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Overview of the Partnership for Higher Education Reform (PHER)
The project of the Partnership for Higher Education Reform is a part of USAID's Higher Education Development Support Program, a five-year initiative lasting from 2022 to 2026 to strengthen the capacity of three Vietnam’s leading higher education institutions for them to grow more sustainably and autonomously in the fields of administration, training, research and linkage with businesses, meeting the demand for human resources serving the industrialization, modernization and international integration of the country.

 The project was officially launched at the Summer Workshop on July 25, 2022.

The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the form of non-refundable technical assistance and assigned to Indiana University, USA, as the project implementer.

The trend of internationalization and globalization has been bringing not only many challenges to Vietnam but also many opportunities to make the higher education system the foundation for changes in the quality of the workforce, research ability, technology transfer and innovation.

In that context, the Partnership for Higher Education Reform is proposed to promptly support three Vietnamese universities, namely Vietnam National University, Hanoi; Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City; and the University of Danang in realizing four important goals including Renovating university governance; Improving the teaching quality; Strengthening research and innovation capacity; and promoting university-industry linkage, contributing to a robust transformation in Vietnam's higher education innovation in the coming years. Based on these specific objectives, the project activities are organized into 4 components with corresponding names.

Specifically, PHER will introduce and update modern, comprehensive, and highly practical teaching and learning methods so that the three universities can deploy a number of training methods to help students focus on developing soft skills and how to apply the knowledge into reality.

In addition, the project will accompany the three universities in completing research support programs, as well as building training cooperation programs between universities and enterprises to help students get prepared to join the labour market right after graduation. PHER will expand the network of Vietnamese scientists and the world through the formation and operation of strong research groups in several priority fields, promoting cooperation in research and transfer of technology with businesses and the private sector by helping universities proactively find, connect, and demonstrate their ability to create value for businesses, as well as communities and society.

Finally, PHER will support universities in terms of governance by introducing and supporting the development and implementation of modern and effective management methods, models and tools; improving management capacity for leaders at all levels and facilitating the exchange of management experiences with university leaders around the world.

PHER's technical assistance and capacity building activities are expected to complement and accompany activities under the project "Development of Vietnam National Universities" approved by the Government in 2020, which aims to upgrade and improve facilities for teaching and research, as well as other technical supportive activities.

Previously, many sideline activities were conducted such as a stakeholder consultation workshop (SAVE Workshop) held in June 2021; Discussion sessions and meetings with participating universities (June 2021); A series of co-design seminars (5 seminars) focusing on the areas of administration, training, research, business-university connection to specify technical solutions and receive feedback and ideas from universities participating in the project, with the participation of many leaders, managers, lecturers, and other partners of the three universities (September, October 2021).

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