From 20 to 21 July, 2018, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Lan, the President of Vietnam National University of Agriculture, participated in the Kick-off of the Project on Support for Capacity building of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region University Consortium and the 1st Rectors Forum organized by the SEAMEO RIHED in collaboration with Japan - ASEAN Cooperation Association and the ASEAN Association in Bangkok, Thailand. The Kick-off of the Project attracted 63 representatives from seven countries including representatives from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the ASEAN Secretariat, and the SEAMEO Secretariat, Japanese universities, Thailand’s Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Education of Laos, and delegates from 24 universities in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.
This Kick-off of the Project was carried out in order to continue the initial results of Phase 1 of the project. Specifically, universities in the Greater Mekong sub-region committed to providing a variety of scholarships to exchange students among the universities in the Greater Mekong sub-region. Accordingly, students of Vietnam National University of Agriculture will have opportunities to receive scholarships for credit transfer courses from 3-6 months at numerous universities in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia such as Kasetsart University, King Mongkut's University of Technology, Chiang Rai Rajabhat University, Mae Fah Luang University, and Thammasat University (Thailand), National University of Laos, Savannakhet University, Svay Rieng University (Laos), Royal University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia), East Yangon University, and Yadanabon University (Myamar), etc. These scholarship programs would provide students of Vietnam National University of Agriculture with opportunities to study in a multicultural environment and have the access to knowledge, experiences and skills as well as the chances to exchange knowledge and cultures with students coming from different universities in the Greater Mekong sub-region. Theses scholarships are one of the priorities of the member universities for students of their strategic partners in the Project on “Support for Capacity Building of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region University Consortium”.
In addition, the Kick-off of the Project focused on discussion and sharing of a number of universities’ problems in internationalization, difficulties, opportunities and challenges that these universities are facing in the context of international integration; the roles of leaders and managers in strategic planning and strategic direction for internationalization plan in the future to meet international standards. This conference particularly emphasized the roles of university leaders, staff and students in the process of internationalization to reach international standards, and in implementing the missions and vision of the universities via internationalization indicators such as: the number and the diversity of multidisciplinary, multi-selective and multinational student exchange programs;
the number of subjects and research programs which have clear international content, the number of beneficiaries of these programs; the number of research projects in cooperation with foreign partners, proportion of lecturers participating in research projects; essential budgets and human resources for determining solutions for internationalization problems; understanding of the university community, including leaders, managers, staff, and students about internationalization; opportunities for students and staff to exchange and work together in order to develop teaching methods; the management and implementation of research projects.
Vietnam National University of Agriculture together with other universities in the Greater Mekong sub-region signed joint statements about providing and organizing short-term student exchange programs, short-term training courses and credit exchanges to shorten the distance in internationalization among the universities.