DC helps Vietnamese college develop new food and pharmaceutical science technology program

Durham College (DC) has been providing curriculum and program development expertise to Vietnam’s Hua Giang Community College (HGCC) since 2014 as part of the Vietnam Skills for Employment Project. Funded by Global Affairs Canada, the partnership and project has resulted in the development of the country’s first college-level food and pharmaceutical science technology program, and further aims to improve access and quality of skills training in Vietnamese colleges. DC will continue to celebrate this partnership as HGCC sees its first graduates of the program accept their credentials.

DC has been offering students access to its  Chemical Laboratory Technology – Food Science program (formerly the Pharmaceutical and Food Science) and previous Pharmaceutical and Food Science fast-track program for more than 40 years. With this expertise, the college was able to host capacity-building workshops to guide HGCC in the development and implementation of a new Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) curriculum, ensuring an emphasis on gender equality, environmental sustainability and entrepreneurship. As well, DC has provided guidance on marketing, recruitment, governance and student support services during on-campus trips from HGCC educators, offering expertise from DC’s academic leadership team, faculty, students services and career development offices.

“Our partnership with Hua Giang Community College gave us the opportunity to learn from one another and share best practices in student-centered teaching,” said Jacqueline Towell, manager, International Projects and Partnerships, DC. “The Vietnam Skills for Employment Project is an excellent example of post-secondary institutions coming together for students here in Canada and in Vietnam.”

To help HGCC’s students enhance a wide variety of pharmaceutical analysis skills, microbiology and food product development, DC helped HGCC to design and integrate three new labs, including an instrumentation lab, food science lab and microbiology Lab.

Project components also included strategies for increasing student recruitment and retention; improving access to marginalized groups through career guidance, enhanced programs and services; and building long-term, sustainable relationships with local industry. Instructors developed 29 new competency-based courses, including the integration of gender-sensitive pedagogy, industry standards and environmental sustainability.  

“All of our delegates felt truly at home when we were visiting and working with DC,” said Trinh Nguyen, international project co-ordinator, HGCC. “We continue to apply the valuable lessons learned every day to further develop Hua Giang Community College.”