Estonia and Vietnam signed a cooperation agreement on education and research today to foster the establishment of contacts between education and research institutions and agencies. Further, the agreement addresses exchanges of students, experts and researchers and the learning of language and culture on mutual basis.
The cooperation agreement was signed in Seoul at the meeting of Asian and European Ministers of Education. Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Education Van Phuc Nguyen signed the agreement on behalf of Vietnam. Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Research Tea Varrak signed the agreement on behalf of Estonia as an authorised representative of the Government of the Republic.
The Secretary General noted that Estonian universities and especially the University of Tartu have specific plans for developing bilateral cooperation with Vietnam. “Hence, the intergovernmental agreement as a sign of the countries’ support to such cooperation is essential,” said Varrak.
The Secretary General explained that Estonian and Vietnamese universities have worked together mostly in the framework of multilateral projects financed by the programme Erasmus+, the World Bank, or various foreign countries from their development aid funds.
The University of Tartu has cooperated with Vietnam in the medical sphere - for instance, the Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy opened a fertility clinic in 2013 with support from the University of Tartu and Tartu University Hospital. Besides reproductive medicine, cooperation covers orthopaedics, dentistry and genetics. A clinical biobank has been set up jointly with the universities and hospitals of Hanoi, Hue and Da Nang.
Teachers from the Estonian University of Life Sciences have developed cooperation with Vietnam in the field of embryonic and transgenetic technologies. The Tallinn University of Technology is involved in a project for developing the capacity and competitiveness of universities. The Tallinn University School of Digital Technologies has set up cooperation with Vietnam, plus the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre and the Estonian Academy of Arts are interested in establishing contacts.
The sixth meeting of Asian and European Ministers of Education (ASEMME6) is held on 21-22 November. This meeting’s topic is Collaboration for the Next Decade: from Common Perspectives to Effective Fulfilment, and the participants intend to adopt the Seoul Declaration. The declaration marks the tenth anniversary of education cooperation between Asia and Europe. Challenges for future collaboration include the rapid technological development and supranational issues of global nature.
The ASEMME6 meeting was preceded by a meeting of Senior Officers on 20 November that was attended by Gunnar Vaht, the Head of ENIC/NARIC at the Archimedes Foundation.
The first meeting of Asian and European Ministers of Education took place in Berlin in 2008. The ASEM network involves 53 countries.