August 19, 2023 | 15:30 GMT+7

US & Vietnam celebrate improvements to higher education in STEM fields

Giang Hoang -

Eight-year BUILD-IT Project from USAID proves successful in preparing students for the future.

Photo: USAID
Photo: USAID

The United States Mission to Vietnam, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), celebrated a successful eight-year partnership on August 18 with Vietnam and Arizona State University to enhance STEM education at Vietnamese universities. Over 200 industry leaders, educators, policymakers, and entrepreneurs attended the event, held during the 8th annual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Conference (STEMCON) in Hanoi.

“Through USAID’s BUILD-IT public-private alliance, the US Government is advancing a shared goal with Vietnam to improve higher education and prepare students to be successful in today’s global economy,” said USAID / Vietnam Mission Director Aler Grubbs. “Together, we harnessed common aspirations and commitment across industry, government, and universities to modernize STEM education, driving economic growth in Vietnam.”

Initiated in 2015, the $8.7 million BUILD-IT initiative harnessed government, private sector, and academic expertise to enhance strategic leadership, foster university autonomy, elevate program quality, and establish enduring private sector cooperation. Notable achievements include cooperation with eight Vietnamese universities and leveraging an extra $8.7 million in investment from 20 industry partners to enhance higher education in Vietnam.

These partnerships yielded significant results, with 121 programs accredited, including 12 by ABET, enhancing education quality. Over 2,000 courses were aligned with digital workforce needs. Some 4,000 staff improved leadership, strategy, and industry ties, while 4,600 students benefited from project-based learning. And three Maker Innovation Spaces spurred innovation, linking academia and industry.

Together with the Vietnamese Government and in partnership with US higher education institutions and the private sector, USAID is driving institutional and systemic higher education reforms that prepare graduates to succeed in a competitive global market.

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