In December 2017, twenty senior academics from three universities in Vietnam’s northern mountainous region (Thai Nguyen University, Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry, and Tay Bac University) participated in a core module (second phase) hosted by Queensland University of Technology (QUT), where they gained curriculum development skills that will help meet the growing demands for education, research and employability in their region.
The core module followed two weeks after the pre-core (first phase) in Hanoi. The core module is part of the Australia Awards Short Course Undergraduate Curriculum Development and Renewal, funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and managed by Aus4Skills.
The course not only strengthened the participants' curriculum development skills, but also gave them an opportunity to experience Australia’s education system, culture and lifestyle.
Dr Shaun Nykvist, a senior lecturer at QUT's Faculty of Education, led the course in collaboration with other QUT academics.
Dr Nykvist said these universities are located in relatively economically disadvantaged regions with high numbers of ethnic minority students who often face difficulty in the labour market.
"The course has equipped participants with knowledge of Australia’s inclusive curriculum development methods, and the skills and confidence to renew curricula to better support the academic success of ethnic minority students at their own universities," said Dr Nykvist.
"The end-goal is to produce highly-skilled students, but to also attract high-quality partnerships, staff and future students. Through this, they’ll be supporting wider economic, industrial and social growth, and meeting growing education demands in their region," Dr Nykvist continued.
"We received fantastic feedback from the participants, who are enthusiastic about taking the skills they’ve developed to progress their own choices about curriculum development in their universities," said Dr Nykvist.
Dr Nguyen Thuy Ha, Associate Professor at Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry, said she feels equipped with the skills to design a curriculum that will meet current demands and future needs of students.
"The course has been very helpful for us in many aspects, however the value for me is that the course helps to formulate a new way of thinking in terms of curriculum development," said Dr Ha.
"The course taught the whole process – how to build a curriculum framework and how to assess the students’ performance and learning outcomes. With that we can support and assist our students to achieve their learning goals and complete their course successfully," Dr Ha continued.
"The presenters really inspired us to develop the best curriculum for our universities, in a better and more creative and effective way for our students."
The participants are now working on the final phase of the course, where they will put what they have learnt into practice with ongoing mentoring from QUT staff. The course is scheduled to be completed in May 2018.
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