90% of students Bien Dien at the College of Economics and Technology, who are people from ethnic minorities.

In addition, I want to apply my knowledge, skills and experience working with Australian experts to advise the Rector of Dien Bien College of Economics and Technology and, above all, to advise the People’s Committee of Dien Bien province to develop and promulgate appropriate vocational education and training policies for the province.

What are some of the advantages and difficulties during your scholarship application process?

– Regarding the scholarship application, if I have any concerns, I can contact the Aus4Skills scholarship officers and receive timely answers. After the scholarship officers visited DTEC to provide information, I learned more about the scholarship policies and found that there are many support mechanisms for candidates working in an area where numerous ethnic minority groups live, like Dien Bien province.

I find the biggest difficulty is that the foreign language proficiency of the VET collage administration staff and teachers is not up to the requirement of the scholarship. In addition, access to information about the AAS at some VET colleges remains limited. According to colleagues I know at some VET colleges, they seem to understand that the AAS is only for university lecturers and research institute staff. In my opinion, Aus4Skills should continue to actively promote information about the AAS to VET colleges.

Australia Awards scholars from Vietnam who commence their study in 2024 (Photo: Aus4Skills).

Do you have any recommendations for VET colleges and leaders at all levels so that VET college teachers can access the AAS?

– I think that the attention and encouragement of managers to improve the qualifications and skills of leaders of VET colleges is a prerequisite for VET college administration staff and teachers to have the opportunity to access scholarships such as the AAS that I has been recently awarded.

What do you want to share with VET administration staff and teachers about applying for this scholarship?

– VET college teachers first need to improve their English proficiency to meet the minimum requirements when registering to study in Australia (IELTS score requirements are specified for each target group, but the minimum is 5.0). For some groups of candidates, including ones from VET colleges, the scholarship will continue to support candidates shortlisted after the interview round to participate in an English training course in Vietnam to improve their proficiency, thereby achieving the minimum IELTS score of 6.5 to pursue a master’s degree in Australia.

In addition, VET college teachers also need to leverage the support of their leaders in improving their own management and teaching skills. Educators should proactively find out information about scholarships to report to school leaders for application.

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