BONARD Blog: Education-Led Engagement Between Australia and Vietnam
New report provides roadmap for collaboration between Vietnam and Australia Australian and Vietnamese education providers are committed to strengthening their collaboration on English language teaching.
Fruitful partnerships between the two countries could target programs such as teacher training and junior courses, while another potential joint project could be the development of edtech solutions to provide rural areas in Vietnam with access to quality English language education.
This is what emerged from a landmark research report identifying opportunities for collaboration between Australia and Vietnam and developing evidence-based recommendations for stakeholders in both countries. The research was commissioned by English Australia and carried out by research specialist BONARD.
This activity received grant funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Tradeunder the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Grant Program 2021.
Working together on teacher training, junior courses, and widening access
The most significant potential for collaboration lies in the junior market, the research found. Demand for early English language education in Vietnam is growing fast and is outstripping the current provision.
Another area for fruitful partnerships was identified in the teacher training sector, targeting Vietnamese teachers’ English language and conversation skills as well as developing new and high-quality teaching and learning materials. The availability of funding schemes in this specific sector will be crucial to ensure progress.
Other potential areas pinpointed for transnational collaboration were conversational English, exam preparation, academic English and pathway courses, and English for specific purposes.
Two guiding principles emerged as fundamental in the development of partnerships between Australia and Vietnam: widening access and equal collaboration.
Transnational partnerships that provide students all over Vietnam with equal access to opportunities are key for the Vietnamese government.
“Bigger cities are very much saturated when it comes to English language education opportunities,” Svetlana Cruz, senior research manager at BONARD, commented. “But regional areas still lag behind. We hope this study can support the creation of partnerships to develop edtech solutions that can improve accessibility and affordability of English language courses.”
Another key principle for developing partnerships, is that partners should have equal status. This is also what emerged from the research.
“In both countries, stakeholders seek equal partnerships, where the Australian and the Vietnamese side develop products and solutions together. Stakeholders in both countries also emphasised the importance of developing long-lasting partnerships.”
The report offers extensive guidance on developing education partnerships between Australia and Vietnam. Beyond pinpointing areas for collaboration and development, it urges stakeholders to invest in leveraging support from both governments and creating platforms for B2B matchmaking.
A welcome research project
The report, titled Partnering for Success: Education-Led Engagement Between Australia and Vietnam, provides recommendations to stakeholders in both countries to develop stronger partnerships based on data and insights collected between July and December 2021.
The research started with an extensive screening of the English language education industry in both countries. The second phase of the research entailed two quantitative surveys of stakeholders in Australia and Vietnam and several in-depth interviews.
For the final phase of the research, an industry roundtable attended by 26 stakeholders and government representatives from both countries gave vital insight to inform and frame the research findings.
Overall, 115 organisations contributed to this project. Respondents and contributors included English language schools in Vietnam, ELICOS colleges in Australia, government representatives from both countries, accreditation bodies and market insiders.
The English language education industry in both countries welcomed the publication of the report.
“Industry feedback on the project gathered during the research was very positive,” Cruz commented.
“It is clear that stakeholders in both countries are actively seeking to form transnational partnerships – we hope the report will provide an evidence base to make them as mutually beneficial as possible.”