South Australian students, from primary right through to vocational and tertiary levels, are set to benefit from a new agreement to be signed this afternoon to strengthen education and training ties with Da Nang, Vietnam.
In Vietnam as part of the South Australian Government’s South East Asia business delegation, Trade and Investment Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said that with a growing middle class and the need to build its education system’s capacity, there are a range of opportunities to expand existing relationships with Vietnam.
Vietnam is South Australia’s fifth largest source of international students, with 1,380 Vietnamese students currently enrolled in South Australia. In the first three months of this year, enrolments from Vietnam grew a healthy 11%.
Today’s agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), co-signed in Da Nang by Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith and the Director of Da Nang Department of Foreign Affairs Mr Lam Quang Minh, seeks to:
- increase the level of engagement between the two states’ education and training sectors;
- identify and prioritise future initiatives to encourage collaboration across schools, further education institutions, English language courses and universities, and
- increase the number of Vietnamese students choosing Adelaide as a study destination.
Strengthening education ties with Vietnam is a key aim of South Australia’s South East Asia Engagement Strategy, released in March 2015. The strategy aims to build on existing connections with Vietnam to develop a mutually beneficial engagement which goes beyond politics, economics and culture.
Today’s MoU is similar in scope and intent as the existing education and training MoUs already signed with Shandong, China and West Java, Indonesia. Under this MoU there will be a range of activities and initiatives, including:
- Encouraging new relationships and building innovation and entrepreneurship skills in graduates from both South Australia and Da Nang. For example the University of Adelaide and the Da Nang University will investigate bringing the university’s eChallenge to Vietnam. The eChallenge is a business plan competition run by the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre. Recently launched in France, this is the first step in a wider state government-supported expansion of the program to China, Singapore, Hungary and Argentina.
- The MoU will create exchange opportunities for private and government school students, as well as those in higher education levels.
- Provides opportunities for the province of Da Nang to gain access to relevant South Australian research and development expertise.
- The agreement will help further the relationship between TAFE SA and Da Nang vocational providers; facilitate study tours, curriculum licensing, assist with the upskilling of vocational teachers in Da Nang and provide students with pathways to studying in South Australia.
- In the area of schools this MoU will facilitate sister-school partnerships to support the teaching of Vietnamese in South Australian schools and English in Vietnamese schools.
Quotes attributable to Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith
South Australia is recognised around the world as a learning city with a global reputation for education, innovation and entrepreneurship, with many Vietnamese students choosing South Australia to undertake their higher education studies.
Today’s signing of the education MoU between the South Australian Government and the Da Nang Government is an important first step in building the foundations to what we hope will be a productive and long lasting relationship between our two states.
The education and training sector provides many opportunities for increased engagement and our providers in these areas are keen to extend and develop relationships with Da Nang educational institutions including schools, training providers and universities.
This gives us a real opportunity to establish long-lasting, fruitful relationships that will support South Australia’s economic development and jobs growth.