Celebration of Progress Towards Higher Education in STEM Fields By US and Vietnam

On August 18, an event recognizing the eight-year collaboration between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Arizona State University, in conjunction with Vietnam, was held in Hanoi for the 8th annual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Conference (STEMCON). The event was attended by over 200 representatives from business, education, government, and entrepreneurship, who came to celebrate the work done to improve STEM education in Vietnamese higher education institutions.


“Through the public-private alliance known as BUILD-IT, USAID is partnering with Vietnam to enhance higher education and equip students for success in the global economy,” stated Aler Grubbs, Mission Director of USAID/Vietnam.

Grubbs added, “By leveraging the shared goals and commitments of industry, government, and universities, we have been able to modernize STEM education in Vietnam and drive economic growth.”

Photo: USAID Vietnam
Photo: USAID Vietnam

The BUILD-IT project, initiated in 2015 with a budget of $8.7 million, has brought together government, private sector, and academic partners to enhance leadership skills, promote university autonomy, improve program and instructional quality, and establish sustainable partnerships with the private sector. The project has made a significant impact by collaborating with eight higher education institutions in Vietnam, including Can Tho University and University of Da Nang – University of Science and Technology.

As a result of the project, 121 educational programs have received regional and international accreditation, benefiting around 4,600 students through project-based curricula activities. In addition, 4,000 university leaders and staff have enhanced their skills in leadership, strategy, curriculum development, and industry partnerships.

US, Vietnam Celebrate Advances to Higher Education in STEM Fields
The 8th annual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Conference (STEMCON). Photo: USAID Vietnam

In collaboration with the Government of Vietnam, USAID, along with U.S. higher education institutions and the private sector, is driving institutional and systemic reforms in higher education to prepare graduates for success in the global market.

The United States and Vietnam are commemorating the ten-year anniversary of their Comprehensive Partnership in 2023. USAID’s investments in higher education reflect the ongoing commitment of the United States to the future of Vietnam and the enduring nature of the U.S.-Vietnam partnership.

Phuong Nguyen