A catalyst for engineering innovation and entrepreneurship in Vietnam
The Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP) and its partners hosted the third annual Vietnam Engineering Education Conference (VEEC) recently at the Novotel in Danang City, Vietnam. Those attending included more than 270 guests from 80 different institutions of higher education, government and industry, making it the largest conference to date.
HEEAP is a partnership among the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and Intel. It launched in June 2010 to help improve the quality of higher education, specifically in mechanical and electrical engineering.
VEEC is a major annual event bringing global industry, government and academic professionals together to discuss transformative ideas and solutions to engineering and technical education programs in Vietnam. The theme this year was “Engineering Education as a Catalyst for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Vietnam.”
The conference included interactive plenary sessions, panel discussions, technical sessions and seminars with emphasis on partnerships between education, industry and government to innovate and build capacity in engineering and technology innovation in teaching, research and discovery.
“HEEAP partners have been significant contributors in innovating and updating the program content, research and teaching methods in Vietnam higher education engineering institutions, contributing to the complete transformation of education and training,” said Bui Van Ga, deputy minister of the Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training. “The Vietnam Engineering Education Conference provides an effective link between professional public-private partnerships that brings industry, government and academia together to enhance innovation in engineering and technology education and research.”
Featured presenters at the conference included Sonia Ortega, program director, United States National Science Foundation (NSF); Rena Bitter, the U.S. Consul-General in Ho Chi Minh City; Joakim Parker, USAID mission director; Le Manh Ha, vice chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee; Kenny Sng – Intel Asia Pacific and Japan solution architect manager; Tran Van Nam, president of the University of Danang; and Le Kim Hung, rector, University of Science and Technology – The University of Danang.
Keynote presentations highlighted how the Maker Movement can transform science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and higher engineering education, as well as interactive industry/academic panel discussions on inspiring the undergraduate engineer’s entrepreneurial and innovative mindset with ideas and models for Vietnam. Other keynote presentations focused on building bi-lateral technology and economic development partnerships and how higher engineering education can be a catalyst for development in Vietnam.
“Education cooperation remains a cornerstone of our bilateral relationship, and the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program—or HEEAP—is a pioneering example of the great results that can be achieved through vibrant public-private partnerships,” said Bitter.
Conference technical sessions addressed topics such as: creating a sustainable engineering graduate pipeline, developing capstone projects and forming industry partnerships, entrepreneurship and technology innovation, leveraging online and mobile applications in the classroom, undergraduate research models in engineering education, and faculty development and collaboration, among others.
The conference also included technology exhibits from HEEAP’s technology partners and VEEC sponsors. The event was hosted by University of Science and Technology – The University of Danang (DUT), a partner of HEEAP and ASU. Specific conference partners included USAID, National Instruments, SHTP, Siemens, Cadence, Pearson, Intel, Danaher, Mekong Technologies and Mediasite.
Next year’s event will take place in Ho Chi Minh City in April. For more information, see the conference website at veec.heeap.org.
HEEAP partners include the Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training, Saigon Hi-Tech Park, Intel, Siemens, Danaher, Cadence, National Instruments, and Pearson. Alliance partners are aiming to produce “work-ready” students and to provide high quality human resources and local training for high-tech industries in Vietnam.
Through teacher development and training workshops, HEEAP is modernizing traditional Vietnamese theory-based engineering programs by introducing applied and hands-on instructional approaches. More than 2,000 Vietnamese faculty have been trained at HEEAP’s in-country workshops. In addition, the Vocational and University Leadership Innovation Institute (VULII) has trained more than 1,100 faculty leaders at dozens of events since 2012. HEEAP has enabled 247 lecturers from Vietnam engineering colleges to participate in instruction training programs at ASU.
HEEAP partners are also developing a distance-education network to enable students at multiple campuses in Vietnam to take the same courses simultaneously. There is also a program to train Vietnamese education leaders in modern administrative, revenue-enhancement, and policy development models necessary to build regionally and globally competitive institutions.
For more information, visit the HEEAP website at heeap.org.
Sharon Keeler, email@example.com
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering