With more than 60,000 undergraduate students and some 5,600 faculty members, VNUHCM is one of Vietnam’s largest universities. Its multi-disciplinary academic programme covers information technology, sciences, humanities, law, environmental studies, and more.
In recognizing Vietnam’s increasing need for IT graduates – particularly those skilled in cyber security – the university opted to find an international academic partner with whom it could further develop its ICT programme. This brought VNUHCM’s leadership to Finland on a fact-finding mission that included a visit to the University of Turku’s ICT department: a renowned specialist in cyber security research and education.
VNUHCM and the University of Turku then agreed to develop a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology, tailored to the needs of VNUHCM’s undergraduate students with a specific focus on cyber security.
Studies in both Vietnam and Finland
“Together we determined that a ‘two-plus-one’ model would be the best way for VNUHCM’s students to earn the degree,” says Dr. Seppo Virtanen from the University of Turku. “This means the students do their first two years of studies in Vietnam – with our lecturers visiting there and supporting participants through online learning platforms – and their third year they spend entirely at our department in Turku.”
Finland University CEO Pekka Saavalainen (left) at the signing ceremony with VNUHCM Vice President Vu Hai Quan.
To build the BSc. programme, the University of Turku will draw on its skills and experience from the Master’s Degree Programme in Information Security and Cryptography that it currently offers. The university’s academic team comprises specialists in cyber security technology, mathematical cryptography, and information security management.
“Data security is critical in any society, so we see a huge demand for this kind of education,” says Finland University key account manager Ari Koski. “There are massive job opportunities in the sector, and through this programme for VNUHCM we’re helping to educate the future specialists who will increasingly be needed in Vietnam and elsewhere.”
Picture (right): Sari Puustinen (Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku), Seppo Virtanen and Tapio Salakoski (both from the Department of Future Technologies, University of Turku) gave each a presentation at the workshop on Role of Information Technology in the Development of Smart City, arranged together with the signing. Photo: Pekka Saavalainen.
Future in the making
The new programme is Finland University’s first information technology agreement in Vietnam, and marks an important milestone in academic collaboration between the two countries.
“I see this as part of something bigger,” says Virtanen. “Internationalisation is very important, and I’m looking forward to many good students coming from Vietnam to Finland. There is a lot of potential here for the future that will benefit not only both universities, but both countries as well.”
Pekka T. Saavalainen, CEO Finland University Oy
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