|Internationalize or not to internationalize; should it be a question?|
|Người gửi: Phạm Thị Ly|
Internationalize or not to internationalize; should it be a question?
An important step for the Vietnamese universities
Vladimir Briller, Ed. D.
Director of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research, Associate Professor,
Pratt Institute, New York
& Pham Thi Ly, Ph. D.
Director of Centre for International Education Culture Exchange and Research
Institute for Education Research, HCMC University of Education
Colleges and universities are not merely institutions for their states and the nation, but for the world. With the fast pace of change taking place in the world through globalization, the nations of the world and their peoples, cultures, societies and institutions—including those of higher education—are becoming more intertwined, interrelated and connected. To prepare our students for this changing world, to enhance and advance discovery, to carry out our mission of engagement, and to maintain our competitive edge, our colleges and universities must make global competency and international involvement, in its many different forms, important components of their strategic plans, policies and practices. Globally engaged universities are critical to maintaining America’s place as a world leader. America’s colleges and universities must prepare graduates to be active participants in a world in which national boundaries are increasingly permeable. More and more products, capital, information, labor and tourists cross boarders every year. America’s need to remain competitive in the world requires its educational institutions produce globally competent human capital and cutting-edge research. Each institution of higher education has a responsibility to ensure that its students will be well prepared for the challenges of the 21st Century and thus critically examine their approach to instruction. In 2006-07 U.S. sent 223,534 students abroad for study. At the same time 582,984 foreign students were enrolled in the U.S. institutions of higher education.
Why internationalize at all
Internationalizing universities and colleges is becoming a requirement to succeed in this ever changing world. However, what does it mean to "internationalize" the university? Understandably, it is not just responsibility of an office of international education or admissions. Internationalization requires concerted efforts from administration; faculty and curriculum; foreign study and international exchanges; foreign students and scholars; technical cooperation and international development; and public service. There are many reasons to internationalize universities, both internal and external. There is strong evidence that internationalized universities are much better performers in both educating students and conducting important research. They are usually known to
· Prepare graduates who are internationally-knowledgeable and interculturally-competent;
· Maintain competitiveness;
· Achieve international standards;
· Encourage scholarship on topics regarding interdependence of nations;
· Research national and international issues;
· Export educational services and projects;
· Work for social change;
· Appreciate the ethnic and cultural diversity of one’s nation;
· Generate income for educational institutions; and
· Maintain international security and peaceful relations. 
However, it is not possible to just name an institution an international one. Internationalization is a lengthy process which requires concerted efforts, significant planning and resources. Harari (1989) advocates a six-point plan for internationalizing higher education:
· Secure commitment and consensus-building on the part of administrators;
· Analyze the curriculum and the range of international programming including international educational exchanges for both faculty and students;
· Generate responsibility and leadership for international education in a Center for International Education;
· Provide internal support and external coalitions, partnerships, and funding for international education;
· Create a genuine international ethos on campus which is sustained by the personal human concern of faculty and staff for students of all nationalities and backgrounds; and
· Encourage integrated programming/strategic planning for international education (by making it one of the top priorities for an institution).
The study of internationalization at 183 U.S. universities sponsored by Washington State University found that five factors are critical for success:
· resources (faculty, administrators, funds, incentives and rewards);
· program activities (international students and scholars; study, work, and internship service opportunities abroad; foreign language study; development cooperation; academic driven programs; research, scholarship, area study programs and graduate education; undergraduate curriculum; and public service);
· leadership and management (commitment; policy; strategic planning and review; allocation of resources);
· organization (structure, linkages, internal culture); and, external environment (global awareness, stakeholder demand, benefits).
At the University of Pennsylvania, leaders are working to accomplish three specific curricular goals: helping deans prepare five-year plans with international education goals and components, offering new international minors in various disciplines (agriculture, business, journalism, etc.), and encouraging faculty to redesign and internationalize courses within their disciplines.
At Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, internationalization means the entire campus must take steps to ensure progress once this goal has been stated. It may mean hiring faculty with international specializations/interests, making a study abroad component part of the major’s requirements, encouraging faculty to speak favorably about study abroad for their students, linking language learning to Area Studies programs, integrating funding for student study abroad programs and for faculty international activities, and recognizing and rewarding faculty members’ international teaching, research, consulting activities (S. Lewis discussing Carleton College’s commitment in Hanson & Meyerson, l995).
UCLA’s Chancellor Charles Young declared internationalization a priority and has created a campus ethos of internationalism built in with the curriculum and co-curricular activities on the campus (Ellingboe, l996a).
Virginia Technical University declared a vision toward a world-class university stressing seven strategies for internationalization as an institutional goal (Ellingboe, l996a).
Duke University’s President Nan Keohane declared internationalization of education as the top priority in her strategic plan (Mestenhauser, l996).
Oregon State University has paired a so-called "international" degree with every undergraduate major throughout the university (i.e. international biology, international sociology, etc.). To make this happen, students spend their fifth undergraduate year overseas in an accredited study abroad or research program (Metcalf, l996).
Unlike US universities which approach internationalization individually, Europe has decided to take a comprehensive approach. Some European scholars describe internationalization as "the complex of processes whose combined effect, whether planned or not, enhances the international dimension of the experience of higher education in universities". The others try to look just at some sides of internationalization, or example, curriculum: how internationalized curricula can be characterized; which factors contribute to the successful development, implementation, and institutionalization of internationalized curricula; and what the outcomes and effects are for internationalized curricula.
In spite of slight differences, there is a joint agreement on urgent demand for internationalization.
The European Commission aims to support these efforts with the help of programs like Erasmus, Tempus in respect of neighboring countries, and more globally through Erasmus Mundus.
The process forced the European universities to actively internationalize, discover each other and network by fostering mobility of students and faculty. Here are some of the ERASMUS outcomes:
· 1.2 million students have benefited from the program for study abroad
· A European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is now widely understood and accepted
· Joined projects in curriculum development
· In 2005: 2,199 HE institutions in 31 countries
· Budget 159 Million €, 144.000 students, 21.000 teachers
At the same time, the EU has embarked on worldwide mission, establishing contacts with the institutions of higher education all over the world. Here are some examples of EU-Education programs worldwide:
With North America: EU/US, EU/CND
With Asia: Asia-Link, EU-Vietnam, etc.
With the Mediterranean Area: TEMPUS/MEDA
With Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Region : EDULINK
With Latin America: ALFA and Alβan
An increasing number of students and teachers are attracted from abroad to European HE institutions (UNESCO UIS). In the 2006 ranking of the ‘Times Higher Education Supplement’, among the 100 best HE institutions worldwide, there are 41 European institutions: UK – 15, Netherlands – 7, France – 5, Switzerland – 5, Germany – 3, Belgium – 2, Denmark – 1, Russia – 1, Ireland – 1, and Austria – 1.
The Bologna Process
The Bologna Process aims to create a European Higher Education Area by 2010, in which students can choose from a wide and transparent range of high quality courses and benefit from smooth recognition procedures. The Bologna Declaration of June 1999 has put in motion a series of reforms needed to make European Higher Education more compatible and comparable, more competitive and more attractive for Europeans and for students and scholars from other continents. Reform is needed today if Europe is to match the performance of the best performing systems in the world, notably the United States and Asia. The three priorities of the Bologna process are introduction of the three cycle system (bachelor/master/doctorate), quality assurance, and recognition of qualifications and periods of study.
Every second year the Ministers of Education of the countries that have signed the agreement meet to measure progress and set priorities for action. After Bologna (1999), they met in Prague (2001), Berlin (2003), Bergen (2005) and London (2007). At the London meeting of May 17-18th Ministers adopted a strategy on how to reach out to other continents and agreed to create a Register of European Quality Assurance Agencies. Here are some basic characteristics of the Bologna process:
· Adopt a system of easily readable and comparable degrees
· Adopt a system based on two cycles
· Establish a credit system
· Promote mobility
· Promote European cooperation in quality assurance
· Promote a European Dimension in Higher Education
Early in the process, European educators identified some challenges regarding internationalization and organizational change in higher education:
· The first challenge is recognizing that the world we live in is becoming increasingly international in communication networks, career choices, and interpersonal interactions.
· The second challenge for educators is getting beyond the boundaries of discipline and campus, state and nation. Going beyond borders requires a cognitive shift and a redesign of the usual way of thinking.
· The third challenge is fully integrating international perspectives within the curriculum and all units within the university.
Current partnerships and progress of Vietnamese universities towards globalization
Since the start of open policies and especially after joining the WTO, Vietnamese higher education has made very important changes in the globalization process. In the scope of higher education system, some outstanding phenomena include:
1- In 1998, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia was invited by the Vietnamese authorities to establish a fully foreign-owned University in Vietnam. In 2000, RMIT Vietnam was granted a license by the Ministry of Planning and Investment to deliver undergraduate and postgraduate education, training and research in Vietnam. All degrees are recognized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training (MOET). The University degrees are awarded by RMIT University in Australia. This means for the first time Vietnamese students can receive an overseas tertiary without having to leave home. The University commenced offering programs in 2001 in Ho Chi Minh City and in 2004 in Hanoi. The University currently boasts a student population of over 3,800 students with international students from Australia, China, France, Germany, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States as well as other countries.
2- Troy University has partnered with the International College of I.T. and Management to offer Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs to local students. Troy currently offers the following degree programs in Vietnam:
· Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
· Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
· Master of Business Administration
· Executive Master of Business Administration
3- The University of British Columbia (Canada) - Vietnam community program, recognizing the need for increased oral health service, oral health prevention and rehabilitative treatment strategies, has established a collaborative international rotation in Vietnam. This international experience has been designed to broaden the scope of learning for dental postgraduate students to include an understanding of regional diseases process, treatment modalities, and cultural competency. During the academic year, UBC residents are undertaking some groundbreaking work in the management of “head and neck” cancer patients at the Cancer Centre in Ho Chi Minh City. Residents performed oral health assessments, emergency treatment and required treatment prior to head and neck therapy. They also collaborated with colleagues at the University of Ho Chi Minh and the Cancer Centre to establish a pre-radiation and post-radiation program protocol.
4- As part of a national program to help internationalize higher education in that country, Thai Nguyen University of Technology (TNUT), - one of Vietnam s most competitive universities has entered into a partnership with the University at Buffalo (UB) to begin teaching UB's undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum to its own students next fall. Under the Vietnamese government program, 14 of Vietnam’s leading universities are eligible to apply for support from Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Technology to model specific degree programs after U.S. programs chosen from across the disciplines.
5- Modernizing curriculum and introducing new standards: Since the academic year 2006-2007, MOET has put into practice a plan for the development of meeting-international-standards training programs at some Vietnamese universities. As such, the first nine universities have been selected for joint bachelor’s programs with prestigious American counterparts, using their curricula and training technologies.
Table 1. Nine Vietnamese universities and ten joint programs with
eight American universities
Lecturers in these joint programs include those who are holders of Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from universities in English-speaking countries, Vietnamese professors who are teaching at foreign universities, and lecturers from partner universities. For capacity building, Vietnamese lecturers are sent to their partner universities to study the modern teaching models and methodologies, and management styles, and to observe the classes by foreign professors.
The language of teaching is English, and curricula used are those currently applied in partner institutions. Such a joint program normally lasts for 4.5-5 years, including six months for English training. Particularly in HCM City University of Technology, right from the first semester of the academic year 2006-2007, students have been taught 6 subjects in English.
Universities taking part in this program receive 1-1.5 million USD from MOET to upgrade laboratories in order to meet the requirements of foreign curricula. Despite its operations for just half a year, companies like Intel, Remasas, TMA and several others in the Silicon Valley (USA) have proposed to hire all these students upon their graduation. This reflects their trust in the quality of students, reputation of foreign universities, and active preparation at Vietnamese institutions. There will be another nine Vietnamese universities taking part in similar programs during 2008-2010. In the next period of 2011-2020, the Vietnamese partners will expand the advanced programs to other fields of study, and, at the same time, develop the training for the Master’s and doctorate levels with the quality equal to that of the foreign universities.
There are other significant developments towards internationalization in numerous universities:
2. At the same time, Vietnamese scholars are having more and more opportunities to participate in learning, conferences and training seminars worldwide. The Fulbright Program in Vietnam alone has brought 70 Vietnamese scholars to the US for teaching and research in the fields of education, banking, finance and public health. The Vietnamese Education Fund founded by the US government, over a decade ago, has also brought 276 Vietnamese lecturers and students to study in technology fields in the US, from which … have returned to serve primarily in universities and research institutions. Such exchange would have been a dream just over a decade ago but it became a reality now. Reaching the international world is becoming easier for Vietnamese lecturers and students. Vietnamese studying abroad, through their international experiences in science and culture, are significantly contributing to the internationalization process of Vietnamese universities.
Through the above mentioned phenomena, it is clear that the trend of internationalizing universities in Vietnam through collaborated training, faculty and student exchange, collaborative research, is steadily developing with support from the Vietnamese government as well as other involved parties. This trend has strong impact on Vietnamese universities and is positively contributing to building a skilled workforce in Vietnam.
What are Vietnam colleges and universities going to do to internationalize
Urgent need to internationalize
Vietnam economy is one of the fastest developing economies in Asia, and it desperately needs skilled cadre. The transition from a centrally planned to a market economy in Vietnam has a strong impact on the labor market, on relative earnings, and on returns to education. Average private rates of return to university education are over 11 percent. Evidence from other transition economies suggests that returns are likely to increase as reforms in the labor market take full effect.
The HE system, however, is not capable of satisfying the needs of the economy. Even though the government eased restrictions on opening new universities, between 2000 and 2005 the number of college students increased at an average rate of 9% annually. The number of instructors has not risen at the same rate as college students and classrooms are extremely crowded. The student-teacher ratio was about 6:1 in 1990 but jumped to 13:1 in 1995 and 31:1 in 2006.
· Ineffective teaching methods: lectures, presentation of factual knowledge, rote memorization, little use of homework, not much faculty-student interaction.
· Inadequate facilities and resources.
· Too many courses (over 200 credits to graduate).
· A large number of requirements and few choices.
· Out-of-date content of individual courses and the overall curriculum, which are not at the same level of top universities worldwide
· An imbalance between theoretical courses (concepts and principles with too much emphasis on factual knowledge) and applied/practical courses (laboratory or practicum experiences).
· Lack of common or professional skills (team work, oral and written communication in English, project management, problem solving methods, pro-active initiative-taking, life-long learning).
· Lack of flexibility to transfer between majors.
· Courses and curricula are not guided by explicit statements of expected student learning outcomes.
· Lack of qualified teachers.
· Low level of academic preparation of teaching faculty.
· Lack of skills of faculty in modern teaching practices and research.
· Lack of up-to-date knowledge by faculty in their fields with regard to curriculum and course content.
· Faculty overworked and underpaid for an acceptable teaching load and, therefore, lack the time necessary for teaching preparation, availability to students, and research.
· No incentives for faculty to upgrade teaching skills, courses and curricula, and research ability since promotion and salary increases seem to be based on teaching load and seniority, not on merit, performance, or conducting research.
· Little opportunity for Ph.D.s, who have studied abroad, to pursue their research or apply the teaching methods learned abroad when they return to Vietnam.
· Academic inbreeding, thus inhibiting a dynamic research environment.
· Separation of research institutes and laboratories from teaching departments, thus limiting the opportunities for many faculty members to engage in research activities.
· Lack of clearly articulated and coordinated student learning outcomes at the institutional, departmental, program, and course levels.
· Institutional effectiveness not evaluated in terms of student learning. As a result, faculty have little motivation since few incentives or rewards are given for change.
· Program and course quality not based on evaluation of student learning.
· Lack of institutional research infrastructure at university level.
It is because of these issues that many Vietnamese families are sending their children abroad to study. Since 2006, there is an average of 16,000-18,000 Vietnamese students per year going abroad to study. According to the annual report of the American International Education Institution, Vietnam has become one of the top 20 countries with the largest student population in the US. The current number of Vietnamese students studying in Australia is 10,000, a record breaking number.
Numerous problems can hardly be fixed internally. The shortest and most efficient way to improve higher education system in Vietnam is to internationalize it. Billions of dollars spent on studying abroad could have been saved if Vietnam had internationalized its universities and reached international standards. For that purpose a set of measurable goals are recommended for students, faculty, administration and university as a whole.
OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS
A globally competent graduate needs to have many of the following:
- Competences which are adequate to the requirements of modern fast changing economy.
- A diverse and knowledgeable worldview: graduates of an internationalized university will develop a conceptual framework that informs the way they view world events—historic and contemporaneous—which they will use to analyze and understand political, cultural, economic, historical, environmental, scientific and technological developments.
- Comprehension of the international dimensions of the major field of study: graduates will understand the international dimensions of their chosen major and some of the important cultural and political differences that impact policies, work and problem solving related to the primary disciplines of the major.
- Communicate effectively in another language: graduates will enhance their future and gain insight into other people of the world by studying their languages and cultures.
- Understand the importance of and exhibit sensitivity and adaptability in cross-cultural communications and group experiences.
- Experiences outside Vietnam: graduates should preferably have done this through a study abroad, internship or voluntary program that provides significant opportunity for interaction with people of different cultures and countries.
- Continue to develop their global competence throughout life: globally competent graduates recognize the value of international understanding for its own sake as well as for personal fulfillment, and understand that it is a lifelong endeavor.
OUTCOMES FOR FACULTY
Faculty members are critical contributors to achieving an internationalized campus. Engaging the faculty should be a central focus of the university’s internationalization strategies. Faculty and staff are responsible for creating and delivering the curriculum; creating new knowledge; and delivering outreach and development programs to the community and the world. Faculty members will:
- Demonstrate personal global competence: globally competent faculty and staff members will demonstrate an interest in other countries, cultures and world affairs, and value the differences among them. This interest is evidenced through living and working in other countries, partnering and visiting colleagues in other countries, traveling to professional meetings, as well as local involvement in international groups, seminars and workshops within and beyond the individual’s disciplinary expertise.
- Faculty members will actively practice global competence on campus: globally competent faculty members frequently integrate international dimensions and multicultural comparisons into their courses, thereby teaching their students the value of varied perspectives. When appropriate, they draw upon the experience of professionals from other cultures, international students and study-abroad alumni as additional instructional resources. Sometimes the perspectives of international colleagues and professionals are brought to campus through communications technologies.
- Faculty members will be actively engaged in international academic communities: internationally engaged faculty and staff members participate in international meetings and belong to international professional associations. They are part of a network of international colleagues that fosters joint efforts such as technology-linked classes, research and development projects, exchange of students, and formal linkages or agreements involving campus units. In addition, such faculty provides leadership to their professional societies and communities on the integration of more global perspectives into these groups.
OUTCOMES FOR INSTITUTIONS
An internationalized college or university is a local, national and international center of knowledge creation and dissemination. It integrates international perspectives across university’s mission of teaching and learning, discovery, and engagement. Specifically, an internationalized college or university is one that:
- Includes internationalization as an integral part of its vision, mission and strategic plan. Internationalization is identified by the institution’s leadership at all levels as a priority. The strategic plan identifies international education as vital to the successful fulfillment of the institution’s mission and sets specific goals and assesses outcomes for all international efforts. It is recognized that internationalization is important to accomplishing the local, state and national goals of the institution.
- Enjoys academic and administrative leadership with a strong commitment to international engagement: the personal commitment of the president or rector is reflected in the members of the university’s entire leadership teams, all of whom consistently promote and reinforce their shared vision of an internationalized campus. The vision is supported by the policies and practices related to hiring, evaluation and reward systems for faculty and staff, practices with regard to participation in consortia and international partnerships, and the financial investments necessary to accomplish the goals set by the leadership.
- Establishes and supports an international programs office that serves the entire campus and its programs: the university demonstrates its commitment to making internationalization a priority through an international program office and administrator. The administrator is responsible for not only the traditional study abroad and international student and scholar activities, but also intercollegiate program needs related to faculty grants, national resource centers, etc., plus the coordination and for all international programs and agreements on campus, and policies related to travel, safety and student waivers. The Senior International Officer (SIO) is also expected to provide leadership in obtaining grants, contracts and gifts in support of the internationalization of the teaching, research and engagement missions of the university.
- Integrates international perspectives into all curricula and co-curricula programs: the university’s general education requirements have a strong international dimension, exposing every student to global perspectives (historical and current) within the required curricula. This goes well beyond courses that provide global perspectives on physical and human geography, economics, world history, the arts, religion and politics to include international aspects in all majors, and provide multiple opportunities to compare different cultural and country approaches to the major global opportunities and issues of this century.
- Promotes, encourages, values and rewards internationally engaged faculty and staff: the internationalized university has a diverse faculty and staff, the majority of whom have international experience. The tenure, promotion and merit salary system rewards international involvement. Presidents and rectors encourage deans and department chairs to internationalize by incorporating international expertise standards into faculty and staff job descriptions. The university also provides program opportunities and financial support to expand internationalization of the faculty and staff through involvement in international engagement, teaching and scholarship.
- Integrates international perspectives into appropriate research, educational and outreach programs: the internationalized university has substantive and active linkages and formal partnerships with institutions in other countries that would provide for activities and programs for (a) learning, such as student exchanges, study abroad or joint degrees, (b) research, such as collaborative institutional research projects and student research, and (c) outreach and engagement, such as grade school teacher training, overseas campuses, and projects for working with foreign governments and institutions. In addition faculty members are encouraged to collaborate with overseas scholars and to be involved in international research and development activities which are supported by the campus with appropriate financial incentives and other resources.
- Fosters a diverse campus culture that values and encourages the presence of international students and scholars, and engages them in all programs and in all aspects of campus life: the diverse perspectives that international faculty and students bring to the learning, discovery and cultural life of the campus and to the engagement efforts of the university is valued and supported by all members of the university community. With the increasing global competition for human talent, the policies and practices related to bringing international students, scholars and faculty to campus should periodically be reviewed. This includes the non-resident tuition and scholarship policies that may greatly limit the number and quality of international students that can come to the campus. Once the international students are on campus, they need to be integrated into the dormitories, extra-curricular programs, and classroom discussions and assignments.
OUTCOMES FOR CAMPUSES:
- Become international communities with housing, dining halls, social activities, and commercial ventures deeply imbedded with a strong international influence.
- Establish benchmarks and accountability systems to assess progress and measure success, with reward and incentive systems for realizing internationalization goals.
- Use information technology to expand distance education, bring international content into the campus classroom, and facilitate international communication with faculty in foreign institutions for research and other scholarly activities
- Establish a global process to recognize academic course credit across institutions in order to help foster international exchange and study abroad. Approved study abroad programs must count toward graduation requirements
- Ensure that the university benefits from the integration of the international student and scholar populations into the fabric of the campus, and that the institution provides them with the array of high-quality and meaningful academic and cultural experiences
- Facilitate international scholarly collaboration by faculty and students through formal institutional agreements with foreign universities. These may include: (a) student exchanges and study abroad, (b) provisions for collaborative research projects, (c) joint or twin graduate or undergraduate degrees, (d) programs for undergraduate and graduate students that involve an international research experience, (e) exchanges of scholarly publications and scientific materials; and the use of technology to facilitate the partnering of faculty and students in on-campus courses that are similar to courses in an international partner institution.
- Encourage faculty, graduate and undergraduate student research on international topics or by research collaboration with foreign scientists by supporting international travel expenses or providing scholarships.
- Enhance collaboration by sponsoring international conferences, workshops and symposia held on campus or foreign sites.
- Sponsor campus visits by foreign scholars.
- Provide research appointments for visiting scholars, including post-doctoral fellows.
In some instances, faculty may have joint appointments in the U.S. and at foreign institutions.
- Utilize information technologies that readily permit virtual meetings of faculty and students with international counterparts.
- Establish a promotion and tenure and annual evaluation, and salary system that recognize international scholarly contributions by faculty.
- Promote Study Abroad: expanding and strengthening study abroad at member institutions is a driving force in the effort towards fulfilling this National Agenda and for enhancing the internationalization of member campuses. In addition to the profound impact it has on the individual student, study abroad can have far-reaching effects on the campus; fostering deeper and more defined linkages between domestic and foreign institutions allowing stronger faculty and research relationships to occur. Moreover, study abroad is critical in helping prepare graduates to meet the needs of a globally informed society both as citizens and as professionals. There is no doubt that study abroad is an educational approach that can leverage change for the overall health and welfare of our country.
OUTCOMES FOR MOET:
- Work collaboratively with other organizations and associations to develop a variety of funding models for financing study abroad and to address other major impediments to study abroad including security and family concerns.
- Engage government, businesses and foundations to be partners in building support for study abroad.
- Assist smaller institutions in developing study abroad and exchange programs through increased focus on institutional consortia or partnership agreements.
- Place high priority on strengthening and developing leadership skills for international education administrators at all of its institutions.
- Assist all institutions in the implementation of internationalization on their campuses by promoting the study, discussion and sharing of best practices for internationalization. Successful strategies, programs and techniques should be examined at the senior administrators’ annual meetings.
Internationalization is a global trend that emerged thanks to global economy with increasing “lien thong” and mutual interactivity. Vietnam is not an exception, the demand for internationalization in Vietnam is even more urgent due to the gap created by its underdeveloped and isolated status from years ago. A very important advantage for Vietnamese universities in the process of promoting internationalization is the strong support provided by the government. There is no doubt about the government and MOET’s determination in modernizing education and innovating higher education in order to catch up with international standards. Without such policies at a macro level there would be no real advancements. The rest of the issue is depending on each university’s initiative and creativity in promoting this process. Our article has pointed some suggestive solutions for Vietnamese universities through the internationalization realities of advanced American and European universities. It might be the case that a solution that works perfectly for the Western world would not yield the same results in Vietnam, or vice versa; Vietnam needs very specific innovations and solutions in order to achieve its goal of internationalization in the shortest possible amount of time. But first, all the different efforts of internationalizing universities which are considered the cradle of knowledge and the leader of all innovations need to be coordinated. If such coordination is achieved, then the best solutions would inevitably be found.
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 However, it is very important for the internationalization of education and research that each country and region, whether large or small, develop scholarship while preserving its indigenous culture and then to create new knowledge while promoting mutual understanding.
 Moock, P. , Patrinos, H., Venkataraman, M. Education and Earnings in a Transition Economy (Vietnam)
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at Select Universities in Vietnam. A Report Presented to the Vietnam Education Foundation by the Site Visit Teams of the National Academies of the United States. August 2006.
 A Call to Leadership. The Presidential Role in Internationalizing the University. A Report of the NASULGC Task Force on International Education. October 2004
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