On October 10-13, 2023, the Canada-Vietnam Education and Research Mission unfolded throughout Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. The scope, size, and nature of this mission represented a first of its kind in the Canada-Vietnam bilateral relationship in education. It was also the product of a unique collaborative effort between CBIE and the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) in Vietnam, with financial support from CanExport Associations.
A total of 21 Canadian and 80+ Vietnamese universities, representing a broad spectrum of institutions by region and type, participated in the mission events. The Canadian delegation comprised 29 senior-level representatives from across a broad cross-section of Canadian universities – from large, research-intensive institutions in metropolitan centres to smaller institutions in more remote areas; from anglophone to francophone to bilingual institutions; all spanning the country from British Columbia to Newfoundland. It was a true representation of the Canadian university landscape and an expression of solid institutional interest in deepening educational linkages with Vietnam.
The events, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Canadian diplomatic relations with Vietnam, were an expression of the Canadian international education sector’s contribution to advancing our federal Indo-Pacific Strategy. They were designed to explore the untapped potential in deepening and expanding bilateral relations between Canada and Vietnam through initiatives such as dual degrees, articulation agreements, faculty and student mobility programs, and research collaboration. They also sought to showcase Canadian expertise and a keen desire to establish strong institutional partnerships with Vietnam – Canada’s largest ASEAN trading partner and priority country of the Canadian International Education Strategy. It was acknowledged that while over 16,000 Vietnamese students were studying in Canada in 2022, representing 2% of the international student population, there is certainly much more to be done to deepen the Canada-Vietnam relationship in education beyond inbound student recruitment.
Over the course of the four-day program, Canadian participants engaged in multiple learning sessions, targeted one-on-one B2B meetings with Vietnamese universities, and institutional visits in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
As part of the learning sessions, Canadian and Vietnamese delegates shared institutional perspectives on strategic educational partnership trends and modalities, as well as opportunities and challenges in establishing strategic international research collaboration. Additionally, the participants shared their reflections on lessons learned from their Canada-Vietnam and international partnership experience and recommendations for future collaboration. The matchmaking sessions generated 300+ one-on-one meetings between Canadian and Vietnamese universities. Finally, for a more rounded experience, the Canadian delegation conducted group institutional visits to five public and private Vietnamese universities across both cities.
The importance of the bilateral relations in the higher education sector was highlighted by the official welcoming remarks from Ms. Le Thi Viet Lam, Deputy Director of the International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Scientific Research and Technology (MOST), Ms. Jasmine Wahhab, Senior Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in HCMC, and Ms. Leigh McCumber, Chargé d’affaires at the Embassy of Canada to Vietnam.
CBIE would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the Trade Commissioner Service in Vietnam for its outstanding collaboration in designing and mounting this highly successful event.
For further information on the mission, contact us at Partnerships-Partenariats@cbie.ca.