The research connections between RMIT in Australia and Vietnam run deep.
Since RMIT Vietnam opened its doors in 2001, many Vietnamese students have studied in both countries, while a number of Australia-based students have undertaken research in Vietnam.
Included in this group are Vietnamese-born students who are now undertaking Higher Degree by Research (HDR) studies in Australia.
Earlier this year the Global Cities Research Institute (GCRI), a research centre at RMIT Australia, initiated a project to map these research connections and collaborations.
The centre’s Research Manager Dr Jane Mullett, explained that while the Vietnamese HDR students’ research interests can’t be generalised, some observations can be made.
“Research is clustered around topics including climate change, policymaking, rapidly changing societies, tertiary education, small and medium sized enterprises, and innovation and change in technology and entrepreneurialism,” Dr Mullet said.
“It shows that RMIT Australia’s College of Design and Social Context and the College of Business are the most actively engaged colleges in Vietnam-related research.”
In May, the HDR students, academics and policymakers gathered at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City to further explore the research connections between Vietnam and Australia.
“The event provided an opportunity for scholars from both countries to discuss their priorities and imagine a future where there is even more research collaboration,” Dr Mullet said.
“Participants indicated a great deal of interest in and good will towards building a strong cooperative research culture.”
Associate Professor Arthur Morgan, Head of the RMIT Asia Graduate Centre in Vietnam, noted the importance of developing a strong cooperative research culture at RMIT Vietnam.
“Our vision is for RMIT Vietnam to be the leading academic institution for research in our fields of interest, both in Vietnam and the Southeast Asian region, by 2020,” he said.
“To get there, we will provide scholarly leadership, a strong and supportive environment for early career researchers, quality training for postgraduates and career development for the post-doctorate community.”
“A key piece of this will be to deepen the research connections between RMIT in Australia and Vietnam.
One of the outcomes of the workshop was the understanding that Vietnamese HDR scholars are returning home with a greater understanding of Australian culture and similarly, RMIT Australia benefits from the exposure to Vietnamese culture that the HDR scholars provide.
“Hopefully these existing connections provide an impetus for more collaboration on research projects that benefit both countries,” Dr Mullett concluded.