On September 20, 2021, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Lan, President of Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA), Director of the SAHEP-VNUA Project Management Unit, attended the opening session of the Mid-Term Review (MTR) jointly organized by the World Bank (WB) and the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET). Participating in the opening session, there were the World Bank's MTR team, MOET leaders, representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), SAHEP Project Management Board (SAHEP PMB), VNUA and other project’s implementing agencies.

At the meeting, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Lan affirmed that the SAHEP-VNUA project with the goal of improving the quality of training, scientific research and university institution management, meeting market requirements of both domestic and regional labor market. She also emphasized the determination and efforts of the university staff, lecturers and students in changing and reforming the university 's appearance, quality and reputation, gradually enabling VNUA to become a leading agricultural training and research center in the country and strengthening the university’s international integration. After more than 2 years of implementation, VNUA had achieved targets for intermediate results and surpassed some indicators such as: 11/10 research projects were carried out, 5/3 laboratories were ISO certified, 26/5 training classes were held for farmers, 5/2 training courses were held for managers and other activities were being proceeded to be held soon to make up for the delays caused by Hanoi's social distance period due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

President Lan also highly appreciated the supporting, sharing and guidance of the WB, the MARD, the SAHEP PMB, and the MOIT. She strongly hoped that in the remaining 15 months, the project would continue to receive proactive guidance and supports from the WB and related ministries and agencies so that the project could be completed on schedule according to the signed agreement.


VNUA’s President, Director of SAHEP-VNUA PMU, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Lan, attended the opening session of the MTR

Following that, on September 22-23, 2021, the SAHEP-VNUA PMU had an online working session with the WB's MTR team for the SAHEP-VNUA project under the SAHEP Project.

From the WB, attending the working session with the SAHEP-VNUA project, there were the participation of Ms. Stefanie Stallmeister, Operations Manager for East Asia and the Pacific; Mr. Michael Drabbles, task team leader; Ms. Dao Thi Thuy Dung, co task team leader; and other members of the MTR team.

From VNUA, there were the participation of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Bao Duong, VNUA’s Vice President, Vice Director of SAHEP-VNUA PMU, Ms. Le Thi Bich Lien, Project Coordinator and heads of SAHEP-VNUA PMU’ sections.



Opening the working session, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Bao Duong, VNUA’s Vice President, Vice Director of SAHEP-VNUA PMU, on behalf of Vietnam National University of Agriculture, sent greetings and sincere thanks to the WB MTR team. He also emphasized the importance and great contributions of the SAHEP-VNUA Project to the development of the university.



During two-day working, the WB and VNUA discussed detailed project implementation, difficulties and obstacles, and plans for the coming time, focusing on reviewing and evaluating the achieved results on the targeted indicators.


Ms. Le Thi Bich Lien, Project Coordinator, reports the progress of the SAHEP-VNUA project

As for Component 1 - Improving research quality, VNUA had implemented and accepted 11 research topics (9 international articles and 20 domestic articles); 20 technical processes; 5 labs had been granted ISO/IEC 17025: 2017 certificates; organized 01 innovation research week including 4 national seminars and events (with more than 1,000 delegates), 01 national workshop on scientific and technological application to improve value chain and sustainable development of pineapples; 21 training courses with a total of 1,240 local officials and farmers, 34 cooperation frameworks on research and training with enterprises; signed a contract to build Research Center for Agriculture and Life Science in June 2020, which is expected to be completed in December 2021; 01 procurement package for equipment of advanced labs including 3 lots is planned to be noticed in October 2021.

As for Component 2 - Improving the quality of training, VNUA is under the online AUN – QA accreditation assessment for 4 out of 7 training programs in 2021, the other 3 programs would be accredited in 2022; signed contracts for 09 construction works, of which 05 are planned to be handed over in December 2021, the remaining 04 construction works would be handed over in October 2022; signed contracts for providing practical equipment for 09 faculties with delivery scheduled in November-December 2021.

As for Component 3: Improving the quality of university institutional management, VNUA has conducted 05 training courses for 200 managers of VNUA; 01 set of internal regulations to be revised in 2020; annual autonomy assessment reports; 02 signed construction contracts and are expected to be completed in October 2022; set up the website of component projects to circulate the project information; organize 01 project information sharing session for 600 students of the university; held 45 information-sharing sessions, meetings to get feedback from different faculties and departments of the university on the project, construction design, equipment, and accreditation of 07 training programs, etc.

However, because of the complicated Covid-19 situation, especially in July-August 2021, when Hanoi city and many other provinces across the country imposed social distancing, the construction works within the framework of the project, must be suspended, and training activities and scientific seminars also had to delayed. These had affected the progress of activities. Given that, VNUA had made great efforts to strictly implement epidemic prevention and control measures, coming up with many plans to deal with the prolonged epidemic situation to speed up the work progress, and ensure the progress as committed with the World Bank.


The wrap-up and closing session of the MTR of the SAHEP project

At the end of the meeting, Vietnam National University of Agriculture affirmed that the university would continue to promote the achieved results to spread the impact of the project and, at the same time, would absorb the comments and feedback of the World Bank to complete the set objectives in the near future.