The policy and guideline of the communist party of vietnam on education and training cooperation with asean countries from 1995 to 2010

Therefore, to maintain close and realistic guidance, the party bases on the achieved outcomes to determine the objectives, constituents and requirements for each group of countries during the policy-making process and the implementation of educational cooperation with ASEAN nations. With Laos and Cambodia, the Party and State require our partners to improve entrance qualifications and a certain proficiency of Vietnamese. When Vietnam receives scholarships and sends students, it is important to clarify the professions most needed in the country . Therefore, there are a few issues that must be considered in the cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and ASEAN countries: Continue to promote and exploit comparative advantages; develop consistent training structure, training programs and training quality; promote experience sharing in teaching, learning, and academic exchanges among ASEAN countries; encourage regional universities to use English in teaching and learning; develop a consensus and mutual recognition of degrees and diplomas to facilitate the free flow of skilled labor within ASEAN. The actual policymaking and implementation process of education and training cooperation with ASEAN countries has generated a lot of valuable experiences. Such are not only applicable to the field of education and training but also to other field, given enough flexibility. Therefore, they must be inherited and promoted. The development future of Vietnam is always inextricably bound to ASEAN and the neighboring countries in ASEAN. Education cooperation with ASEAN countries is a potential market and with promising prospects that Vietnam should give priority in conjunction with other fields. With the rapid and sustainable socio-economic development of Vietnam, education and training will have more opportunities to make positive, proactive, responsible, and organized participation in ASEAN cooperation activities.

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rectly related to the following topics:  Scientific study of the cooperation between Vietnam and ASEAN: The book on The integration process of Vietnam – ASEAN, by Dinh Xuan Ly, published by the National University Publishing House in 2000; Ministerial research project of the Department of ASEAN in 2001 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs); 5 years of Vienam’s accession to ASEAN: achievements, challenges and prospects; key scientific study on Vietnam – ASEAN Integration: the process, current status and related problems by the Hanoi National University, checked in 2002; The book Vietnam - ASEAN multilateral and bilateral relations by Vu Duong Ninh, published by National Political Publishing House; The article The development of ASEAN: 10 years looking back by Nguyen Thu My on the Communist Review issue no.14/ July 2005; The article Vietnam - ASEAN after 10 years by Le Cong Phung published on External Affairs Magazine, issue no.8/2005; The doctoral dissertation in history Thailand - Vietnam Relations (1976-2004) by Thananan Boonwanna, completed in 2008; The book Connecting ASEAN in the first decade of the twenty-first century by Prof. Pham Duc Thanh (Editor), published by the Social Sciences Publishing House in 2006; The book The role of Vietnam in ASEAN by the Database and Document Centre under Vietnam News Agency, published by Vietnam News Agency in 2007; The book Current ASEAN cooperation and connectivity and the participation of Vietnam by Nguyen Hoang Giap, Nguyen Huu Cat and Nguyen Thi Que, published by the Political Theory Publishing House in 2008; The book on the History of Vietnam - Singapore relations (1965-2005) by Pham Thi Ngoc Thu, published by Ho Chi Minh City Publishing House in 2009; Master thesis in international relations of Chhouet Sopheak (Cambodia) themed Cambodia – Vietnam cooperation since 1993, completed in July 2009; The 2010 Ministerial study Vietnam’s accession to ASEAN from 1995 until present: Achievements, related issues and prospects by the Institute 7 of International Relations (Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration); The book on Vietnam in the process of integrating into ASEAN by Nguyen Van Thien and Nguyen Cong Hai published by the People’s Army Publishing House in 2011; The book on the history of the special Vietnam-Laos, Laos-Vietnam relationships (1930 -2007) by the Hanoi National Political Publishing House, published in 2011.  Study of cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and ASEAN: + Reference: Guideline on international relations in education and training of the Department of International Relations (Ministry of Education and Training) published by the Education Publishing House in 1996; This book was edited and amended in 2002 by the Department of International Relations - Ministry of Education and Training; + Conference keynotes: The study on Educational Cooperation between Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries in the current period by Dr. Nghiem Dinh Vy and Dr. Tung Cheng in the Today - Tomorrow ASEAN conference yearbook (September 1997); The Workshop on Developing ASEAN towards a sustainable, equitable and cooperative community of developing countries included the following article: Strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation in human resources training for ASEAN by Dr. Nguyen Tho Vuong, Current status and prospects of human resource development in ASEAN countries by Dr. Truong Thi Thuy Hang; Speeches written about cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and ASEAN within the scope of the seminar on Vietnam - ASEAN Integration prior to the beginning of XXI century, including: "5 years backward looking on Vietnam – ASEAN educational cooperation"by Tran Van Nhung and Nguyen Van Khoi, the presentation on The cooperation on education and training within ASEAN (mainly higher education and training) by Dr. Mai Ngoc Chu; 2nd workshop on Connecting ASEAN by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies includes a presentation on Typical policies of ASEAN countries on the development of education and human resources in the first decade of the twenty-first century by a group of authors: Dr. Phan Van Kha, Vuong Thanh Huong and Le Hong Quang; the 8 Scientific Conference on Looking backwards and forwards the role of Vietnam in ASEAN had a presentation on Some thoughts about Vietnamese education and regional integration strategy in the twenty-first century from the experience of some countries in Southeast Asia by Phan Thi Hong Xuan. The Vietnam - ASEAN: 10 years of integration and development Seminar posted a speech on the topic ASEAN Educational Cooperation – a potential and prosperous area by Le Thi Ngoc Dung. + Master in Science and History thesis of Nguyen Thi Huyen Nga, completed in 2008 at the University of Vinh on The educational status in the Democratic Republic of Laos (1986-2007) and the role of Vietnam; Doctoral dissertation on The cooperation between the Communist Party of Vietnam and the Lao people's Revolutionary Party on staff training in the political system from 1986 to 2006 by Duong Thi Hue for her PhD.in History, completed in 2011; Master in International Relations thesis on The Laos - Vietnam cooperation on culture - education from 1975 to 2010 by Xayasane Bounsavang (PDR), completed in 2011.  The scientific research projects that mention policy on education and training by the Party and the State: Education and training in the reform period: policy, implementation and evaluation by the Central Commission on Science and Education published by the National Political Publishing House in 2002; Vietnam Education on the threshold of the XXI century by Pham Minh Hac, published by the National Political Publishing House in 2002; The article Education and training development or industrialization and modernization of the country written by the Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Minh Hien posted on the Communist Review issue no.22 (November - 2005); The 2009 ministerial project on Neighbouring policy of Vietnam from 1991 to present by the Institute of International Relations (HCM National Academy of Politics and Public Administration); doctoral dissertation on the Foreign Policy of the Communist Party of Vietnam for Southeast Asia from 1995 to 2006 by Nguyen Thi Hoan, completed in February 2011; doctoral dissertation on The cooperation between the Vietnamese Communist Party and the Lao people's Revolutionary Party on staff 9 training in the political system from 1986 to 2006 by Duong Thi Hue, completed in 2011.  Although there have been many scientific research works on the general cooperation between Vietnam and other ASEAN countries and on some specific areas of cooperation, there has not been any in-depth, systematic project on the Party’s policy and guidance on education and training cooperation between Vietnam and ASEAN from 1995 to 2010. 10 CHAPTER 1 PARTY’S VIEWPOINTS AND GUIDANCE ON COOPERATION ON EDUCATION AND TRAINING WITH ASEAN COUNTRIES (1995 - 2001) 1.1. OBJECTIVE REQUIREMENTS OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING COOPERATION BETWEEN VIETNAM AND ASEAN COUNTRIES 1.1.1. Regional and world factors The end of 20th century saw the development of science and technology as the main productive force. National priority is placed on educational development, thus enhancing regional and international cooperation is an important measure against the risk of significant lag in culture and science. For developing countries like Vietnam, this is of significant importance, playing a key role in the social progress and development. Globalization is an inevitable trend that promotes peace and cooperation for development. The financial crisis left some ASEAN countries with serious consequences, affecting the process of cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and other ASEAN countries. The realization of ASEAN 10 initiatives, which are striving for regional peace and stability, maintaining national identity and unity, and upholding regional self- improvement spirit, has opened up a new era of cooperation between countries in the Association. 1.1.2. ASEAN in promoting educational cooperation In Southeast Asia, there are two educational institutions simultaneously operating in cooperation activities, which are: the South East Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Education (ASCOE). 11 SEAMEO is operated by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Council (SEAMEC). SEAMEO has one Secretariat abbreviated as SEAMES who assists the Council headquartered in Bangkok (Thailand). SEAMES Director is an official selected by the Board who is the citizen of a member country. He shall be in office for a 3 year term. In addition, the ASEAN University Network (AUN) under the supervision of ASEAN comprises of leading universities in ASEAN member countries. AUN is responsible for promoting cooperation through the exchange of students, scientific leaders and human resources between the participating countries. In ASEAN, the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Education (ASCOE) is structured within the Commission on Social Development of ASEAN (COSD). ASCOE is in charge of cooperation activitites on education and training, below ASCOE are various groups of educational experts in ASEAN. A number of ASEAN declarations and documents have mentioned in detail the educational cooperation in ASEAN, especially cooperation to improve human resources such as the Hanoi Declaration (1998), or the Hanoi Action Plan (1998). 1.1.3. The national requirement of human resources development The process of reform within the country has obtained many great achievements. Besides such advantages, the current challenges faced by Vietnam make task of promoting regional and world cooperation on education and training ever more important. After the collapse of socialist regime in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and these countries fell sharply. The learning and exchange sharing on education between regional and global countries is the general trend of the process of globalization in education development. Therefore, expanding and strengthening cooperation with regional countries is an objective requirement for Vietnam. 12 1.2. PARTY'S POLICIES ON EDUCATION AND TRAINING COOPERATION WITH ASEAN COUNTRIES DURING 1995 – 2001 1.2.1. Party’s policy for the accession to ASEAN (1986 – 1995) In the late 1980s, there were rapid and complex developments in the world situation that changed the basis of global context. Since the 1970s to the mid 1980s, Vietnam faced severe socio-economic crisis within the country. Given major difficulties and challenges resulted from the world and domestic situation, the Party proposed policy to expand external relations with ASEAN countries, thus accelerating the accession of Vietnam to ASEAN. This is expressed through various documents of the Party: Resolution on the 6th National Party Congress (December 1986), Resolution 13 by the Politburo (May 1988), Resolutions on the 6th and 8th Plenums (Term 6), Resolution on the 7th Party Congress, and the 3rd Plenum congress term 7 in June 1992. Following the Party’s policy, in September 1994, Prime Minister Vo Van Kiet announced the formation of ASEAN Department (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to coordinate activities between Vietnam and ASEAN. The accession ceremony of Vietnam to ASEAN was held on 28 July1995 it Brunei. 1.2.2. Party’s Policy and Guidance on education and training cooperation with ASEAN countries (1996-2001) The 8th National Party Congress (1996) set out specific orientations in the foreign relations with ASEAN as well as identifying education and training as the top national priority along with science and technology. To further specify the Resolution of the 8th Party Coongress, the Central Committee term 8 in the 2nd Plenum issued the Resolution no.2 on “strategic orientation for education and training development in the period of industrialization and modernization and mission until 2020” in December 1996. In June 1999, the Ministry of Education and Training developed and submitted the Project to expand and improve the effectiveness of international relations on 13 education and training until 2010 to the Prime Minister for consideration. This project specified the key measures to enhance cooperation on education and training with other regional and international countries. 1.3. THE PROCESS OF COOPERATION ON EDUCATION AND TRAINING WITH ASEAN COUNTRIES 1.3.1. Vietnam – ASEAN Multilateral Cooperation Given changes in the world situation and the need for education cooperation with ASEAN countries, the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam attaches great importance to expanding partnerships with countries in Southeast Asia. It officially joined the South East Asian Minister of Education Organization (SEAMEO) in February 1992. On 28 March 1992, the Ministry announced its decision regarding the establishment of the Executive Board overseeing cooperation activities with SEAMEO. After Vietnam became the official member of ASEAN (July 1995), the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training also joined the ASEAN Sub- Committee on Education. Vietnam fulfilled all of its obligations, commitments and responsibilities as a member country, thus positively and proactively proposing initiatives to promote regional cooperation on the basis of consensus, and non- interference in the internal affairs of each other. 1.3.2. Bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and ASEAN countries on education and training 1.3.2.1. Education cooperation between Vietnam and other CLM countries  Cooperation with Cambodia Cambodian government considered Vietnam as a reliable training center for Cambodian students. As requested by Cambodia, the number of students attending Vietnamese school tends to increase every year. In 1994, Vietnam and Cambodia signed the Agreement on training Cambodian officials in Vietnam. The two governments also agreed that this Agreement would be 14 amended annually to account for the changes in each country’s situation. Another Agreement on Cambodian personnel training in Vietnam was signed on 15 June 1999, setting an important standard for training criteria used in full time training course for Cambodian students in Vietnam. Following the Agreement, Vietnam receives approximately 100 Cambodian students on average annually. The accomodation conditions for Cambodian students also improve every year.  Cooperation with Laos Education and training is identified as a strategic area for cooperation, a symbol of the special friendship by the two Parties, two States and thus it is given priority. It is also one of the most successful areas for cooperation. To further develop and improve the quality of human resources, since 1992, the Ministry of Education and Training of the two countries have agreed to only focus on training Laos’s students in undergraduate and postgraduate education, especially in the key areas on economics and science – technology, while excluding applications from Laos’s students for secondary and tertiary education. With this policy, Vietnam has given Laos a significant source of funding and comprehensive support in the area of education and training. Since 1997, due to the difficult socio-economic situation in both countries, along with the accession of Laos into ASEAN as the 8th member, there was a significant increase in the number of students studying in other countries such as Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines etc. Consequently, the number of Lao students attending Vietnam schools has declined. However, on the basis of the achievements obtained from comprehensive cooperation between the two countries and our special friendship, Vietnam is still considered by the Laos government as the most reliable training centre and Lao government hopes to receive continuous assistance from Vietnam. Nevertheless, the number of Lao students applying for Vietnamese schools and wishing to study continues to rise and there is also a rapid increase in the number of Laos’s students studying in Vietnam. 15  Cooperation with Myanmar Vietnam - Myanmar relations are always stable on all aspects. In the difficult circumstances, Myanmar considers Vietnam as a trusted friend. In May 1995, the Delegation of the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training visited Myanmar for the first time and signed the "Memorandum of Understanding" with the Myanmar Ministry of Education, creating a legal basis for the development of cooperation on education between the two countries. However, cooperation between Vietnam and Myanmar on education is limited due to economic difficulties faced by both countries. 1.3.2.2. Education cooperation between Vietnam and other ASEAN countries  Cooperation with Singapore Singapore is a developed country in the region. That’s why Vietnam advocates promoting comprehensive cooperation with Singapore, including cooperation on education and training. Education cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore was initiated from the 1990s, but only was formalized when Vietnam joined ASEAN (1995). Both countries have cooperated in there main channels: 1. Full fee paying student; 2. Bilateral cooperation between educational institutions; 3. Government Scholarships resulting from education and training cooperation. In addition, many Vietnamese teachers and research officials are invited to attend training courses and seminars in Singapore. Many Singaporean teachers also volunteer to teach English in Vietnam. Some Vietnamese lecturers also currently teach Vietnamese at the National University of Singapore.  Cooperation with Thailand Cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and Thailand are accelerated since 1990. Thailand supports Vietnam mostly in the area of rural and agriculture. Although modestly in amount, Thailand is still one of the countries who provide development assistance to Vietnam. 16  Cooperation with Malaysia With the growing trust and mutual understanding, the relations between two countries is increasingly consolidated and comprehensively developed in all aspects.  Cooperation with Indonesia Having a traditional friendship, Vietnam and Indonesia cooperate in the field of education and training since 1987. Until 1995, the bilateral relations had reached a comprehensive level. Indonesia regularly provides scholarships for Vietnamese students and officials studying Melayu language, or doing thesis in business management, medicine and pharmacy, and agriculture. In addition, the Indonesian government also provides short term training courses (4 to 6 weeks) on tourism and family planning.  Cooperation with the Philippines The bilateral relations developed significantly after Vietnam became a member of ASEAN. In the area of education and training, the Philippines provides Vietnam with generous assistance on agricultural training. * * * Shortly after becoming a full member of ASEAN (1995), our Party decided to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN countries. Vietnam quickly integrated into the region and promoted cooperation in all areas, including education and training. Bilateral cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and ASEAN countries starts to see some positive results. Despite many difficulties, with the goal of continuously consolidating and developing the traditional friendship and neighbourhood, Vietnam has maintained and increased our supports for Laos and Cambodia in education and training. With the rest of the ASEAN countries, after our accession to ASEAN, Vietnam advocates to enlist in the ASEAN scholarships. We have begun to receive scholarships on human resource training. 17 However, the Party’s policies and guidelines on cooperation on education and training with the ASEAN countries during this period are still limited and lagged behind the evolvement of reality. Cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and ASEAN countries is not commensurate with the potential of each country. Nevertheless, the initial results of the cooperation between Vietnam and ASEAN countries is the foundation, the premise for Vietnam and other ASEAN countries to further promote cooperation on education and training. 18 CHAPTER 2 IMPROVEMENT OF THE QUALITY AND EFFICIENCY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING COOPERATION WITH ASEAN COUNTRIES FOLLOWING THE PARTY'S GUIDELINES (2001-2010) 2.1. THE FACTORS AFFECTING EDUCATION AND TRAINING COOPERATION BETWEEN VIETNAM AND ASEAN COUNTRIES IN THE 2001-2010 PERIOD 2.1.1. The overall regional and international trend The scientific and technological revolution will continue to experience great breakthroughs in the 21st century, leading the world from the industrial age to the information and intellectual economic development age while affecting all sectors, thus making swift and profound changes in society's material and mental life. After the financial crisis, many ASEAN and East Asian economies have been able to recover with new competitive abilities. This creates a favorable condition for Vietnam to promote cooperation with regional partners in all areas. Yet since 2007, the world has fallen into the financial crisis. Besides, many Southeast Asian countries also greatly suffered from natural disasters. The economic recession has significantly affected cross-border cooperation in many areas, including education and training. Nonetheless, educational reforms continue on a global scale. Investment on education, once considered social welfare, is now considered investment on development. 2.1.2. ASEAN policy on education and training cooperation In the 9th ASEAN Summit (Oct 2003), ASEAN leaders signed the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (the Bali Concord II), stating the major strategic guidelines of ASEAN with the goal of building a closely integrated and self-reliant ASEAN community by 2020 through 3 pillars including: the political-security community, the economic community, and the socio-cultural community. Education is the cornerstone in the building of the ASEAN community. The ASEAN Charter, signed by ASEAN heads of states during the 13th ASEAN summit (Nov 2007) in Singapore and effective as of December 15 2008, created favorable circumstances and promoted regional cooperation. With respect to educational cooperation, point 10, article 1 of the ASEAN Charter holds that the goal of education is: to develop human resources through closer cooperation in education 19 and life-long learning, and in science and technology, for the empowerment of the peoples of ASEAN and for the strengthening of the ASEAN Community. During the 14th ASEAN Summit, held on Mar 1, 2009 in Thailand, ASEAN leader adopted the ASEAN Socio-cultural Community Blueprint as a part of the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community 2009-2015, focusing on the promotion and prioritization of educational cooperation. During the 15th ASEAN Summit, held on Oct 24, 2009, ASEAN leaders adopted the Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on Strengthening Cooperation on Education to Achieve an ASEAN Sharing and Caring community. This declaration laid out the specific actions to strengthen the role of education in achieving an ASEAN Community by 2015. In the 16th ASEAN Summit, held in April 2010, ASEAN leaders also adopted the Declaration of ASEAN Leaders on Sustainable Economic Recovery, which includes a section on promoting collaboration in education. 2.1.3. The national demand for expanding cooperation on education and training The accomplishments of the Doi Moi – reform process have been creating favorable conditions for education and training. Nonetheless, Vietnamese education system still has some limitations. These thus require cooperation and experience- sharing with regional countries on education and training. Along with the international economic integration process and the accession to the AFTA and the WTO, regional and international cooperation on education and training is both an objective demand and an evident trend of the development of the Vietnamese education system. 2.2. THE PARTY'S POLICY ON PROMOTING COOPERATION ON EDUCATION AND TRAINING WITH ASEAN COUNTRIES DURING THE 2001-2010 PERIOD 2.2.1. Promote comprehensive cooperation with ASEAN countries The 9th National Party Congress in 2001 aimed to increase cooperation efficiency and quality with ASEAN countries, collectively building Southeast Asia into a peaceful, nuclear-free zone for stability and cooperation for mutual development. 20 years of implementation of the Doi Moi – reform process, Vietnam has made great accomplishments in all areas. Such outcomes form the basis for the 10th 20 National Party Congress to determine the foreign policy of promoting comprehensive and effective cooperation with ASEAN and Asia-Pacific countries. The 9th plenum of the 10th Central Committee of the Communist Party in Jan 2009 identified the goals, tasks and solutions to implement the Resolution of the 10th National Party Congress for the second half of the term. 2.2.2. General policy of the Party on international cooperation on education and training The 9th National Party Congress identified the overall goal of the Socio- economic development strategy for the 2001-2010 period. The Congress also determined the role of education as well as the direction for its development. The 6th plenum of the 9th Central Committee term pointed out the course of educational development from 2002 to 2005 and further onto 2010. The Central Committee agreed to continue the implementation of the Second resolution of the 8th Central Committee term, the direction for educational and training, and scientific and technological development from now to 2005 and onto 2010. The Politburo's instruction on continuing the implementation of the 2nd resolution of the 8th central committee term, the direction for educational and training development until 2020 highlighted the solution for promoting international cooperation on education and training. 2.3. THE PARTY'S GUIDANCE ON BILATERAL AND MULTILATERAL COOPERATION WITH ASEAN COUNTRIES ON EDUCATION AND TRAINING 2.3.1. Party's guidance on cooperation with ASEAN countries on education and training Following the resolution of the 9th National Party Congress, the Prime Minister issued on Dec 28th, 2001 the order on approving "the Strategy for educational development for the 2001-2010 period". While measuring the efficiency of international cooperation after 15 years implementing the Doi Moi – reform process, the Ministry of Education and Training identified the means to increase the scale and the efficiency of international integration of the 2000-2005 period. Implementing the mandate of the 6th plenum of the 9th Central Committee and the Strategy for educational development for the 2001-2010 period, the Minister of Education and Training issued the 3978/QĐ-BGD&ĐT-VP order on Aug 8th, 2002 on the promulgation of the action plan of the educational field regarding the mandate of the 6th plenum of the 9th Central Committee term and the educational strategy for the 21 2001-2010 period. The action plan pointed out specific measures to implement the tasks set in the 2001-2010 Strategy for educational development, including the promotion of international cooperation on education and training. In the continued implementation of the 1998 Law on Education and the improvement of the quality and efficiency of international cooperation on education and training, the government issued on Sep 16th, 2004 the 165/2004/NĐ-CP decree, specifying the implementation of some educational law regarding international cooperation on education. 2.3.2. The outcomes of bilateral and multilateral cooperation with ASEAN countries on education and training 2.3.2.1. Multilateral cooperation During the early years of the 21st century, Vietnam has enhanced relations and active cooperation with ASEAN. Vietnam actively participated in projects led by the SEAMEO Secretariat. Besides, academic cooperation and exchanges of instructors and students as well as scholarship programs in ASEAN was increased. Cooperation in the post-secondary education quality control process was also promoted. 2.3.2.2. Bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and individual ASEAN countries on education and training * Cooperation between Vietnam and CLM countries - Cooperation with Cambodia Along with the development of neighboring relations, the traditional Vietnam- Cambodian friendship, the two countries cooperative relations in education and training is increasingly enhanced and extended towards improving quality and efficiency with diverse methods and types of training to meet the requirements of the State of Cambodia. - Cooperation with Laos In the early 21st centuries, the two Parties and governments continue to consider education and training cooperation a priority, a strategic cooperation area, and a special symbol of their bilateral relation. The Ministry of education and training carries out cooperation in education and training between Vietnam and Laos following the mandate of: to promote traditional solidarity and friendship, constantly consolidate and develop special relations and comprehensive cooperation, long-term strategic between the two Parties, States and peoples. Maintain respect and favorable treatments for each other while uphold the spirit of independence and sovereignty to maximize each country's inner-strength. Harmonize this special relationship with 22 international practices to facilitate both countries' reform process and their gradual integration into the region and the world at large. The scale and amount of Vietnamese educational investment in Laos continue to increase. The range of investments also consolidates in large, high value projects instead of dispersed investments. - Cooperation with Myanmar Despite the Vietnamese efforts, until 2010, the exchange of students and research groups as well as other bilateral cooperation programs has yet to begin. * Cooperation between Vietnam and other ASEAN countries - Cooperation with Singapore Cooperation between Vietnam and Singapore is increasingly strengthened and expanded. Leaders of the two ministries of education aim to expand and promote collaborative programs via the exchange of teaching and research documents among universities, institutions, and training centers. Cooperation programs focus on such activities as training and human resources development, scientific research cooperation, exchange of research groups, and experience sharing with respect to regional and international development. Following the initiative started by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Vietnam and Singapore have been developing the Plan to Connect the Vietnamese and Singaporean economies. The Vietnam-Singapore Connectivity Framework Agreement was signed in Dec 2005, with 6 main priorities: investment, trade and services, transportation, information and communication technology, finance, and education and training. To specify educational cooperation activities between the two countries, Minister of education and training Nguyen Thien Nhan and Singaporean Minister of education signed on Apr 25th 2007 the memorandum of understanding between the Vietnamese and Singaporean ministries of education. - Cooperation with Thailand Educational cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of education and training and the Thai Ministry of education is very limited. There are currently no bilateral cooperation programs or projects at the ministerial levels. Until 2010, the two ministries have yet to sign a cooperation agreement. All educational cooperations between Vietnam and Thailand are carried out through the Thai Department of technical and economic cooperation and the Vietnamese Ministry of Investment and Planning. To promote education and training cooperation between Vietnam and Thailand, the memorandum of understanding on educational cooperation between 23 Vietnam and Thailand was signed on Feb 20th, 2004. Though educational cooperation with Vietnam and Thailand is still limited, the achieved outcomes have helped strengthen their bilateral relations. - Cooperation with Malaysia The education and training cooperation programs between Vietnam and Malaysia are carried out under the framework of regional organizations such as ASEAN and SEAMEO, of which both countries are members. During the official visit to Malaysia of Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, the Vietnamese Ministry of education and training and the Malyasian Ministry of education signed a memorandum of understanding on educational cooperation with the term of 5 years. This document forms the basis for promoting and improving the quality of bilateral cooperation. - Cooperation with Indonesia From 2001 to 2010, the cooperation between Vietnam and Indonesia on education and training continues to be maintained and improved. To promote their comprehensive cooperation, Vietnam and Indonesia signed the Declaration on the framework of friendly and comprehensive cooperation on Mar 26th 2003. Both parties agreed to further cooperation on education and training and expand cooperation programs on human resources development through the support for bilateral cooperation between training institutions and the exchange of students among universities. - Cooperation with the Phillipines Cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and the Phillipines is rather limited to multilateral cooperation activities or projects involving a third-party. During the official visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to the Phillipines in August 2007, two countries signed the Action Plan for the 2007-2010 period to implement the Joint Declaration on the Framework for Comprehensive Cooperation in the early 21st century. This action plan addresses many key cooperation areas such as politics, security and defense, economic and trade, forestry and aquaculture, tourism, healthcare, culture and education, science and technology, etc. * * * Adhering to its policy of multilateralization and diversification of foreign relations, the Party gives priority to comprehensive cooperation with ASEAN 24 countries. Vietnam continues to receive aids from ASEAN, which help improve the financial position and language ability of Vietnamese administrators, instructors, and students. Education and training cooperation with Laos and Cambodia continues to be expanded. The scholarships Vietnam provided to Laos and Cambodia helped them develop a significant labor force, contributing to their socio-economic development. In turn, Vietnam took advantage of scholarships funded by Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Phillipines to improve the education and quality of its human resources. Due to limited resources, Vietnam always seeks to take advantage of scholarships funded by ASEAN developed countries. Therefore, educational cooperation with Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia only includes Vietnam's reception of scholarships while the exchange of scholarships is very successful with Laos and Cambodia. This is a limitation to education and training cooperation with ASEAN countries. Thus, compared with period before 2001, the Party not only sets out general guidelines but also specifies policies, directs policy practices, and provides high efficiency. 25 CHAPTER 3 RESULTS AND EXPERIENCE 3.1. ACHIEVEMENTS AND LIMITATIONS 3.1.1. Achievements The process of implementing the policy of the Communist Party of Vietnam on cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries from 1995 to 2010 have gained some achievements as followed: Firstly, the planning and implementation of the guidelines for cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries contribute to strengthening the Party's comprehensive cooperaion, implementing its foreign policy, creating a solid foundation for cooperative relations with ASEAN countries, and actively promoting the formation of the ASEAN Community. Secondly, the policy and direction of the Party on cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries contribute to human resource training and form the premise for the implementation of the country's socio-economic development strategy. Thirdly, the policy to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam's traditional neighboring countries in the field of education and training helps improve the quality of cooperation with Laos and Cambodia. 3.1.2. Limitations The Party's policies on cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries from 1995 to 2010 have brought many benefits to Vietnam. But in reality, the policy and direction of the party on this issue still have some limitations: First, fail to specify the subject matter and the goal of cooperation with ASEAN countries on education and training. Second, the institutionalization and implementation of the policies of the Party and State regarding cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries still lack proactiveness and agressiveness; a synchronized solution and an effective monitoring and checking mechanism are still missing. Third, the leadership over the implementation of education and training cooperation with ASEAN countries is still confused and unresponsive. 26 3.2. Some experience Cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and ASEAN countries has attained many achievements, further confirming the correctness of the Party's policy on the comprehensive integration of Vietnam into the region. The Party's policy and the actual cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and ASEAN have provided some valuable experiences: Firstly, appropriately recognize the role of education and training cooperation in every country's regional and international integration process. The development of friendly relations and cooperation with other countries in the region holds an important position in the foreign policy of every nation. True and fair dealing with countries in the region will be an important guarantee for national security. On that basis, the Party and State aim to promote comprehensive cooperation with ASEAN countries, including education and training with a view to exploiting external resources, further promoting the internal resources for the national industrialization and modernization. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the international situation experienced rapid and complex changes, especially the crisis and the collapse of the socialist regime in the Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist states. Hence, international relations moved to a new phase with unbendable challenges, requiring Vietnam to promptly find new policies to cope with the changing context. In this situation, the Party decided to join ASEAN - a well respected regional organization with a broad international network. In Vietnam's accession to ASEAN, the Party chooses the field of education and training to be a priority area in Vietnam's gradual regional integration. Second, the active implemention of the guidelines, policies and programs for bilateral and multilateral cooperation with ASEAN countries on education and training is the motivation to make the most of every resource to develop comprehensive education. Practical cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries has shown that the more diverse, rich and multilateral the form of cooperation, the greater the efficiency. On that basis, during the policy-making and the implementation process of education and training cooperation with ASEAN countries, the Party and State always seek to promote multilateral cooperation in conjunction with bilateral cooperation to utilize and actively implement the cooperation programs on education and training with ASEAN countries. In the field of education and training, Vietnam, as a member of ASEAN, has actively participate in the initiatives launched by the ASEAN Education 27 Ministers Meeting (ASED) and the SEAMEO Secretariat, drawing on the common resources of the region and the international cooperation relations of ASEAN in education. Third, the Party and the State focus on gradually improving the quality of education and training, particularly building high quality universities to attract resources. To ensure the training of high quality human resources to meet the requirements of the accelerated national industrialization and modernization process and to fulfill the practical needs of a growing number of people yearning for a modern and high quality education, the Party and the State aim to gradually improve the quality of education and training, particularly building high quality universities and centers of higher education. This not only limits the drain of brain and foreign currency from Vietnam but also serves as a first step in attracting foreign students. High quality higher education plays a particularly important role in the socio- economic development of a country, especially in the context of economic competition and globalization. Therefore, to improve the quality and effectiveness of educational cooperation with ASEAN countries, the government issued the 14/2005/NQ-CP resolution on basic and comprehensive reform of Vietnamese higher education in the 2006-2020 period. Fourth, master the Party's policy and guidance of: positively and proactively diversify cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries. In their policy on cooperation with ASEAN countries, the Party and State always see Vietnam as an active, dynamic and responsible member of the organization. With this spirit, Vietnam has demonstrated active, dynamic and responsible image in the process of cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries to build a strong ASEAN Community. Hence, the development gap is gradually narrowing, an important contribution to strengthen peace, stability and cooperation in the region. Vietnam has been joining other member countries of the Association in building a strong, dynamic, and closely integrated ASEAN Community by 2015. After Vietnam's official accession to ASEAN, the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training, thus a member of the Education Committee of ASEAN, has actively collaborated with other countries in the region through many practical and effective activities. 28 In directing the implementation process, the Party attaches great importance to the diversification of forms of cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries including student exchanges, practical visits, and scholarship exchanges, making an important contribution to training high-quality human resources for the country. Fifth, cooperation must rely on the spirit of equality and mutual benefit, with a focus on the quality of cooperation and of human resource training as well as the management of foreign students in Vietnam. Cooperation in general as well as educational cooperation in particular is based on voluntary, equality, respect for independence and sovereignty of each country, and mutual benefit. However, actual cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries is experiencing a hurdle that limits cooperation. That is Vietnam only receives scholarships from the ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Malaysia whereas the signed educational cooperation agreements all refer to the exchange of scholarship. In this respect, Vietnam stops at the documentation level. Meanwhile, Vietnam is providing hundreds of scholarships each year for Laos and Cambodia. Therefore, the lesson learned from practical experience is to enhance cooperation in education and training, it must be founded on the spirit of equality, mutual benefit. In the cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries, Vietnam pays special attention to collaboration in undergraduate and postgraduate training to develop high-quality human resources at prominent universities in the region with reasonable cost. On the other hand, Vietnam, through cooperation at this level, was able to acquire management experience and teaching curricula, contributing to the basic and comprehensive reform of its higher level education system. The management of foreign exchange scholarship students is very well done. However, management of self-funded international students is still limited. Therefore, it is necessary to manage and obtain information on the number, field of study, level of education, and training institutions on both scholarship-funded and self-funded foreign students to forecast the supply and demand of education. That will assist policymakers in forming accurate strategies in accordance with the national socio-economic development strategy. Therefore, the Ministry of education and training is strengthening cooperation with Ministries of Education of ASEAN countries, especially those of Singapore and Malaysia, to find appropriate 29 management measures. It also leads and coordinates with other ministries and sectors to amend and improve legislations regarding the management of international students and study abroad services. 30 CONCLUSION Amid the changes of the global context during the late 80s and early 90s of the last century, the Communist Party of Vietnam was fully aware of the need to expand and further develop the friendly neighboring relationships with ASEAN countries. ASEAN is a revered regional organization, with broad connections and a dynamic developing economy to ensure regional peace and stability. The membership to ASEAN will bring Vietnam many important benefits. Party leaders thus lead the country's accession to ASEAN, using cooperation on education and training sector spearhead of Vietnam's regional integration. Since 1995, Vietnam's ASEAN policy has always been an inseparable and crucial part of the overall foreign policy of Vietnam for the growth of ASEAN. Vietnam proactively participates all of ASEAN cooperation areas, including cooperation on education and training. Loyal to Marxism-Leninism and imbued philosophy of President Ho Chi Minh, the Party always upholds the banner of peace, national independence and socialism, strengthening regional and international cooperation on all areas. The extended and profound development of the comprehensive cooperation on political, economic, education and training, health and environmental issues creates ample opportunities to develop for each member country and the ASEAN as a whole. It thus helps build a region of peace, stability, cooperation and development. Before Vietnam's accession to ASEAN, its cooperation on education and training is limited to Laos and Cambodia. Once become an official member of ASEAN, Vietnam has established education and training partnerships with most member states. Cooperation on education and training with ASEAN countries is constantly growing. The actual experience of bilateral cooperation with ASEAN countries shows two clear trends: With countries like Singapore and Malaysia, Vietnam mainly receives scholarships and sends students to study abroad; with Laos and Cambodia, Vietnam is rather a scholarship provider. The policy and guidelines of the Party on education and training cooperation with ASEAN countries from 1995 to 2010 have gained significant achievements. Nonetheless, the planning and implementation of such policies are not without some limitations. 31 Therefore, to maintain close and realistic guidance, the party bases on the achieved outcomes to determine the objectives, constituents and requirements for each group of countries during the policy-making process and the implementation of educational cooperation with ASEAN nations. With Laos and Cambodia, the Party and State require our partners to improve entrance qualifications and a certain proficiency of Vietnamese. When Vietnam receives scholarships and sends students, it is important to clarify the professions most needed in the country. Therefore, there are a few issues that must be considered in the cooperation on education and training between Vietnam and ASEAN countries: Continue to promote and exploit comparative advantages; develop consistent training structure, training programs and training quality; promote experience sharing in teaching, learning, and academic exchanges among ASEAN countries; encourage regional universities to use English in teaching and learning; develop a consensus and mutual recognition of degrees and diplomas to facilitate the free flow of skilled labor within ASEAN. The actual policymaking and implementation process of education and training cooperation with ASEAN countries has generated a lot of valuable experiences. Such are not only applicable to the field of education and training but also to other field, given enough flexibility. Therefore, they must be inherited and promoted. The development future of Vietnam is always inextricably bound to ASEAN and the neighboring countries in ASEAN. Education cooperation with ASEAN countries is a potential market and with promising prospects that Vietnam should give priority in conjunction with other fields. With the rapid and sustainable socio-economic development of Vietnam, education and training will have more opportunities to make positive, proactive, responsible, and organized participation in ASEAN cooperation activities.

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