MekongSkills2Network Expands at University of Danang



On February 15-16, 2017, the University of Danang trained 35 lecturerswho are doing IT teaching work at UD’s members (University of Science and Technology, University of Education, College of Technology, College of IT, VNUK institute for Research and Executive Education)in the MekongSkills2Work toolkit, a set of innovative teaching techniques that prepares graduates for the 21st century workplace. As Danang’s IT technology sector rapidly expands, employers seek highly qualified graduates to enter the competitive field.

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Doan Quang Vinh - Vice President of UD to make opening remarks on February 15, 2017

By participating in the two-day MekongSkills2Work Training of Trainers workshop, lecturers from across five different campuses at the University of Danang will help graduates to secure competitive jobs and to succeed in their chosen career paths.

Five key lecturers of the project including Assoc.Prof. Vo Trung Hung, Assoc.Prof. Huynh Cong Phap, Assoc.Prof. Nguyen Thanh Binh, Dr. Huynh Huu Hung and Dr. The Vu Tran who involved in the comprehensive training from USAID COMET project directly carry out the workshop. The University of Danang’s two day Training of Trainers event included over ten activities designed to train lecturers on innovative teaching techniques such as Project-Oriented Learning.  Additional participants included the USAID COMET Country Manager, Dorothy Lutz, and the USAID COMET Senior Institutionalization Specialist, Suparb Pasong.  The training brought together a diverse group from across the University of Danang, including participants from the University of Science and Technology, the University of Education, the College of Technology, the College of Information Technology, and the VN-UK Institute of Research and Executive Education.

By the method of team work, the workshop also helps the lecturers enhance leadership skills and teaching methods

The University of Danang is a Mekong Learning Center in the MekongSkills2Work network, a group of 12 leading higher education institutions across the ASEAN Economic Community committed to fostering preparing graduates for an increasingly dynamic and global workplace. The MekongSkills2Work network, sponsored by the USAID Connecting the Mekong Through Education and Training (USAID COMET) project, provides training resources for lecturers to incorporate soft skills, such as teamwork, diligence, and flexibility, into their courses. As a result, participation in the MekongSkills2Work network can help graduates prepare for job opportunities locally in Danang but also across all of ASEAN.

USAID COMET delegation evaluated a class taught by the method of the project by the end of October 2016

After the two day event, all 35 lecturers have been provided certificates to designate their status as MekongSkills2Work Network members. As part of their membership, the participants will be provided ongoing on-campus trainings as well as have access to an online database of teaching tools through the MekongSkills2Work network. Through this online database, the University of Danang team has the opportunity to connect with over one thousand lecturers across the Lower Mekong region, including lecturers from universities across Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos, to share resources and to spread innovative ideas regarding teaching in science, technology, engineering, math, accounting, and tourism fields.

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 developmentprogram 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 solutionsin universitiesand vocationaltechnical colleges though the use of innovativetrainingapproaches.

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 performtheirjobs. USAIDCOMETseeks to lessenthis burdenon 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.

Over the life of the project, the project will improve the skillsets of approximately20,000 current and upcoming workers in STEM+AT fields through leveraging information and communication technology (“ICT”) to strengthen the quality and reach of vocationaltrainingsand educationcourses while mitigatingthe currenthumanresource gaps in these fields.