Education Among the UK’s Top Priorities in Cooperation with Vietnam

UK Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary Matthew Rycroft was in Hanoi for a two-day visit to Vietnam, during which he met with numerous Vietnamese officials in charge of public security, national defence, and labour.

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UK Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary Matthew Rycroft visits the Hanoi-based Foreign Trade University.
UK Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary Matthew Rycroft visits the Hanoi-based Foreign Trade University. Source: UK’s embassy

During his two-day trip to Hanoi, UK Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary Matthew Rycroft met with numerous Vietnamese officials in charge of public security, national defence, and labour.

He spoke with 250 students at the Foreign Trade University on the possibilities of studying in the UK as well as preferential policies of the UK government to support international students, including Vietnamese students, to study and work in the UK.

“We are committed to delivering an immigration system that offers clear opportunities to the brightest and best talent from Vietnam and around the world to come to the UK to study, work and live,” said Rycroft while speaking to students at the Foreign Trade University in Hanoi on August 15.

The Permanent Under-Secretary heard the students share some of their future plans. He took this opportunity to speak about the possibilities of studying in the UK as well as preferential policies of the UK government to support international students, including those from Vietnam.

An example is the UK’s new points-based immigration system, which treat all students coming from both EU and non-EU countries equally. In addition, the UK Graduate Route allows students the option to continue staying in the UK for two or three years after having completed their studies to work or look for work.

The UK is also increasing its partnerships with universities in Vietnam to support greater movement between two countries for students and academic faculty alike.

education is among the UK’s top priorities in cooperation with Vietnam.
Education is among the UK’s top priorities in cooperation with Vietnam. Source: UK’s embassy

There are 12,000 Vietnamese students studying in the UK and 40 UK-funded education projects in Vietnam.

According to the Department of the Europe-America Market under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, last year, import-export turnover between the two countries reached USD 6.6 billion, a 17.2% year-on-year increase and four times higher than the period before establishing the strategic partnership. In 2009, turnover was USD 2.65 billion.

Export and import revenues were USD 5.76 billion and USD 849 million , 16.4% and 23.6% increases, respectively. Trade between Vietnam and the UK has surged mainly thanks to the UKVFTA, which took effect in May 2021.

The same day, UK Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary Matthew Rycroft and Vietnam Vice Minister of Public Security Senior Lieutenant General Luong Tam Quang co-chaired the first UK – Vietnam migration dialogue.

The dialogue was part of the UK Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary’s two-day visit in Vietnam, where he also had meetings with Minister of Public Security To Lam, Vice Minister of National Defence Hoang Xuan Chien, and Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Van Hoi.

During the meetings, Rycroft underlined the effective partnerships fostered between the UK Home Office with the Vietnam respective Ministries of Public Security, National Defence and Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The two sides explored more opportunities to cooperate further in capacity-building in identifying, protecting and supporting victims of human trafficking.

Collaboration between the two countries will also seek to increase skilled labourers to match market demand; reduce youth unemployment; and encourage employers’ engagement in vocational training.

Rycroft also paid a visit to the People’s Police Academy. From 2018 until now, through the Anti-Trafficking Program, the UK Home Office directly funded the People’s Police Academy to develop a set of four training manuals on human trafficking investigation skills and trained a total of 1000 police officers, judges, prosecutors, and border guards across the country.

Building on that success, Rycroft announced that the UK Home Office would continue to support the People’s Police Academy in a new three-year project to build e-evidence police handling skills in human trafficking cases. This project will help to standardise the procedure of digital evidence handling in human trafficking cases, which will hopefully lead to increased prosecutions.

The two sides also agreed on increasing exchanges by sending lecturers of the People’s Police Academy to the UK to work with UK police experts and to host UK Police experts at the academy in order to develop a quality training manual and training programme.

Speaking of his visit, UK Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary Matthew Rycroft, stressed that the UK and Vietnam are strong strategic partners, and the two countries look forward to celebrating the 50-year diplomatic partnership in 2023.

Apart from collaborations in trade, education, research, technology innovation and climate change, tackling illegal migration and human trafficking is hugely important and mutually beneficial to both countries.

“We are committed to working together on ensuring safe and legal routes to the UK as well as protecting victims of human trafficking, and putting an end to this awful crime,” he highlighted.

UK Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary Matthew Rycroft  took a stroll in Hanoi’s old quarter.
UK Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary Matthew Rycroft and officials take a stroll in Hanoi’s old quarter. Source: UK’s embassy
UK Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary Matthew Rycroft enjoyed a drink at a streetside cafe.
UK Home Office Permanent Under-Secretary Matthew Rycroft and officials enjoy a drink at a streetside cafe. Source: UK’s embassy
Hannah Nguyen