On June 1st, 2018, Can Tho University (CTU) was honored to welcome the ambassadors of four Nordic countries to Viet Nam, including H.E. Mr. Kari Kahiluoto - Ambassador of Finland; H.E. Mr. Pereric Högberg - Ambassador of Sweden; H.E. Ms. Siren Gjerme Eriksen - Ambassador of Norway; Mr. Christian Brix Møller - Chargé d’Affaires of Denmark. CTU’s Board of Rectorate together with leader representatives of CTU’s units have warmly welcomed the delegates.

Solemnly welcoming the ambassadors

At the meeting, representative of CTU expressed the honor and joyfulness for the first simultaneous visit of the four Nordic ambassadors to the University, then, informed the activities of training, scientific research, and technology transfer, especially the important role of the University in training human resources and transferring technology serving the development of the Mekong Delta in particular and the whole country in general.

Founded in 1966 in the center of the Mekong Delta, over 50 years of establishment and development, CTU has become one of the five key higher education institution out of about 400 institutions of higher education across the country. As a driving force for the development of the region, CTU’s vision 2020 will become the leading education and training institution in the country and will be recognized as one of the leading universities in Asia-Pacific in training and scientific research. At present, CTU has nearly 2,000 staff members, offers 98 undergraduate programs, 45 master programs and 16 doctoral programs for nearly 47,000 students. In January this year, CTU was ranked 60th in Southeast Asia by Webometrics, and was ranked in top 301-350 in Asia by QS University Ranking Aisa.

Prof.Dr. Ha Thanh Toan, Rector of CTU, in his welcome speech

To assert the University’s high quality in training and to achieve high rankings in the region and the world, CTU has made efforts to become the 30th member of ASEAN University Network (AUN) in 7/2013. At that time, CTU’s undergraduate program of Agricultural Economics was recognized in compliance with AUN Quality Accreditation on July 15th, 2013. Learning from the experience of the member institutions and the experience gained from quality assurance, the University continued to conduct external accreditation in accordance with AUN standards for two advanced undergraduate programs trained in English, Biotechnology and Aquaculture, and received the certificates on November 15th, 2014. In late May 2018, the University has carried out external accreditation work using AUN standards at program level for two undergraduate programs in Information Technology and International Business. In addition to the above-mentioned achievements in AUN quality assurance, CTU has been awarded the Certificate of Institutional Accreditation in compliance with the education accreditation standards of the Ministry of Education and Training on May 19th, 2018.

In the process of development, CTU has established a wide cooperative relationship with many institutes, schools, organizations, and enterprises through over 250-signed Memoranda of Understanding. Accordingly, the cooperative relationship between CTU and Nordic partners was established in the 1990s. The partnerships have been strengthened through training, research, and joint projects. Up to now, CTU has been building up 29 projects with Nordic partners. The main influential projects were PhysCAM project and Climate change in Aquaculture (iAQUA) in collaboration with Arhus University of Denmark; Mekong Basin Animal Research Network (MEKARN) and the Sustainable Mekong Research Network (SUMERNET) funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sweden); IMO-NSS, Finnish- Vietnamese network for developing Mekong Delta region with the University of Kemi Tornio, Finland.

Thanks to these cooperation projects, infrastructure of the university has been upgraded, Research capacity has been built to contribute to development of the Mekong Delta (Sustainable agri- and aquaculture production, sustainable natural resource management and environmental protection, rural development, and improving the socio-economic situation). More and more conferences and workshops have been organized and articles published in international journal as the outputs of those projects.

These cooperation activities have supported much on training human resources and technology transfer with more than 20 staff from CTU training in Demark, Sweden and Norway to pursuit their Master and PhD degrees. The Mekong 1000 Project, which has been sponsored by the local authorities, raised the attention and support from our partners. Mekong 1000 Project is the ambitious one which uses the local budget to disseminate more than 1.000 young staff of the Mekong Delta for Master and PhD degrees. Up to now, the project has sent 19 students for Master and PhD degrees to Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The partners have worked very hard to build and develop strong collaborative, efficient relationships and constantly expanding collaborative relationships with other institutes and universities between Viet Nam and Nordic partners to set up the strong networking. At the same time, over the years, the University has also received and supported many students from the Nordic countries to carry out their thesis or scientific research projects.

Discussion at the meeting

CTU highly appreciates the support and cooperation of Nordic partners in building and expanding cooperation networks between Vietnamese and Nordic partners. On this occasion, CTU wishes to receive more support from the ambassadors, who play an important role as a bridge to expand the cooperative relationship between Vietnamese partners and Nordic ones. These supports will make a great contribution to the overall development of the University; especially the training and scientific research in student and staff exchange, joint research will strengthen cooperative activities in the Mekong Delta and sustainable linkages.

At the meeting, the ambassadors of the Nordic countries have learned about the situation of education, economy, social issues, and challenges that the Mekong Delta is facing, and about CTU’s activities such as training, scientific research, and cooperation activities with Nordic partners as well as the results and benefits that these activities bring about. Information about the Nordic partners is shared, and cooperation orientation is also suggested and discussed. The ambassadors highly appreciated the achievements of the University in recent years and expressed their support for the cooperation between Vietnamese and Nordic partners.

The Rector of CTU presenting souvenirs to the ambassadors

At the end of the meeting, leaders of CTU and the ambassadors planted trees to record beautiful memory of this visit and send a wish for good relationship with one another.


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