RMIT Vietnam NewsA look back at 2014

A look back at 2014

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 14:17
Lecturer Melvin Fernado (L), lecturer Arlene Tuang (R), and members of 1st prize winning team Nutrimens and first runner-up DreamKids at the $100,000 RMIT Business Plan Competition held in Melbourne last October.
Master of Engineering graduates with their lecturers.

For RMIT Vietnam, it was a year of achievement and success with new leadership and a fresh focus on growth, quality and differentiation.

High achievers

Throughout the year, RMIT Vietnam students excelled in business and sporting competitions on a local, national and global stage.

In October, student entrepreneurs took out first and second prize at the $100,000 RMIT Business Plan Competition held in Melbourne, Australia.

RMIT Vietnam President Professor Gael McDonald said the strong performance of the students is testament to the quality of education at RMIT Vietnam, and the entrepreneurial ability and commitment of the students themselves.

"We're thrilled for our students and acknowledge the top work, effort and commitment which goes into these competitions," Professor McDonald said.

Talented teachers

In November, Accountancy lecturer Frederique Bouilheres and Professional Communication lecturer Linda Nguyen were recognised for excellence in teaching and learning through the 2014 RMIT Vietnam Teaching Awards.

With almost seven years of teaching at RMIT Vietnam, Frederique managed to largely turn around low levels of student motivation and engagement in her accountancy courses.

Hanoi-based lecturer Linda Nguyen is committed to supporting students' learning, with particular focus on transitioning students from high school in Vietnam to university life and from their studies to industry.

At Saigon South in October, RMIT Vietnam welcomed experienced business school leader and leadership researcher Professor Raymond Gordon to head up the University’s Centre of Commerce and Management.

Professor Gordon said he was delighted to take up the opportunity to lead the University's commerce and management higher education hub.

A team of RMIT Vietnam academics published the resource Growing sustainable communities: a development guide for Southeast Asia.

Officially launched at Saigon South in June, the guide aims to address sustainability in Southeast Asia on a holistic level.

Deserving recipients

In 2014, the number of scholarships on offer by RMIT Vietnam was tripled with 91 scholarships valued at 20 billion VND were awarded to young people from across Vietnam.

The University’s final group of engineers with Masters scholarships funded by Intel and the Australian Government were recognised at RMIT Vietnam’s graduation ceremony in late November.

Graduate Bui Minh Hieu, who gained a scholarship from Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), is now doing PhD research at RMIT Vietnam.

He believes the master degree boosted his confidence: "It connected me to a network of professionals in my field and gave me a good view of global technology development."

Industry engagement

RMIT Vietnam maintained its strong connection with industry throughout the year, including introducing a new networking program for its graduates.

An alumni event in December showcased the business networking opportunities on offer to this group where graduates were connected with government and industry guests from the Australian Federal Police, Australian Embassy, Auscham, Manulife, Nielsen, P&G, Unilever, Toyota, and Heineken.

The University’s annual career week in Ho Chi Minh City (July) and Hanoi (October) saw students explore, experience and engage through workshops, competitions and networking nights.

The week also saw the launch of RMIT Vietnam’s career mentoring program as well as a career expo, attended by more than 2,200 students and 40 major employers.

In October, a new centre harnessing the strengths of RMIT Vietnam and international professional services company KPMG Limited was launched.

The KPMG-RMIT Centre of Governance develops and disseminates industry-focused thought leadership in the governance field.

An agreement between CPA Australia and RMIT Vietnam, which began in 2009, was re-signed in October for another three years and will continue to enhance the opportunities available for the University’s accountancy and finance graduates. 

Focus on research

In June, researchers from RMIT Vietnam, senior RMIT staff from Melbourne and representatives from universities and research institutes across Vietnam collaborated at a research profile workshop. 

RMIT Vietnam President Professor Gael McDonald said it was an opportunity to conduct research through a tripartite model, connecting local expertise and talent within Vietnam with the research experience at RMIT and external research funding opportunities.

Also in June, RMIT Vietnam's annual research poster competition saw the award of funds for three groups of academics.

One of the studies on condom merchandising and their availability in Ho Chi Minh City highlighted the barriers and facilitators towards condom use from a social marketing perspective.

Another group used the funds to support the development of a new analysis technique for identifying the basic indicators of the wealth of farming families in South East Asia.

And the third study focused on integrating technology with dance for a performance group in Ho Chi Minh City.