DCU’s ties to Vietnamese university strengthened by STEM

Shauna Power

DCU and Ho Chi Minh City University of Science (HCMUS) in Vietnam, have signed an agreement to further strengthen their academic links through research funded by the VIBE programme.

Announcing the agreement on October 18th, Trevor Holmes, Vice President of External Affairs in DCU said that the Memorandum of Understanding between both universities demonstrates the increasing academic and enterprise linkages between both countries, particularly since the opening of an Irish embassy in Vietnam in 2005. 

Both universities have collaborated previously. In 2017 a bid by DCU in the Community and HCMUS as part of the Irish Aid funded Vietnam Ireland Bilateral Education Exchange (VIBE) was accepted in the aim of developing an innovative community based learning methodology for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) in Vietnam.

In Vietnam, like most places, there is a shortage in the recruitment for and teaching of STEM subjects which have a pivotal role in social and economic development. This partnership is seeking to break down the barriers to access STEM for all students.

In relation to the original collaboration, heads of the project Phan Nguyen Ai Nhi from the faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science at Ho Chi Minh University of Science and Joanna Ozarowska, Manager of DCU in the community said, “This unique Vietnamese-Irish co-operation in promoting SL and STEM for socio-economic development and active citizenship has huge potential”.

Last week, Holmes welcomed Vice President International, Prof Minh-Tried TRANS, Head of Software Engineering and Artificial Intelligence Laboratories and the HCMUS delegation to DCU for the first time following the new agreement and first funded collaboration of the VIBE2019 programme.

“The opportunity for collaboration is immense with the investment by your [Vietnamese] government in the science and technology parks aligned to leading higher education institutions and their focus on ICT, bio-technology, medical devices and AI, all key strengths of this university”, said Holmes.

The VIBE funds research projects based on their alignment with and relevance to Ireland’s Strategy in Vietnam and are funded by the Embassy of Ireland in Vietnam, according to Irish Aid. Holmes is expecting renewed funding for 2020/2021 through the VIBE programme which will strengthen links with HCMUS in years to come. 

According to Holmes, five conference publications which were co-written by DCU and HCMUS staff have been published since the start of the year and this number is expected to rise.

Shauna Power

Image Credit: Good Free Photos