Addressing the event, Assoc.Prof. Vu Hoang Linh, Vice Rector of VNU University of Science, emphasized that “The appropriateness of the workshop’s theme in relation to VNU University of Science’s training development strategy aimed at basic science research linked with applied science. Over the past two years, five European and six Vietnamese partner universities have been working together in the SAUNAC project in an attempt to improve the quality of training activities and enhancing linkages between universities and businesses as part of the drive to boost the development of sustainable smart cities in Vietnam.
At the workshop, Mr. Tom Corrie, Deputy Head of the Cooperation Section under the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam, underlined that higher education was a priority for both Europe and the Vietnamese government. According to him, the Erasmus+ project is aimed at modernizing and reforming higher education institutions, developing new curricula, improving governance, and developing relationships between higher education institutions and enterprises.
Around 27 per cent of the annual global budget for Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) projects has been earmarked for Asian countries. Vietnam has so far participated in 51 projects, all of which have been jointly implemented by both European and Vietnamese higher education institutions.
SAUNAC project Manager Henna Knuutila pointed out that the fresh co-operation between universities, enterprises and public bodies had provided valuable learning opportunities for students who could design solutions for environmental challenges in major cities as part of their studies.
“In the long term, SAUNAC project participants will together form sustainable alliances. This trend will take place not only between universities in Vietnam, but also between universities and enterprises at a regional, national and international level”, Ms. Knuutila noted.
During the panel discussion and in subsequent sessions, representatives from both relevant ministries and key stakeholders elaborated on how higher education institutions and stakeholders were working together to develop sustainable smart cities in Vietnam. In addition, they worked to devise future solutions and activities in this field, especially to step up co-operation between businesses and academia.