Improving Higher Education in Vietnam

While Vietnam has seen a gradual boost in young Vietnamese citizens attending college, the numbers for higher education in Vietnam have been irregular from year to year. In 2017, Vietnam partnered with the World Bank in order to create plans to improve its educational status for students wishing to attend college and vocational training establishments.

College enrollment in Vietnam has amplified significantly since the late 1990s and early 2000s. Vietnam’s higher education enrollment went from just 10 percent in 2000 to 16 percent in 2005, rising even higher to 25 percent in 2013. Vietnam saw its highest college enrollment status for both sexes in 2014, at a whopping 30 percent. However, in 2015, the rate for tertiary school attendance fell to 28 percent.

Vietnam has produced durable objectives for a college education by creating the Education Development Strategic Plan for the years 2008 to 2020, as well as the Higher Education Reform Agenda. USAID has partnered with Vietnamese universities and private divisions to invigorate higher education in Vietnam.

USAID collaborates with Harvard Medical School, Harvard Ash Center and Arizona State University, along with three universities in each region of Vietnam to restore the health personnel, STEM curriculums and any ongoing or subsequent demands that the higher educational system faces. Through these plans, Vietnam has seen quality advances in educational performance, literacy and opportunities for educational growth.

The country has also seen an immense request for more vocational and job training options. ICEF Monitor reports that in order for Vietnam to see economic growth, it needs to boost its employment ability rates by at least 50 percent. Industrial employment opportunities are growing in Vietnam as the country continues to build its technical job options in infrastructure. The Asian Development Bank is acknowledging Vietnam’s struggles in job training and is providing reform projects and contributing building resources.

In May 2017, the World Bank approved $155 million in financing to bolster research, teaching and the institutional quantity of three sovereign collegiate academies. The funding will help to improve Vietnam’s higher learning institutes. According to the World Bank’s website, the plan will have a positive impact on over 150,000 students and 3,900 faculty representatives.

The schools receiving the funding are Vietnam’s National University of Agriculture, the University of Science & Technology and the Industry University of Ho Chi Minh City. Aside from these three prominent institutions, around 600,000 students and 27,000 administrators and professors from other colleges will have the chance to expand their learning assets by being granted access to digital learning environments and libraries through the National Economics University.

Higher education in Vietnam is on the right track to continue providing opportunities and job training for its citizens that wish to create a better country through optimistic and thriving learning environments. Vietnam still has a long road ahead of it to provide higher educational access to everyone, but the current programs and resources provided to college students show a positive change for Vietnam’s future college scholars.

– Rebecca Lee

Photo: Flickr

How Can Vocational Training Help Developing Communities
Vocational education aims to provide the skills and training for individuals to pursue industrial and commercial occupations. It works as a method that is taught in professional schools or even job training workshops. The methods gained popularity after the Second World War as an alternative college education concerned with skills and specialized training methods.

In Malawi, the government adopted vocational training to promote self-employment and help vulnerable youth seek better opportunities. The government worked with researchers to evaluate and study how the program will affect development and improve economic conditions. The results indicated increased economic development and improved well-being of youth. The results also indicated that there is an increased likelihood of individuals starting their own businesses. The youth also invested more time on their skills development.

The results of a vocational training session for young women in Delhi showed an increased in employability, increased wages and a higher likelihood of owning a sewing machine. This increased employment could drive the economy and increase the pace of development in India as more women are entering the productive labor force. Even though such training might be costly, their impact on employment as a global issue is important.

Lastly, in Morocco, youth make up about one-third of the population. Unfortunately, 40 percent of these youth are out of school. Hence, vocational training can significantly impact the youth conditions in Morocco. USAID along with other partners locally, work to provide alternative sustainable opportunities.

The training revolves around equipping the youth with skills required to enter the workforce and to connect them to high-level demanding jobs. The training also focuses its attention in underprivileged neighborhoods in the north of Morocco.

Noman Ahmed

Photo: Flickr

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has launched an innovative new pilot program to improve access to vocational training and employment for young people with disabilities in Zambia. ILO has been working with the Zambian government since 2012 to make training institutions more inclusive, and this new program will augment that effort.

Zambia currently has 300 vocational training institutions serving over 33,600 students, but ability-based discrimination during enrollment has lead to high levels of exclusion and unemployment for many young people. ILO hopes this program will change that.

“The program will give young people with disabilities the skills they need to enter the open labor market,” the report read.

ILO currently audits training institutions against international standards to identify barriers to entry, ease of campus accessibility and adaptability of curricula for students with special needs. Recommendations are then made to the colleges to make improvements.

Instructors also undergo disability awareness training that includes not only insight into the physical limitations of students but also ways in which students are hindered by societal attitudes and stigma. Instructors are then supported in finding ways to overcome these obstacles.

Under the new pilot program, 20 teachers at five training institutions will take courses on how to build inclusive educational environments, and they will become certified to train other teachers, creating a sustainable education model. Training for new teachers will also be redesigned to include disability inclusion from the outset.

Partner colleges have embraced these efforts. “Our goal is to be a fully inclusive vocational training institution within three to five years,” said Samuel Mayo, Chief Executive of Lusaka Technical and Business College.

But discrimination continues beyond education into working life in Zambia, where over 45 percent of young people with disabilities are unemployed. Employers hesitate to hire these candidates because they incorrectly assume there will be costs associated with doing so. They might also assume that these candidates will require complicated special accommodations, which has also proven to be untrue.

In response, ILO held a roundtable discussion on the business-case benefits of hiring qualified candidates regardless of ability. The event brought in 50 representatives from private companies and launched the formation of the Zambia Business and Disability Network, which now works to build capacity for inclusive hiring practices among employers.

While the organization works primarily with business leaders to foster inclusive workplace attitudes, it has also partnered with hiring agencies to develop skills and confidence for candidates of all abilities.

ILO is confident that this program’s sustainable model will allow it to have a broader impact outside of Zambia. “By being both a source and a catalyst of knowledge-sharing and innovation, the ILO program is helping countries around the world achieve better results for men and women with disabilities,” they say.

Ron Minard

Sources: ILO, UN, WHO
Photo: Flickr

Khartoum has faced many challenges since the early 1800s and, as a result of rapid urbanization since the 1970s, has thousands of migrant families living in poverty. The influx of these displaced families, who occupy the greater Khartoum region, was so sudden that the government never developed a physical planning model. With a growing population and insufficient resources, the city now has various areas of extreme poverty.

The people of Khartoum face several obstacles including lack of food, water, education and health centers. There are no jobs available and the dwindling unemployment rate maintains this state of poverty. In fact, after the civil war with the South, Khartoum’s post-conflict condition never reached a point of stability. Instead, environmental factors in neighboring cities such as heavy droughts, forced several families to move from rural to urban areas. Currently, there are about two million displaced people living in Khartoum, approximately 28% of its total population.

The lack of job availability and trained individuals has led the Governor of Khartoum to demand skills training for the youth. Several organizations such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the European Commission are working to create projects that will allow young individuals to acquire vocational training. Furthermore, though most of the current vocational training centers are run down, these organizations will offer funding for renovating existing centers. These centers will enable young men and women to acquire training in some of the following disciplines:

  • Engineering design
  • Building & construction
  • Auto-mechanics
  • Metalwork & welding
  • Electrical engineering
  • Food processing
  • Hotel & catering services
  • Hair care & related services

By giving so many individuals the opportunity to learn skills, the mindset of the entire community will shift gears since more and more people become employable. This training will foster an entrepreneurial mindset that will surely spur more businesses and bring innovation to a city lacking hope.

Maybelline Martez

Sources: UNIDO, Thinkquest
Photo: Voice of the Persecuted