Vietnam, a country rich in history, is investigating new educational programs for development. With this in mind the newly formed Hau Giang Community College’s president Ha Hone Van and his team visited Durham College (DC) recently to learn all about DC’s farming and agriculture programs.
The visit opened on October 27 with a meet and greet with DC President Don Lovisa and President Ha Hone Van. With gifts exchanged, the Vietnamese visitors were ready for tours of the DC campuses.
The purpose of the visit was to help create a new academic program for the Vietnamese community college that focuses on industry engagement in Vietnam.
Wendy Smith, a professor at Durham College, is part of this initiative. “They are not organized like we are and we are helping them to develop a curriculum,” says Smith.
DC staff went to Hau Giang Community College in November 2015 and plan to go again in February 2016 to learn from their college framework and to see how DC best practices can help support their curriculum development process. The visitors took tours of the Greenwood Mushroom Farm in Ashburn and Algoma Orchards in Clarington to see how these industries work in Canada. The tours illuminated how DC has created a positive relationship with industry and the roles DC students play in the agriculture industry as well as what they bring to the proverbial table.
President Van claims that Vietnamese colleges are not currently organized to create relationships with industries within Vietnam due to strict rules put in place by the their government. Van also claims with new programs in place Vietnamese students may be able to change the industry from within and as such would create a more open market, not just for agriculture, but also within other fields of industry.
“It’s been really interesting and I am really fascinated to learn how they do things, I am astonished to how similar it is and it feels good to be able to help them build their own strategies,” says Smith.