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Higher Education

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Students use tools at the USAID-supported Maker Innovation Space at Can Tho University
Students use tools at the USAID-supported Maker Innovation Space at Can Tho University.

USAID is supporting Vietnam’s efforts to modernize its higher education system. By partnering with the Government of Vietnam as well as  the private sector to help some of the country’s leading universities reform their curriculum and teaching practices, these institutions will serve as models for a 21st century system of higher education. The goal is to produce trained, job-ready graduates that have the skills necessary to compete in an increasingly global market. USAID’s Higher Education projects have already impacted more than 30,000 university students and are focused on three fields, which Vietnam has identified as priorities: 1) Technology and Engineering; 2) Medicine; and 3) Liberal Arts. USAID designs reform activities to link Vietnamese universities with the private sector and U.S. universities and institutions. Vietnamese universities lead their own internal reform effort. This public-private partnership approach with high host country ownership has led to curriculum restructuring, new learning technologies, leadership and faculty training, and international accreditation strategies that are bearing fruit. By leveraging buy-in and funding from the private sector while creating internally-driven reform, USAID’s projects in higher education are recognized as having far-reaching sustainable impact with a demand-driven focus.


The Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance leverages diverse government, industry and academic partners to collaborate on technology and engineering education and produce graduates who can lead inclusive, technology-based growth. Our work is helping Vietnamese universities improve learning outcomes through new state-of-the-art technologies in the classroom; leadership training; international accreditation strategy development; curriculum innovation; and long-term partnerships with the private sector. 


The Improving Access, Curriculum and Teaching In Medical Education and Emerging Diseases (IMPACT-MED) Alliance works to modernize Vietnam’s medical education curriculum and teaching approaches to produce graduates with the skills and knowledge to address the country’s health challenges and modernize its health care sector. The IMPACT-MED Alliance brings together the Ministry of Health, Vietnamese medicine and pharmacy universities, the Vietnam National Children’s Hospital, the Ho Chi Minh City Infection Control Society, and leading international health technology companies. It delivers training in modern teaching methods, use of technology and integration of clinical content; developing university leadership for continuous innovation; improving access and outcomes for socially and economically disadvantaged students; and integrating interdisciplinary education in Vietnam’s medical schools. 


Launched in 2016, Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) is a turning point in Vietnam’s drive to reform its higher education system – it is the country’s first fully independent non-profit university. The FUV model is based on American higher education traditions of open inquiry, research, and critical analysis, but firmly rooted in Vietnam’s rich cultural traditions and heritage. By modeling core principles, including academic freedom, meritocracy, transparency, and equal access, FUV aims to bring world-class university standards to Vietnam and help unlock tremendous potential in Vietnam’s education sector. USAID support will help FUV advance its goal of achieving international accreditation; develop executive education and other programs; and advance shared value partnerships with Vietnam’s technology, manufacturing, and service industry sectors.

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