Graduating from British University Vietnam (BUV) in a ‘new normal’ context

Class 9 learning and test-taking online due to the pandemic and new majors with first bachelor’s degree holders were among the highlights of BUV’s graduation ceremony.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, before hundreds of bachelors and their parents, the President of the British University Vietnam, Prof. Raymond Gordon stated: "For the last three years we have all grappled with COVID-19, which prevented events like this from being held. I think I speak for all of us when I say that it is a delight to be able to attend the campus and celebrate the achievement of our graduates in person."

The hall was packed with fresh bachelors of BUV’s Class 9 majoring in Events Management, Marketing Management, Tourism Management, Contemporary Creative Practice, etc.

"These graduates will move to the workforce with something that differentiates them from other graduates in Vietnam, a degree underpinned by the heritage and quality of the British higher education system!

The value of such a degree is the assurance of a number of key criteria that employers throughout Vietnam are seeking from University graduates – English language proficiency, international quality assurance, international skills currency, and an astute and respectful social disposition,” said the professor.

Giáo sư Raymond Gordon - Hiệu trưởng trường Đại học Anh quốc Việt Nam. Ảnh: BUV.

Prof. Raymond Gordon - President of the British University Vietnam. (Photo: BUV)

The graduation ceremony became even more special as Prof. Dr. Kevin Hetherington, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University (UK) - the partner who awarded the degrees to BUV’s fresh bachelors, attended in person to congratulate them thanks to Vietnam’s latest decision to reopen its borders to international visitors.

“In every respect education is a wonderful thing. It changes lives, it makes the world a better place, it creates connections, and it gives you opportunities you might not otherwise have had.

That is something that both Staffordshire University and the British University of Vietnam have in common. Through our partnership we both seek to champion the role of education in achieving success. Education is, above all, a catalyst for change for the better in societies like ours,” said the Professor.

Các tân cử nhân thực hiện nghi lễ nhận bằng tốt nghiệp. Ảnh: BUV.

Degrees are being conferred to fresh bachelors. (Photo: BUV)

On behalf of her cohort, Lan Nhi Pham, bachelor of the Tourism Management programme class 1810, described her three-year journey at BUV as full of opportunities, from holding a large-scale event on her own with excitement and anxiety as a freshman, learning to connect with herself and her professors and peers as a sophomore to joining BUV’s Student Council and carrying off many large projects with confidence as a senior.

"Thank you BUV, for introducing the new horizon of the world, for encouraging me to be more confident, to take on new challenges, so that now I can proudly say that I found myself making it to the next level,” said Pham in her speech.

To Pham and many other fresh bachelors of BUV, it was not easy to study amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, the pandemic itself made their student life more special and unforgettable because of the unique learning and internship experiences as well as challenges that drive creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

Phạm Lan Nhi, cử nhân ngành Quản trị Du lịch khoá 1810, đại diện cho khoá sinh viên tốt nghiệp phát biểu. Ảnh: BUV.

Lan Nhi Pham, the bachelor of the Tourism Management programme class 1810, speaks on behalf of her cohort. (Photo: BUV)

Online lecture hall

As a university of international standards, in 2019, BUV put into use Canvas, a platform under the Learning Management System (LMS), as an online lecture hall which makes it easier and more effective for BUV-ers to learn from home.

At BUV, lessons are also regularly recorded for students’ review purposes. BUV-ers can take notes directly in-course materials on the iPads provided by the school from the time of admission for the most comprehensive experience and knowledge.

In particular, the “breakout rooms” feature of Canvas has been actively used to divide students into small groups. The division of students into groups to discuss directly with the lecturer about assignments, projects, and group work via chat, voice calls, and email… has helped students improve their interaction with lecturers and classmates.

Prof. Raymond Gordon said: “The blended learning model has been bringing many benefits to students because it helps students access a wealth of extensive knowledge not only in Vietnam but also in the world. It also provides university-to-university collaboration and worldwide learning opportunities for students.”

BUV also introduces students to online internship programs, providing the opportunity to gain unique work experience in an international environment and remote working skills. The program incorporates an element of cultural immersion, helping to connect students with employers and intern communities around the world. Examples include online international internship programmes by AIESEC, Virtual Internship company, Talent Basket…

Các tân cử nhân cùng giảng viên, gia đình có mặt tại lễ tốt nghiệp. Ảnh: BUV.

Fresh bachelors and their families at the graduation ceremony. (Photo: BUV)

New majors with first bachelor’s degree holders

Along with information technology, the creative industry is predicted to be one of the spearhead industries of Vietnam in the coming time. However, there are few formal creative training schools, making many aspirants feel hesitant and not confident enough to choose this career path.

Understanding this underserved need, BUV launched the Contemporary Creative Practice programme in 2018, with a suitable and flexible learning environment designed to incorporate new creative methods, helping students discover and develop personal skills that meet the criteria of the modern Creative Industry.

Here, students are encouraged to think creatively while being equipped with practical skills to ready themselves for the future working environment right from year one and create their own signature creative products across many projects.

The Event Management programme also saw the first class of graduates at BUV. The programme not only equips students with event management knowledge but also includes the business background and comprehensive skill set to become event professionals, from handling client requirements, legal issues, human resources, logistics, finance, communication, catering, and risk management to design presentation and event reporting. Students have the opportunity to participate in real projects and do internships to gain practical experience.

“BUV students, regardless of discipline, will be trained in design thinking, discovery and innovation. In an age of scientific and technological advancements, people will thrive not only in advancement of knowledge but also in the ability to create new knowledge, in a rapidly changing economic and social context, to provide solutions to many problems and create opportunities for all,” said Prof. Raymond Gordon.

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