Vietnamese Higher Education Securing its Front-Row Seat at the Global Stage with the 12th CALOHEA National Meeting at Hanoi University of Civil Engineering

The 12th CALOHEA National Meeting was held at Hanoi University of Civil Engineering on 26-27 October 2023. The Meeting saw the participation of over 200 participants, comprising thought leaders and dignitaries of Vietnamese higher education, CALOHEA resource persons, student representatives, and industry practitioners who came to unlock Vietnamese higher education for better internationalisation and degree recognition with the three CALOHEA Recognition Mechanisms.

Assoc. Prof. Pham Xuan Anh, Vice–Rector of Hanoi University of Civil Engineering

The participants were warmly welcomed to the meeting by Assoc. Prof. Pham Xuan Anh, Vice–Rector of Hanoi University of Civil Engineering, who emphasised the importance of internationalisation in the long-term goal of Vietnamese higher education in the last decade. Viet Nam has set the goal for Vietnamese universities to be among the ASEAN top universities by 2030 and one of the global advanced higher education by 2045. In this regard, Assoc. Prof. Pham expressed his gratitude and appreciation to all stakeholders, within and outside Viet Nam, who joined forces to make the event possible and wished for the success of this capacity building workshop.

Following his speech, Dr. A.M. (Anke) van Trigt, European Expert under the CALOHEA Project, took over the podium to introduce participants to the CALOHEA Recognition Mechanisms in the knowledge sharing session and the chair for the subsequent policy dialogue sessions.

In her knowledge-sharing session, Dr. Anke emphasised that the mission of CALOHEA was to ‘unbox’ Higher Education Institutions’ learning programmes to the world. She drew a comparison of universities’ learning programmes to a ‘box.’ People in the box will know what is going on inside the box. However, those who are outside will not know what is going on in there. The purpose of the CALOHEA Recognition Mechanisms is to help universities open up their boxes to the world and, ultimately, design a better box that is clear and transparent, the one where everyone will be able to understand what is going on without having to open it.

Dr. A.M. (Anke) van Trigt

The dialogue sessions of the 12th CALOHEA National Meeting welcomed six speakers, each representing a variety of stakeholders within the higher education landscape and the industry. In their respective session, each speaker tackled a different topic ranging from the challenges pertaining to the Authentic Assessment of students’ outcomes for better degree recognition, internationalisation, and transition from universities to workforces.

The panel of speakers for the dialogue sessions included:

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Huu Duc, Founder and Principal of UPM Innovation Institute and the University Performance Metrics (UPM) Rating System, a ranking system that aims to evaluate universities against five core metrics of the Fourth Industrial Revolution which are: 1. Entrepreneurship 2. Innovation 3. Digital Transformation 4 Student Mobility and 5. Ethical Values. In this regard, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Huu Duc expressed his excitement for the CALOHEA Project in their mission to ease degree recognition and academic mobility for universities in the ASEAN region and his enthusiasm to explore partnership possibilities between the CALOHEA Project and UPM in this mission.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Dac Trung, Head of Department of Foreign and External Cooperation, Hanoi University of Science & Technology (HUST). Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Dac Trung re-emphasised the importance of programme’s comparability and recognisability in forging programme partnership and ensuring that both sides get what they seek from the partnership, for example, specific outcomes or qualities from the students can earn by the end of a learning programme. He also shedded light on HUCE’s previous initiative in comparing its curriculum with international partners and hurdles that still needed to be overcome, such as the fine tuning of the comparison process between both sides of the partnership.

Ms. Pham Nguyen Van Phuong, Deputy Director of the Department of Quality Assurance, who highlighted student mobility and internationalisation not only as a vital component to learning programmes in the age of globalisation but also an important driver for academic staff to re-evaluate their teaching methods and curriculum design approaches. Her presentation also featured initiatives by HUCE to enhance staff’s capabilities and internationalisation, with attention given to existing challenges that remained to be tackled such as the requirement from governmental regulation, staff workload, and the lack of facilities and/or infrastructure as well.

Mr. Tran Duc Lan, Director of VSL Vietnam, a specialist in the construction and repair of post-tensioned and cable-stayed structures, and foundations and ground engineering. Mr. Tran, as a representative from the industrial sector, shared with the Meeting what VSL, as one of the experts in the engineering industry, is looking for in the upcoming generations of talents and what kind of challenges students may encounter as they transition from universities to the industry. He underscored mobility programmes as an important opportunity for students to earn not only language skills that are already highly regarded by the industry but also an international mindset and working skills.

Mr. Tran Minh Quan, Student of Hanoi University of Civil Engineering (HUCE), who illustrated, with his own experience as an exchange student at Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan, including what students could gain when having the opportunity to undergo a mobility programme. Mr. Tran’s presentation not only featured his excitement at the time immersing himself in different cultures, but also compared and contrasted the assessment criteria and approach to student evaluation of universities in both countries.

Following the policy dialogue session, dedicated knowledge-sharing sessions were organised for the three subject areas under CALOHEA’s targets, which are Civil Engineering, Teacher Education, and Medicine. These dedicated knowledge-sharing sessions aimed to familiarise participants from each discipline with how CALOHEA Recognition Mechanism, and Authentic Assessment of Students’ Outcomes in particular, could bolster degree recognition and internationalisation for each subject area.

On the second day of the event, participating faculties and student representatives also had the opportunity to participate in the hands-on workshop on the implementation of the CALOHEA Recognition Mechanisms. Feedback from the workshop was later discussed by the European experts, leaders of CALOHEA Institutional Teams, and the workshop moderators to finetune the dissemination and implementation of the CALOHEA Recognition Mechanisms in each nation’s context.

Full VDO records of the the 12th CALOHEA National Meeting at Hanoi University of Civil Engineering is available at: Full Recording of the 12th CALOHEA National Meeting at Hanoi University of Civil Engineering

To learn more about the CALOHEA Project please visit: CALOHEA Project’s official website

Learn more about previous CALOHEA National Meetings:

Transforming Cambodian Education: the CALOHEA’s Authentic Assessment Ignites Higher Education Evolution across ASEAN and Garnered Ministerial-level Interest in Cambodia
10th CALOHEA National Meeting at Ateneo de Manila University Highlighted Student Workload Measurement Challenges to Student Mobility and Internationalisation of the Philippine Higher Education