Published on 16 March 2023

The Eramus+ CBHE 609879 "Pilotage universitaire rénové dans le Sud-Est asiatique" (PURSEA) project, one of the Erasmus + K2 projects, runs from 2020 to 2023.

It brings together 16 academic and research institutions, six of which are Vietnamese: Hanoi University (HANU), Hanoi University of Architecture, Graduate School of Communications and Transport, University of Science and Technology (part of the University of Dà Nang), University of Economics and Law, and University of Social Sciences and Humanities (part of the National University of Ho Chi Minh City). Two Cambodian institutions complete the list: the Cambodian Institute of Technology and the Cambodian University of Health Sciences.

European establishments ensure the transfer of experience and expertise in the field of university governance. The Francophone University Agency (AUF) supports HANU in the coordination and financial and administrative management of the project.


Strengthening skills in university governance


The PURSEA project aims to strengthen university governance skills for staff at the eight universities mentioned above, by defining and implementing a contextualized strategic plan.

It has three objectives: to develop the methods and tools needed to improve strategic development plans and design operational action plans for partner universities; to implement a priority action plan in each partner university, with its own steering and change management system; to develop tools for pooling and disseminating regional expertise in strategic planning and university governance and management procedures.

It is built around ten activity packages (for the exchange of experience and practices) entrusted to 16 member establishments.

"Over a period of three years, the project team has carried out major activities enabling the beneficiary universities to define their priorities and draw up their development strategies and action plans. The results of the project are all the more significant as Vietnamese and Cambodian universities follow the path of autonomy", affirms Nguyên Van Trào, Rector of HANU. He adds: "A guide is currently being drawn up and will be published in July. It will be a very effective tool to support universities in Southeast Asia in their development process".

According to him, as a partner member and coordinator of the project, HANU is fully aware of the importance of innovation in university governance. "Thanks to the PURSEA project, our team has drawn up the development strategy for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2045. Annual and multi-year action plans have been drawn up on the basis of this strategy."


An example of Vietnam-EU cooperation


"This kind of pilot project is exactly what we, as the European Union (EU), want to achieve with the Erasmus Capacity Building in Higher Education (CBHE) program. The EU supports these international cooperation projects because they focus on the relevance, quality, modernization and responsiveness of higher education in partner countries such as Vietnam. The aim is to foster socio-economic recovery, inclusive growth and prosperity", stresses Giorgio Aliberti, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation in Vietnam.

The EU has launched a new cycle of the ERASMUS+ program for the period 2021 - 2027. Over the next five years, this program will provide a total of 26.2 billion euros worldwide, of which 30% will be invested in cooperation and public policy development projects.

"Through the opportunities offered by the Erasmus program, the EU is fully committed to promoting and supporting the modernization of higher education in Vietnam. We also aim to strengthen cooperation between Vietnam, other Asian countries and Europe. The project +Pilotage universitaire rénové dans le Sud-Est Asiatique+ (PURSEA) is a perfect example of this cooperation, says the ambassador. This consortium of 16 members, including two Cambodian and six Vietnamese universities, enables us to share our experience in formulating and implementing university development strategies, while helping to improve the quality of university education and training".

In the field of education, it's important to put things into practice, take responsibility and disseminate knowledge. As part of the PURSEA project, this dissemination of knowledge will take place in the short, medium and long term," points out Laurent Sermet, AUF's Asia-Pacific Director.

He adds that the AUF is also developing a new project, called APSIDE, on quality assurance in university management, including management of degree awarding.

"This project will be the logical continuation of the PURSEA project in the field of university governance".