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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Vietnam, New Zealand strengthen education and vocational training ties

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HCMC – Vietnam and New Zealand have reached an agreement to renew their Strategic Engagement Plan on Education for the period from 2020 to 2023, the second successful renewal of the plan first signed in 2015.

The agreement was signed by New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Matthews and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc on July 21, according to the Embassy of New Zealand in Vietnam.

This engagement plan sets out the framework for cooperation over a range of education areas, including joint programs in the tertiary education sector, innovative education models in blended and online delivery, continued collaboration to improve institution-to-institution partnerships for English language training and alumni engagement.

New Zealand is committed to supporting Vietnam’s efforts to develop work-ready graduates with the skills necessary to compete in a rapidly changing global market.

While Covid-19 presents challenges over travel between the two countries at present, the engagement plan also looks at further cooperation over online learning and blended learning.

“The New Zealand-Vietnam relationship has gone from strength to strength in recent years and education has been an integral part of this growth. I am delighted to see New Zealand institutions embarking on new ventures with education partners in Vietnam; together they are developing innovative and student-centric approaches,” Matthews said at the signing ceremony.

“As we celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relations in 2020, I am confident today’s signing will serve as an effective platform to further advance education cooperation between Vietnam and New Zealand and deliver successful education outcomes for our students,” she added.

Besides renewing the Strategic Engagement Plan on Education, the two countries reached an agreement on enhancing cooperation in the field of vocational education and training and skills development early this week.

The agreement was signed by Matthews and Truong Anh Dung, general director of the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training under the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Under the agreement, New Zealand’s Government-to-Government knowhow will facilitate the improvement of Vietnam’s workforce by promoting the partnership between New Zealand’s government agencies, vocational institutions and research institutes with the Directorate of Vocational Education and Training and other institutions in Vietnam.

According to the New Zealand Ambassador, the high-quality education system and expertise in vocational training have enabled New Zealand to deliver joint initiatives focused on improving the quality of Vietnam’s vocational education system, so as to increase the competitiveness and productivity of the country’s workforce to meet global demands.

“People-to-people links, especially in the field of education, have been the foundation stone of the Vietnam-New Zealand relationship and these links will continue to flourish when safe travel between our countries resumes,” Dung said at the signing ceremony.

As of 2018, more than 2,700 Vietnamese students studied in New Zealand. Since the 1990s, more than 300 Vietnamese students and 550 officials have received awards to pursue a postgraduate qualification or study English in New Zealand.

By Minh Tuan

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