Regional Alumni Workshop “Governance – Leadership – Internationalisation: Challenges and prospects for universities in Vietnam and Southeast Asia”

Thainguyen, Vietnam. 12.-14. October 2017


Higher education plays an important role in improving human resources which contributes to the country’s development. The whole educational system including higher education of Vietnam has been for a long time controlled by the central government particularly the Ministry of Education and Training and some other related ministries. The centralized system of control and governance did not promote the improvement of training quality of the whole system, and does not encourage the creativity of teachers, education administrators and students. The development of higher education in Vietnam is challenged by the limited capacity to meet the demands of industrialization, modernization, international integration and the demand of labor markets. 

As a result, Vietnam is under the “pressing need for significant modernization of Vietnam, higher educational system, including fundamental changes in governance, institutional autonomy, financing and administration, faculty hiring, promotion and salary structure, as well as in curricula and the modalities of teaching, evaluation, and research”. Although a number of government efforts is implemented to bring higher education institutions more autonomy and accountability, the limited experiences and capacity are main constraints for higher education institutions to make a reform. Iinstitutional autonomy plays a significant role in attempts to define international standards of university governance. Institutional accountability is enforced and can have important implications for institutional autonomy. Unfortunately, leaders of higher education institutions in Vietnam do not at present have much institutional autonomy and accountability within their governance. The aforementioned problem could hold true for not only Vietnam, but also other  developing countries in the Southeast Region of Asia.

In this respect, the workshop aims to improve the university’s capacity of governance, training, scientific research and to ensure the quality of education based on research. In this workshop, "university governance capacity building" is the key concept. The implementation of the workshop aims to enhance professionalism in the design and organization of the university, in the development of training programs, in the establishment of quality management models in training and research at university level. In addition, the idea of the workshop is to create a forum for Germany universities to share experiences and for higher education institutions in Vietnam to learn the successful German models and standards concerning academic and administrative government and management. Moreover, the workshop aims to meet German alumni to build contacts and networking. It also initiates and foster cooperation between Vietnam universities and German partners in capacity building in higher education. Specifically, the objectives of the workshop are:

- To expand knowledge in university autonomy and accountability

- To exchange experiences in university governance and management Germany universities share experiences regarding university autonomy and accountability implementation.

- To initiate and foster cooperation between alumni und German partners in education and science.

- To strengthening German alumnus network for further collaboration

In order to fulfill the above objectives, a 3 – day workshop is proposed with the focus on  the concept of institutional autonomy and accountability. The workshop also emphasizes on capacity building for university governance and management, the implementation, experiences and lessons from university governance in Germany, analysis of successful case studies in Germany and adaptation prospects  for Southeast Asian universities. Topics of the workshop will focus on:

•    Problems of current training systems & demand for making a reform

•    Internationalization policies for higher education institution

•    Challenges to the quality assurance at higher education in the context of global integration

•    University Governance, institutional autonomy, university leadership

•  Conditions under which Universities can make a reform towards autonomy and accountability implementation.

•    Quality Assurance in Higher Education

•    University Leadership and Management Training Program

•    International Deans

•    Management of Internationalization

•    Curricula development and the reform in teaching, evaluation, and research

The participants of the workshop should actively contribute to the workshop. In addition, they benefit and can apply the results of the results in their respective universities. Priority are given to university leaders and people who are in the position to influence the ongoing discussions at their universities. Participants will be able to transfer the workshop results into practice. To fulfill the aim of the workshop – to expand knowledge in university autonomy and accountability, the workshop address participants as shown in Appendix.

The format of the workshop will be interactive and discussion-based rather than presentation-based. Participants are expected to actively participate. Participants from different universities and countries can contribute to different aspects of the workshop content. Participants are generally already in a position at their university so that they can actively contribute to apply results into practice.