Tagged / Vietnam

SOARing to Digital Transformation: Insights from a collaborative project with three Vietnamese universities

The “SOARing to successful Digital Transformation in Vietnamese Universities” is a visionary initiative aimed at propelling the successful integration of digitalization into Vietnamese Higher Education. This project, supported by the British Council’s Going Global Partnerships Programme, is an epitome of knowledge exchange in innovation and best practices in managing change related to digital transformation (DX).

A screen capture of people on a Microsoft Teams callThe initiative brings together four universities: Bournemouth University (UK), British University Vietnam, University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH), and Tra Vinh University (TVU), with the BU partners being from the North (Hanoi), the South (Ho Chi Minh City) and the deep South (Tra Vinh province) in Viet Nam. In addition to these institutions, the project also involved two students from the BU MBA programme that worked on a consultancy project related to the DX project.

The first major event on this project, a symposium simply labelled as Immersion Forum1, took place on the digital stage on June 26, 2023. This resulted in developing a shared understanding of individual universities approaches and a collaborative picture of educational excellence in digital context.

A powerpoint slide outlining BU 2025 strategy objectivesSession 1, led by Bournemouth University, was delivered by the project PI, Dr. Milena Bobeva, Internationalization Lead of the Bournemouth University Business School, and the Co-I on the BU side,  Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gelareh Roushan, Head of the Fusion Learning Innovation and Excellence Center (FLIE). This enlightening session delved into Bournemouth University’s organizational structure, its visionary 2025 strategy, and strategic outcomes. The spotlight was on FLIE, the driving force behind the university’s digital transformation. Dr. Gelareh Roushan provided valuable insights into FLIE’s support for academic staff in designing, delivering, and evaluating exceptional educational practices, using online resources, masterclasses, and bespoke sessions. The effectiveness of the university’s virtual learning environment, Brightspace, was apparent, offering numerous benefits for both staff and students.

A screenshot of a powerpoint slide outlining the process of implementing soft skills trainingSession 2, led by Tra Vinh University (TVU), featured a dynamic team of speakers who unveiled the university’s remarkable strides in digital transformation. Ms. Nguyen Thi Mai Khanh and Mr. Nghi Vinh Khanh, introduced the university’s visionary roadmap, aligning technology with a commitment to educational excellence.

Mr. Nguyen Thai Toan then shared TVU’s innovative Soft Skill Training Management System, a solution that streamlines the management of over 100 courses each month with just three part-time staff members. This efficient approach saves resources, optimizes time, and enhances the learning experience for both educators and students. Ms. Phan Thi Phuong Nam added to the discussion with insights into the Course Assessment Portfolio (CAP) System, addressing the challenges of traditional assessment by digitizing student outcomes data. This move not only simplifies data management but also provides valuable insights for informed decision-making at TVU.

A powerpoint slide saying 'Minding the Gap'Session 3, presented by British University Vietnam (BUV), featured Dr. Mike Perkins, Senior Lecturer and Head of the Center for Research and Innovation, and Mr. Benjamin Robinson, LMS Curriculum Designer. BUV’s innovative approach to digital transformation was highlighted through the upgrade of its Learning Management System (LMS), enabling a fully blended mode of education. The university’s clever use of familiar tools like Excel empowered academic staff, facilitating the creation of digital courses and improved data utilization. Notably, BUV’s work on a generative AI chatbot, designed to ethically support students, promises to be a significant future advancement.

A powerpoint slide outlining digital transformation in universitiesThe closing session, led by the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City (UEH), featured Mr. Huynh Duc, Executive of UEH International Office, and Dr. Vo Ha Quang Dinh, Head of the Department of Information Technology. UEH shared its comprehensive strategy, focusing on eight aspects of digital transformation across three pillars of Administration, Training, and Research. Noteworthy was the university’s pioneering efforts in preparing for the future, including plans for big data utilization to create datasets for research and administration, as well as the anticipation of utilizing ChatGPT to support students and staff.

The awareness that came though the Immersion forum was complemented by the work done by the MBA students. Following extensive review of frameworks related to DX and digital competencies and with the help of funding from the Turing programme, the student team spent a month in Viet Nam, working with Vietnamese students from the partner organisations for developing a vision board of digital transformation that captures the views of the younger generation in Viet Nam. The work captured on padlets is insightful of the perspectives of the BUV, UEH and TVU students.

We are currently to commence another major stage in the project: the assessment of the digital maturity of the Vietnamese partners. Milena Bobeva and Geli Roushan are in Vietnam for the first assessment session that will be run with BUV senior management team on the 17 October 2023. More details on the outcomes from this stage and how it impacts on institutional decision making and beyond are to follow.

The partners are committed to embracing digital transformation and managing the transition smoothly and effectively, and though collaboration with their own partnership networks and the British Council UKVN Higher Education Network, to positively influence the DX journey across Vietnamese Higher Education.

To stay connected with this community of practitioners driving digital transformation, visit the project’s fanpage at https://www.facebook.com/UKVNHEDigitalTransformation.

Newton Fund – Funding Update

There are a number of calls now open through the Newton Fund. In each case, please refer to the call website for full details including eligibility requirements and thematic priorities:

Newton Institutional Links aims to build UK-partner country research and innovation collaborations centred on shared research and innovation challenges which have direct relevance to social welfare and economic development. Grants awarded are between £50,000 – £300,000. For this round, applications are accepted for collaborations between the UK, Egypt, Thailand and Turkey. The call for Turkey will open on 17/07/17. The deadline for submissions is 19th September 2017, 16:00 UK time.

There is a separate call, Institutional Links Grants for the UK and Russia. In this case, the funding is up to £300,000 with a maximum of £150,000 requested on the UK side and £150,000 requested on the Russian side. The deadline for submissions is 19th September 2017, 16:00 UK time.

Researcher Links Travel Grants provide financial support for early-career researchers to undertake an international research placement to strengthen links for future collaboration, build research capacity in developing economies, and enhance the researcher’s career opportunities. The researcher  will spend 1-6 months abroad depending on the country, which is one of the Philippines, Indonesia and South Africa. Travel may only be between the UK and partner country, but can be in either direction. The deadline for submissions is 19th September 2017, 16:00 UK time.

Newton Researcher Links Workshops bring together early-career researchers from the UK and a partner country to make international connections that can improve the quality of their research. Workshops can be proposed between the UK, China and the Philippines. There is also a separate call for workshops between the UK and Russia. The deadline for submissions is 19th September 2017, 16:00 UK time.

Funding is available to support attendance at the UAE Science Symposium on Clean and Renewable Energy (30 October – 1 November 2017). The deadline for receiving applications is 19 August 2017.

PhD Placements and Supervisor Mobility Grants China-UK: The UK-China joint Research and Innovation Partnership Fund (known in the UK as the Newton Fund) PhD placement programme is delivered by the British Council China and the China Scholarship Council on behalf of the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and China’s Ministry of Education. This programme is a sponsorship opportunity for UK and Chinese PhD students and their supervisors to spend a period of study of three to 12 months (for PhD students) and up to three months (for supervisors) at higher education institutions in China or the UK. The application process closes at 12:00 (UK time) on 20th September 2017.

On behalf of the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy, UK and the Ministry of Science and Technology, India, British Council- India, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) India are pleased to invite applications for funding to support short-term PhD placements between UK and Indian institutions. The deadline for receipt of applications is 21 August 2017, 16:00 UK time.

Research Environment Links (REL) Grants aim to support international collaboration through training programmes, the exchange of knowledge and best practice, the development and implementation of pilot activities in the areas relevant to the Newton capacity building strands. The partnerships are led by institutions in Vietnam in conjunction with an expert counterpart organisation in the UK.  The grant can be £50,000 to £140,000. The deadline is 21 July 2017, 16:00 UK time.

The British Council in Germany is looking for UK-based researchers to deliver interactive, engaging and hands-on science workshops in English on the topic of Seas and Oceans. Ideally the funder is looking for UK-based science researchers, engineers,  Ph.D. students and STEM Ambassadors with a science background and a track record of outreach work with schools. The deadline for submitting proposals is 30 September 2017. The workshops will take place between spring 2017 and autumn 2017.

The British Council is providing funding to attend a number of selected workshops. Various deadlines apply.

If you are planning to apply to any of these schemes, please contact your Research Facilitator for help and support.