On the afternoon of December 15 (local time), at the Vietnam-Belgium Business Forum, within the framework of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's official visit to Belgium, the Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) signed Memorandum of Understanding and cooperation agreements with leading universities and organizations in Belgium in the field of higher education and innovation. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Princess Astrid of Belgium and leaders of ministries and branches of the two countries witnessed the signing ceremony.

VNUA exchanged cooperation documents with the University of Liege, KU Leuven and the Academy of Research and Higher Education (ARES) on training, research and innovation. 

At the forum, VNUA exchanged a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in training, research and innovation with the University of Liège focusing on the contents of staff exchange, student exchange, and cooperation to invite Belgian experts to teach, organize seminars, and implement research projects that have been implemented effectively and sustainably for more than 20 years.

The University of Liège is a large public university of the French-speaking Belgian Community based in Liège, Wallonie, Belgium. The university was founded in 1817, famous for the quality of education and training as well as the application of strengths in science and technology in teaching. This is a dynamic, international university, which brings about cultural diversity in the Belgian community as well as in the student community at the university. Currently, the university has 11 faculties, 5,633 staff and more than 28,000 students, of which 4,600 are international students from 122 countries around the world.

The university's main research areas include Applied Science, Veterinary Medicine, Natural Sciences, Law, Medicine and Psychology, and Education. The university has up to 471 research facilities in all majors to serve the learning needs of students as well as a place to research and invent of famous researchers, and there are more than 20 international research centers established in countries which have collaboration with the University of Liège. The university is the collaborative partners of more than 600 universities in Europe and around the world.

VNUA has signed a cooperation agreement with KU Leuven University to exchange staff and students under the Erasmus+ program sponsored by the European Commission to enhance scholarships and create opportunities for students to study in Belgium, improve the quality of training, practice, innovate and invent, strengthen cooperation in promoting technology commercialization, and develop spin-offs.

KU Leuven University is an independent research university located in the Dutch-speaking city of Leuven in the Belgian region of Flanders, ranked as the number 1 innovation university in Europe. Founded in 1425, the university teaches and researches at many levels in different areas such as medicine, natural sciences, law, engineering and social sciences. KU Leuven is consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world. The university has about 58,000 students each year. Most courses are taught and administered in Dutch. Courses in English are mainly graduate programs. Featured in the university's advanced facilities is one of the largest library systems in Belgium. Satellite campuses are also run by universities around the country such as in Antwerp, Ghent, and Brussels, etc.

Notably, VNUA continued to sign a cooperation agreement with the Belgian Academy of Research and Higher Education (ARES) on the implementation of a cooperation project between the VNUA and French-speaking universities of the Kingdom of Belgium phase 5 (2022-2027).

Since 1997, VNUA has established cooperation with French-speaking universities of the Kingdom of Belgium through the Program of Institutional Cooperation with the Community of French-speaking Universities, including University of Liège, Louvain La Neuve University, the University of Namur, and the Free University of Brussels. This cooperation program has lasted for more than 20 years and consists of 4 phases with the overall goal of strengthening the teaching and scientific research capacity for VNUA’s staff and students through short-term training courses, research projects, postgraduate training (master's and doctorate programs) at French-speaking universities in the Kingdom of Belgium and religious programs in Vietnam. At the same time, the Program has also supported the upgrading of facilities (laboratory, experimental camps) and the improvement the library system.

Recently, with the funding of ARES-CCD, a master's program in rural economics and sociology (2011-2016) and a master's program in food technology in cooperation with the University of Liège were organized, starting from 2014 and ending in 2018. By 2022, a total of more than 130 VNUA’s staff have been sent to Belgium to study master’s and doctorate’s programs and participate in seminars and short-term training courses.

For VNUA, Belgium is one of the largest, longest-lasting and most effective development cooperation partners. In addition to training human resources for Vietnam, the Belgian partner has also transferred many technologies to research high-yield and high-quality livestock breeds such as stress-resistant Petraint pigs and 3B cows for production in Vietnam; researching and producing veterinary vaccines; and plant pest control. Many studies on deep processing of plant-based materials into high value-added products have been carried out. The cooperation agreements with Belgian partners during this visit of VNUA’s delegation continue to deepen the relationship with Belgian universities and development organizations in order to improve the quality and promote the internationalization process of training and research of VNUA.