University-Industry Collaboration in Vietnam: When the boss says Jump, you say Why?

Your Name and Title:Dr. Thi Tuyet Tran

School or Organization Name:Institute for Employment Research

Co-Presenter Name(s):

Area of the World from Which You Will Present:Germany

Language in Which You Will Present:English

Target Audience(s):"2017HigherEd"

Short Session Description (one line):
University-Industry Collaboration in Vietnam: When the boss says Jump, you say Why?

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

Collaboration between universities and industry is considered critical for skills development and for enhancing graduate employability all over the world. This is especially important for a developing country like Vietnam when the main mission of the higher education system is on training a skilled workforce for the industrialization and modernization of the country. However, developing university-industry collaboration (UIC) is not easy and this alliance often faces great barriers, one of which, as suggested widely in the literature in developed countries, is the vision of the leaders. Universities are claimed to be an autonomy entities and the collaboration with the outside industry may requires a changing role of universities from being the expert or the one who delivers the model to the one of enabling partnership (Harvey, 2007). In other words, the break away from the ‘almost ideological attachment to the pedagogical [or traditional] model’ ((Knowles, 1980, p. 59) presents a real challenge to universities’ culture, systems and expectation (Choy & Delahaye, 2011). 

Many university leaders are not open for UIC and this is considered a significant barrier for UIC.

Nonetheless, this article, based on the results of a mixed method research investigating the current stage of UIC in Vietnam, aims to discuss another picture of UIC in a developing country where the leaders of most universities welcome the collaboration but the resistance has remained strong among the staff who are in charge of the UIC development. The limited understanding about the role of UIC, the workload staff have to bear and the lack of experience in communicating with industry are often claimed to be some of the significant reasons the UIC in-charge-staff in universities often ignore or not devote for the process of fostering a strong alliance with the industry partner.

We are seeking feasible solutions from other countries where the context of UIC and the problems this collaboration faces are similar like Vietnam. If Vietnam can promote UIC in an effective way, it will benefit not only the educational system, the students, but also the industry as a whole.

Keywords: University-Industry Collaboration, obstacles, vision of leaders, developing countries, Vietnam.


Choy, S., & Delahaye, B. (2011). Partnerships between universities and workplaces: Some challenges for work-integrated learning. Studies in Continuing Education, 33(2), 157-172. 

Knowles, M. S. (1980). The modern practice of adult education: From pedagogy to andragogy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Regents.

Harvey, M. (2007). The changing power balance between learners, universities and work contexts. In J. Garnett & D. Youn (Eds.), Work-based Learning Futures. Bolton: University Vocational Awards Council.

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This proposal is not clearly aligned with our mission. Please review this and edit accordingly: I'll be happy to review again if you indicate how your work relates to globally connected teaching and learning. 

Hi Lucy,

Thanks for your comments. I've just revised it. Hopefully it's align with the conference mission now.

Thanks and Best Regards,


Dear Dr. Thi Tuyet Tran,

There is a model in the United States called "Work-Based Learning"--where workers on the job have the opportunity to take courses at local colleges. These courses are co-developed between the higher education entity and the employer.  You can find more information here:

There is a specific focus on technology jobs and partnerships with two institutions, however, I think the model could extended to other subject areas and types of higher ed institution.

Best wishes,

Arthur Smith

Thannk Arthur for your suggestion. However, at the current stage, most students in the HES in Vietnam cannot pursuit WBL courses (the curriculum rigit), we are trying to improve the quality of work integrated learning activities/programs but still find hard to enhance the practicality of these initiatives.


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