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Updated: 03/11/2014 11:15, Counter: 1019

Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program: A Total Overview on Development and Innovation

Foundation

 In 2010, Intel Products Vietnam conducted a survey on engineer outcomes at universities of engineering and technology in Vietnam. The survey showed that most of newly-graduated engineers were well-trained in theory but incompetent in skills which helped with survival and adaptation in working environment. These necessary skills include English, teamwork, presentation, critical thinking, problem solving and leadership skills.

With urgently growing demand for highly-qualified human resource supplying for Intel production site in the Hi-tech Park in District 9, Intel Products Vietnam decided to sponsor an educational project with its primary mission is to innovate the theory-based teaching method to the learner- centered method. In 2010, the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HCMUT) offically started with 5 members including top universities of engineering and technology in Vietnam.  Amongst all, HCMUT is one of the most pioneering and active members.

Vision

The project aims at accredition for all training programs at HCMUT. From 2012 to 2014, the Project has trained 38 HCMUT lecturers on the innovative teaching method and organized 3 In-country workshops in order to support preparation for ABET accreditation. With innovative teaching method currently popular at well-known universities, the project ambitiously desires to improve student outcomes, assuring that newly graduated students will meet with requirements set by the recruiters. The project also focuses on training leadership, which significantly helps with administrative effetiveness at HCMUT.    

Components

with its primary priority “Train the Trainers”, the HEEAP project have quickly grown and greatly spread its impact at member universities.

6 week training course at Arizona State University: The prioritized mission is to enlarge lecturer’s knowledge and enhance their teaching techniques of the innovative teaching method. The 6 week training course has strongly influenced HCMUT lecturers. After the course, lecturers are required to flexibly integrate innovative teaching method at home university. They are also responsible for sharing knowledge and experience with the innovative teaching method to their teaching peers at seminars or workshops. 

In – country workshop: With continous training on the innovative teaching method, the project annually conducts an In-country workshop for almost 100 selected lecturers. Carefully chosen topics will be presented in accordance with strategic needs identified by faculties. From 2012 to 2014, 230 HCMUT lecturers have attended the In-country workshop on innovative teaching techniques, ABET accreditation and course portfolio development.

Seminars on leadership skills (VULII): VULII seminars train senior and immediate leaders on leadership in order to help change their perspectives and enhance their knowledge on leadership and management. In 2014, 8 VULII seminars have been organized,  mainly focusing on administrative processes at member universities.

E-learning program: the HEEAP project and Pearson have sponsored the E-learning system for member universities. In 2015, an E-learning system and modern multimedia room will be implemented at HCMUT in order to prepare for ABET accreditation and improve training quality.

Accreditation and quality assurance: The project aims at supporting ABET accreditation for 3 first fields of computer science & engineering, electrical – electronic engineering and mechanical engineering at HCMUT. The project helps HCMUT rebuild course outlines and syllabus as well as assessment process. Trained lecturers at the 6 week training course at Arizona State University have become core force in revising shortened syllabus when HCMUT applies 140 credit training system.

Achievements

From 2010, the project has harvested remarkable outcomes. 38 lecturers have been sent to the 6 week training course on the innovative teaching method at Arizona State University. 3 In-country training workshops have been organized. Totally around 230 lecturers have attended these workshops. Particularly, 50 lecturers attended the 2012 In-country workshop while 78 for 2013 and 90 for 2014 workshop. In 2014, HCMUT in cooperation with HEEAP hosted the Vietnam Engineering Education Conference (VEEC 2014) attracting more than 300 participants from governmental offices and top universities in Vietnam. In addition to training human resources in mechanical and electrical – electronic engineering in order to supply Intel production site, the HEEAP project spreads its influence to all engineering fields at HCMUT.

Opportunities

The globalized economy influences eduational quality in Vietnam. Then, HEEAP project becomes an important element at HCMUT. In 2009, education law emphasizes accreditation and considers it urgent for prompt implementation. Therefore, HCMUT pioneered in preparing ABET accreditation for computer science & engineering. While the economy supports HEEAP successes and growth, demand for qualified human resources requires Vietnamese education to drastically change and become adaptive to economic scenario. Besides, the reform in administrative system of Vietnamese universities advantages HEEAP project, specifically in organizing VULII seminars on leadership.

Challenges

In contrast, HEEAP project faces a number of difficulties when it grows. Lecturer  abilities, lack of devotion and resistance to change have obstacled HEEAP development. Due to theory-based educational training, Vietnamese students are passive and remain uncritical, which hinders the implementation of innovative teaching method. Another issue is educational policies are slowly adaptive to changes, preventing the project from greater growth.

Since 2010, HEEAP project has played an important role in HCMUT development. The project shortens the difference in training quality between HCMUT and universities in the Region as well as the world. 

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