In order to assess the progress and results of the project "Connecting Mekong through Education and Training of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID COMET)" in the period from May 2016 to the present, in August 25th, 2016, representing USAID COMET, Ms. Dorothy Lutz - Country Manager and Ms. Janice Kim - Project Expert met with representatives of the University of Danang (UD).
Overview of the meeting
The meeting attendees included Dr. Huynh Cong Phap – Vice Rector of the College of Information Technology, UD; MA. Ho Long Ngoc - Deputy Head of the International Cooperation, UD; Dr. Huynh Huu Hung - Vice Dean of Information Technology Faculty, Danang University of Science and Technology and Dr. Tran The Vu – Head of Academic Affair Office, VN-UK Institute for Research and Executive Education (VN-UK) .
Representatives of UD
Due to its position as a leading multi-level multidisciplinary, regional University, high-qualified human resources in information technology fields, and seasoned experience with international cooperation, UD has been selected as 1 of 5 universities in Vietnam to participate in the project "Connecting Mekong through Education and Training" in 2016.
At the meeting, UD's represntatives claimed that in the academic year 2016-2017, the IT Faculty – Danang University of Science and Technology will adapt curricula according to the project’s requirements, contributing to enhancing the necessary skills for faculty and students.
Recognizing the role of the project, representatives of UD agreed that the USAID COMET project createsopportunities to support teaching quality development, enhances the needed skills for students after graduation, and tightens the relationship between universities and businesses at UD. UD's Faculty of IT hopes to expand the new programs and learning methods introduced by the project to many industries, faculties and UD’s members, providing UD with a competitive advantage in its role as a multi-level, multidisciplinary regional university. At the session on August 25th 2016, USAID COMET team discussed the assessment of the progress and results and received feedback from UD's representatives.
Ms. Janice Kim – USAID COMET expert
USAID COMET representatives alsoexchanged ideas on innovative ways to apply IT learning and teaching and strengthening the connection between teachers and students through some tools such as Facebook, Google drive, Dropbox, etc.
The United States Agency for International Development Connecting the Mekong through Education and Training (USAID COMET) project was launched as part of President Obama’s Young Southeast Asia Leadership Initiative (YSEALI). The five‐year, $12.4 million workforce development program in the Lower Mekong countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam aims to: improve youth employment with market‐driven skills, promote gender‐balanced employment in key growth sectors, and increase technology‐based learning solutions in universities and vocational technical colleges though the use of innovative training approaches.
USAID COMET conducted a labor market assessment in each of the Lower Mekong countries, and found many of the companies surveyed stated that new employees were not “work ready” and required additional training in order to perform their jobs. USAID COMET seeks to lessen this burden on employers by introducing facilitation techniques that enable learners to be better prepared for expectations and tasks outside of the classroom. USAID COMET will also help educational institutions connect with industry leaders to introduce or expand work‐based learning and internship programs, promoting relevant, in‐demand skills training opportunities for job seekers. In doing so, the project will utilize dynamic online learning platforms to increase the number of skilled workers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, accounting, and tourism (“STEM+AT”) in the Lower Mekong sub‐region.