The institutional mission in Vietnam has been successfully completed: a memorandum of understanding has already been signed in Saigon

News date: 
Thursday, January 19, 2023

On 15 January, an institutional mission to Vietnam, a target country of Uninsubria's internationalisation action, was successfully concluded. Its purpose was to consolidate and extend academic relations and exchanges, conclude new agreements, attract degree seekers to our degree courses, and meet with our diplomatic representatives.

The mission, led by the Rector's Delegate for Internationalisation Prof. Giorgio Maria Zamperetti, was attended by two students selected through a call for applications, a choice that turned out to be a very happy one due to the freshness of Matteo and Matilda in communicating Insubria's values and excellence to the numerous Vietnamese students they met.

Vietnam's image in the West is often still linked to the wars and dominations of the last century, but in the last thirty years the country has experienced continuous economic and social growth, settling at levels between 7% and 8% of GDP on an annual basis. The marked improvement in economic conditions has also led to a sharp increase in demand for higher education abroad, so much so that Vietnam is the sixth largest country in the world in terms of the number of students who go abroad to obtain a university degree.

The mission started from Ha Long University, located in one of the most scenically attractive areas of Vietnam. The university offers mainly undergraduate courses in many fields, the most interesting of which are Economics, Languages and Tourism. A noteworthy feature is that there is a hotel on the modern campus. It operates like a normal hotel for external customers but is run by students from the Tourism degree course, who get hands-on experience in organising hotel services. Some 20 of our students will travel to Ha Long in August for a Summer School of Chinese language, for which the university is highly reputed.

In the capital city of Hanoi, the delegation met with Ambassador Antonio Alessandro, the scientific attaché Marco Abbiati and the Uni-Italia representative, who expressed their full willingness to support our university's internationalisation efforts. This was followed by a meeting with the governance of the University of Hanoi, our partner since last year, during which the desire for collaboration was reaffirmed and further areas of common interest were identified.

In Ho Chi Min City (still called Saigon), Vietnam's economic capital, meetings were held at the University of Economics and Law, focused on Law and Economics, which has a solid reputation and many courses taught in English, and at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam's main humanities university, with a strong Italian language department; in both cases a future cooperation agreement was outlined, and with the latter an online seminar on the dark page of the war waged by the Americans 50 years after its conclusion has already been planned for March.

The most important meeting in Saigon took place at the University of Food Industry (HUFI), where the Delegate signed an important memorandum of understanding from which to develop individual projects. The university was founded around the theme of food and has recognised interdisciplinary expertise in this area, which is now increasingly the focus of global attention due to issues of sustainability, food sovereignty and food law. Over time, it has also developed as a generalist university and comprises, among others, the faculties of Chemical Engineering, Environment, Textile Technology and Fashion, Tourism, Business Administration, Finance and Accounting, Languages, Law, and Sport: a total of 32 Bachelor's degree courses, 10 Master's degree courses and 3 PhDs. HUFI has approximately 20,000 students and 750 lecturers.

Prof. Zamperetti expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the mission: «The welcome offered to the Insubrian delegation in the various contexts was always very warm, a sign of a sincere interest in cultivating the academic relationship. Vietnam proves to be an interesting country to develop scientific and educational collaborations, and to increase the number of our international students with motivated and quality students. Numerous new relationships have been forged that will foster two-way mobility opportunities for teaching and research, and which I want to share with all interested colleagues. In order to ensure that the bridges that have been painstakingly built do not fall on deaf ears, we now need a major effort to disseminate this experience, involving the heads of the structures, who will be able to spread the culture of internationalisation and spur our lecturers, starting with the youngest, to new professional experiences outside our comfort zone».

Last modified: Thursday, January 19, 2023 - 11:45