Within the framework of cooperation between Yamagata University, Japan and Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) for academic exchange, scientific research cooperation and student exchange, the program YU-VNUA Winter School 2024 - Sustainable Water Management and Food Safety was organized from February 26 to March 2, 2024 at the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, VNUA. The program was designed to provide students from Yamagata University (YU) and VNUA with a better understanding of issues related to sustainable water management and food safety. The program involved 9 students, graduate students, and researchers from Yamagata University and 4 students from the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, VNUA. The program included activities to share information from professors and experts from Yamagata University and VNUA.


Assoc.Prof. Dr. Tran Trong Phuong, Dean of Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, VNUA  delivers a welcome remark at the opening ceremony

In his opening remarks, Assoc.Prof. Dr. Tran Trong Phuong emphasized that the student exchange activities between VNUA and Yamagata University had been carried out since 2019. The Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment nominated 6 groups of students to participate directly and online in the program. Students and lecturers of the faculty had many academic exchange activities, and students who participated in the program received scholarships to continue their Master's and PhD studies at Yamagata University. Winter School 2024 was a continuation program where the department accepted students from Yamagata University to study and research. The program provided a lot of knowledge and experience for students when listening to experts share about water resource management, rice cultivation adapting to climate change, a system of wet rice cultivation associated with experiential tourism, water supply systems and safe agricultural production, etc. This was an opportunity for students participating in the program to understand and experience reality from activities in Vietnam.


Prof. Toru Watanabe from Yamagata introduces wastewater treatment technology

On the first day of the program, the students listened to the following lectures: Waste water treatment technology with a circular economy approach (Prof. Toru Watanabe, YU); Challenges in water source management in Vietnam (MSc. Nguyen Thi Huong Giang, VNUA); Evaluating the effectiveness of using treated water for rice plants (Assoc.Prof.Dr. Vo Huu Cong, VNUA); Water environment analysis (Dr. Nguyen Xuan Hoa and Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Tu, VNUA). The students visited the experimental fields and collected samples for analysis.


Students visit Duong surface water supply company

Students visit the Samsung Electronic Vietnam Company

The field trips attracted interest from students of both universities. The group participated in a field trip at the Duong River Surface Water Joint Stock Company, Phu Dong, and the wastewater treatment system at Samsung Electronic Vietnam Company. With the purpose of learning practical knowledge about clean water production operations, water source security, and surface water treatment systems; the impact of water management on agricultural production and food security, the students participated in group discussions about difficulties and solutions in providing sustainable clean water and safe food.


Students take samples and analyze them in the Faculty's laboratory

In addition to the above activities, the student delegation also visited many historical relics imbued with Vietnamese traditions in the capital Hanoi, including One Pillar Pagoda, Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ngoc Son Temple, and Hoan Kiem Lake, etc. in order to learn more about the rich culture of Vietnam. Especially, the international student delegation had the opportunity to experience a tour around the capital Hanoi with the Hanoi bus tour service.


Student experience aquaculture and alternative livehooks in Ha Long bay

Throughout the 5-day learning and experiencing journey, the program was conducted in English, creating opportunities for participating students to improve their English skills, learn about new cultures, and make international friends. Japanese students learned Vietnamese language and culture and experienced more deeply through actual visits and discussions. The student groups excellently presented the results of their studies and experiences at the research points.



At the end of the program, Prof. Dr. Tran Trong Phuong, Dean of the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, presented certificates of program participation to students and speakers. In his closing remarks, Prof. Dr. Tran Trong Phuong highly appreciated the efforts and results that the two faculties of the two universities achieved in collaboration and expressed his hope that future programs would attract more student participation.

Students receive certificates from the program

Group photo of participants of the program

Participants of the program

At the end of the program, students made new friends, gained a broader understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to sustainable water management and food safety in Vietnam and Japan, while acquiring valuable skills for their future careers. The next Winter school programs between YU and VNUA will create opportunities for exchange, learning and scholarship/study opportunities for students of the Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment in particular, and students of the Vietnam National University of Agriculture in general./.

Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment (FONRE)