May 17, 2019
On April 4 and 5 2019, the JICA Research Institute (JICA-RI) conducted field studies in Hanoi City, capital of Vietnam, for its research project titled “Empirical Research on Impacts of Study Abroad in Developing Countries - based on Study Abroad Experiences of Academic Professionals of Major Universities in ASEAN.”
This project aims to analyze the impact that university academic professionals with study abroad experience from developing countries can have on universities in their home countries. As part of the data collection process, the researchers will design an online questionnaire survey targeting all academic professionals—more than 10,000 individuals —at a total of 10 universities in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. In addition, they will investigate any changes in circumstances related to study abroad programs in each country and university, and interview academic professionals who have studied abroad. Through these quantitative and qualitative analyses, the researchers will attempt to verify the impact of study abroad programs on the bilateral relationship between the home country and the host country in terms of the development of universities.
During the field study visits, Nobuko Kayashima, principal research fellow at JICA-RI, Kazuo Kuroda, visiting fellow at JICA-RI and professor at Waseda University, and Atsushi Tsujimoto, research officer at JICA-RI, met with key stakeholders at target universities in Vietnam to outline the research project and obtain their understanding, and to discuss how to conduct the questionnaire survey.
The mission team went to the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, a prestigious technical university that leads Vietnam’s science and technology education and research, and met with its President, Hoang Minh Son. In addition to pledging proactive cooperation in research activities, President Hoang said he intends to apply the research results to the university’s faculty training plans and other programs. After meeting with the President, the mission team had further discussions about detailed procedures and the conditions for the online survey with Nguyen Phu Khanh, director of the International Cooperation Department.
The mission team also visited the Vietnam National University in Hanoi, which includes seven universities and numerous affiliated educational and research institutions, to meet with Vice President Nguyen Hoang Hai. Vice President Nguyen noted that the data and research results from the proposed survey could be beneficial to other countries and universities as well, and said that the Vietnam National University would fully commit itself to the research project. He declared that the university would not only support data collection but also participate in the research project and jointly conduct the case study. Vice President Nguyen also had a question about the best country for academic professionals to study abroad in. In response, the mission team said that since study abroad characteristics differ in each country, they are simply not comparable. The study will shed light on these differences in outcomes by using qualitative research methods.
Other than the two abovementioned educational institutions, the mission team visited the Ministry of Education and Training to present an overview of the research project and to exchange views. During this meeting participants from the Ministry said that university workers with study abroad experience have contributed to the development of universities in Vietnam by launching new programs.
The mission team received a positive response from Vietnamese universities for the project. This may reflect the trust-based relationships that have been built by JICA, Japan’s universities, and Japanese companies with these Vietnamese educational institutions.
JICA-RI will launch the questionnaire survey in cooperation with participating universities in 2019.