Cultivating Talented Individuals

Social Integration and Networking

Cultivating Talented Individuals:Support Scheme:Investigative Research Assistance (for student)

NGUYEN THUY ANH / Investigation Area: Hanoi, Vietnam


Affiliation: GSAPS
Year: 3rd
Itinerary: 02/02/2010 - 03/26/2010(Month/Date/Year)

Destination (Name of city and country)

Hanoi, Vietnam

Research objectives

The main purpose of this trip is to collect data and information on relevant policies, programs/activities related to internationalization of Vietnam's higher educational system in general and Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU) and its member institutions in particular. Another objective of the trip is to interview with faculty members and administrators at VNU and the Ministry of Education and Training on their perceptions, evaluation and expectation about the internationalization process which is taking place at this institution and in Vietnam.

Research project

The internationalization of higher education from the institutional and individual perspectives: The case of Vietnam National University, Hanoi

Since the last two decades, globalization has become an irreversible and the most influential process which takes place in almost all fields of the human life and undoubtedly education is also one of these impacted sectors. While globalization is seen as an objective and unalterable process, internationalization is considered a response of countries and higher educational institutions all over the world to this process.
Together with internationalization, regional cooperation and integration in higher education have become an emerging trend in many parts of the world. The past ten years have witnessed increasing interdependence among East Asian countries, as seen, for example, in the ASEAN + 3 process, especially in economic integration and policy collaboration. However, in the field of higher education, compared to other regions of the world, East Asia is lagging behind in creating and promoting the basic level of regional integration and policy harmonization to achieve common objectives and interests. In order to accelerate this process, in addition to learning from experiences of other regions, especially the Europe, it is necessary for East Asia to look into the case of each specific member country as well as its higher education institutions so as to have insightful understandings of one country's educational system, its strategy, plans, aspirations as well as problems and challenges in the internationalization of higher education. Only when being well equipped with deep and comprehensive knowledge about "who is doing what?" of countries and institutions in the region, can researchers and policy makers have suitable decisions, strategies, programs and activities appropriate for the whole region to further promote the process of higher education integration.

Although there has been a significant increase in research on internationalization of higher education, so far most of them focus mainly on examining and analyzing this process in Western countries and institutions and little attention has been paid on investigating the internationalization in Asian countries, especially at the institutional and individual level.

The purpose of the study is to study how internationalization of higher education is perceived and implemented in Vietnam at the institutional level in which it takes the Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU) as a case study. More specifically, it will examine the perception, rationales, strategies, benefits, risks, obstacles and priorities of the internationalization of higher education in Vietnam from the perspectives of different actors namely the administrators, faculty members and students who are not only the main driving forces of but also directly influenced by this process. The study assumes that different actors depending on their educational, disciplinary and institutional background will vary in the awareness and expectation toward the internationalization. Another assumption the research makes is that based on the institutional history and tradition, capacity and characteristics, member institutions of VNU will differ from each other in terms of the motivations for internationalization, the risks or challenges they are faced with and the difficulties and obstacles they have.

The study uses both qualitative and quantitative methodology. For the qualitative methodology, the author interviews with key informants representing each group of students, faculty members, administrative staff and senior administrators from each member institutions of VNU. In the quantitative method, a questionnaire survey was conducted with these actors and data were analyzed using descriptive, chi-square and scale test.


During the field trip in Hanoi, I have collected a lot of information and data not only pertaining to the internationalization of higher education in Vietnam and Vietnam National University, Hanoi (VNU), but also related to a wide range of issues that the higher educational system in Vietnam in general and VNU in particular are dealing with. These documents include policies, regulations, plans, instructions, reports, statistics, so on and so forth issued by the Ministry of Education and Training and VNU. These important data have given me a deeper and insightful understanding of the whole system and the problems and challenges that it has been faced with.

Also during the stay in Hanoi, I took part in two important events jointly organized by the Ministry of Education and Training, the Department for Education and Training of Hanoi, VNU and some other institutions. These are educational exhibitions in which many universities and colleges in the area participate in so as to provide information about the institutions as well as advertise themselves to students and parents who are potential "consumers" of their services. These institutional participants include not only domestic universities but also joint programs and foreign campuses based in Hanoi. These events show good signs of the Vietnam's higher educational system in the sense that competition has been raised among universities to recruit students, a situation which can hardly be imagined in Vietnam few years ago when there were no motivations for these tertiary institutions to strive for the better. However, on the other face of the coin, it is not guaranteed that educational and research quality is indeed upgraded in the process of competition, but only the surface image and recognition of one university are being strongly advertised by it administrators. Nevertheless, it is still more desired to raise competition among universities rather than creating no motivations for these institutions to be or to look better.

Participating in these two educational exhibitions, I not only had a good opportunity to collect a lot of information, but also to talk to and interview with a number of students, faculty members and administrators about their choices, their evaluations and expectations of VNU's educational programs, internationalization process and other related issues. Their opinions, comments and suggestions have given me a wider and deeper insight of the internationalization of VNU and Vietnam's higher educational system and have shed light on a number of issues which is of great significance for my research.

Confirmed by person in charge of project promotion

Academic Adviser: Kazuo KURODA
Sub Adviser: Takashi TERADA