Adapting international influences and retaining ‘vietnamese character’ in vet in Vietnam

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Technical and Vocational Education and Training, 2017, 25 pp. 135 - 147
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© 2017, Springer International Publishing AG. This chapter focuses on how international VET programmes have been adopted and adapted in Vietnam, an area of limited research in Vietnam. As an illustration of this complex process, the chapter draws on data from a study of VET pedagogical practices across three sites in Central Vietnam, including a Vietnamese VET college, a foreign-funded VET college and a family workshop. The Vietnamese government has embarked on modernisation and industrialisation reform programmes to enhance its standing in ASEAN and enhance Vietnam’s competitiveness in the process of international economic integration. These initiatives aim to develop a more qualified workforce by facilitating the expansion and diversification of educational training programmes suitable to local and regional human resource needs. A major contribution to this approach has not only been the international adoption but also the adaptation of international VET programmes and reforms. The chapter commences with an overview of government initiatives in VET as part of the current push for modernisation and the current provision of international VET programmes in Vietnam. It then explores a number of historical influences on VET in Vietnam (Confucian, French and Soviet), from feudal, colonial and post-colonial times, and how ‘Vietnamisation’ and adaptation to the ‘Vietnamese character’ has been preserved. An illustration is then provided of a foreign-funded college in order to highlight ongoing effects of foreign VET programmes on the Vietnamese national curriculum and the college pedagogical practices while maintaining ‘the Vietnamese character’. The chapter concludes by discussing the ways VET in Vietnam has ‘Vietnamised’ the foreign programmes and the implications for VET internationalisation.
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