Niagara College welcomed 14 educational leaders from Vietnam to both campuses for specialized, NC-led leadership training, June 21 – 28. The Technical Vocational and Education Training (TVET) program supports Vietnamese delegates as they work to ensure graduates from Vietnam’s colleges are world-ready, work-ready and will flourish in a globally competitive and rapidly changing workplace.
“Niagara College has exceeded my expectations,” shared Vo Thi Nga, Quang Ngai College rector. “I am learning a great deal from NC’s excellent staff and faculty. The TVET Leadership and Training Program has allowed me to develop a better understanding of applied learning, which I intend to implement in Vietnam.”
Delegates participated in a series of interactive workshops to explore best-practices in TVET education. They were accompanied by the director of the newly developed Training Centre for Advanced Management (TCAM), Lê Quang Minh, Ph.D, and deputy director Nguyễn Thanh Thủy, Ph.D.
This senior training delegation represented alumni from the inaugural College Advanced Management (CAM) training series. Through CAM, delegates participated in four courses developed and co-delivered by Niagara College experts including vice president of International Sean Kennedy, director of academic excellence Mary Wilson, director of marketing and student recruitment Dorita Pentesco and industry engagement specialist Jon Ogryzlo. Topics ranged from community and employer relations to curriculum design and development, from college brand management to developing a student-centred college.
“The feedback I have been receiving from delegation members has been very positive,” said Minh. “Through the CAM series, the delegates learned the theory behind the best practices and now, through the TVET Leadership Training Program, these Vietnamese educational leaders are able to see the application of these practices for themselves and the reality of what they have been learning. By discussing best practices with the Niagara College team, the delegates are able to better reflect on how they may adapt what they have observed in their home colleges.”
Minh said that witnessing the Niagara College educational model first-hand, strengthens delegates’ belief in its results and practicality. A tour also allowed delegates the opportunity to observe how Niagara College celebrates student success during one of NC’s convocation ceremonies.
The delegates also met with Vietnamese students currently studying at Niagara College. This allowed delegates to compare the learning experiences students receive in Vietnam with those in Canada. Minh emphasized how valuable it is to speak with students about their experiences in a Canadian classroom.
Anie Nguyen is a Vietnamese student studying in NC’s Business Administration – Marketing program, and described representing Niagara College at the TVET Leadership Training Program as a privilege. “I would love to share with everyone my experience since I have come to Canada,” shared Nguyen. “What surprised me the most about Niagara College was the people – they played a huge part in helping me overcome my homesickness and cultural shock, which happens a lot to international students. Niagara College also presents many opportunities to make new friends and connections while experiencing a very professional educational environment.”
Delegates also took in a visit to Vineland Estates Winery where they met Alan Schmidt, former chair of the Niagara College Board of Governors. Schmidt spoke about the mutual benefits gained through collaboration between colleges and industry, and pointed to NC’s strong ties with Niagara’s wine sector. He underscored the important role industries play in advising colleges about workforce trends and promoting continuing education through regular engagement with colleges – a strategy that helps NC produce highly skilled graduates who meet the workforce demands of industry.
The week-long program concluded with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing and discussions regarding potential future collaborations between Niagara College and Vietnamese colleges.
Niagara College’s reputation as a world-class leader in education is cemented through projects as the TVET Leadership Training Program. These projects also pave the way for future collaborations help more students fulfill their dreams by becoming world-ready and work-ready graduates.