Panel scores, decided by consensus, entered into individual applicant files
Spreadsheets (Open and Targeted Categories) with all scores (application scores and interview score) and rankings provided to JSCs
Panellists agree scores at end of each day’s interviews
Convene JSC Meeting(s) #2, at which JSCs identify (by rank) conditional awardees and reserves
Advise all successful and unsuccessful awardees (including ineligible from initial cull)
Reserve candidates to comprise approximately 5% of scholarships allocation for year
JSCs’ roles also includes ensuring that 20% of conditional awardees from both Targeted and Open Categories are identified as “disadvantaged”; this may involve adjustments to the initial rankings
Selected “disadvantaged” conditional candidates able to progress to conditional award status on a lower score than other candidates, with pre ELT English language classes provided (Level 3)
Direct-Entry (“Fast Track”) awardees, and Conditional Awardees from previous year who have now achieved necessary IELTS score, participate in Placement briefings, University selection Open Days
Direct Entry awardees are those whose IELTS scores or most recent test indicates that they do not need any English Language training (usually 6.5 minimum)
Briefings and Open Days held in Hanoi and HCM City
Any awardees wishing to change their course apply to ASDIV
Legitimate reason for change of course or institution required
Semester 1 placement request data entered into OASIS
Individual universities sent list of potential enrolees with approval to access all their application data on OASIS.
Universities which have agreed earlier to an unconditional letter of offer are advised of enrolees
From September (progressive)
English Language Training to commence for all conditional awardees from this year’s round, including those successful “disadvantaged” applicants who must undertake an earlier “TESOL Level 1”1 ELT course
ELT provider must offer a range of EL options targeted at differing conditional awardees’ English levels
Placement in a particular course, equivalent to Awardee’s English levels (e.g., Level 2 to Level 5) determined by both IELTS score and ELT provider placement test
Conditional awardees then progress through the structured ELT course levels to level 5, by which stage they should have achieved the necessary IELTS
If not, they are offered a form of supported self-study - and resit the IELST test (Until they gain the required 6.5 minimum, or are accepted by a university at a lower IELTS score)
December to January
Direct-Entry awardees, and Conditional Awardees from previous year who have attained the necessary IELTS score mobilised for Australia
Pre-Departure Briefings conducted
This cohort could also include those Conditional Awardee applicants from the previous year who have now successfully achieved their IELTS score.
June to July
Conditional Awardees from previous year who have achieved the necessary IELTS scores after their ELT program, and following a mid-year Pre-Departure Briefing, are mobilised for Australia
The mid-year mobilised candidates are likely to be those Conditional Awardees who entered the ELT program at Level 4 or Level 5, in the previous year
Conditional Awardees who entered at a lower level are not likely to be mobilised until the complete almost a full year of ELT; they will join this year’s Direct Entry awardees in the July-August Placement Briefings and Open Days, and subsequently be mobilised in December-January
Annex 3: Sub Program Concept Universities
A number of regional and provincial universities across the country have strong historical links to Australia Awards Scholarships.
Targeting more established, financially stable universities, for example in the Mekong Delta, may provide more immediate benefits. Universities in the central and southern regions including Hue, Da Nang, Can Tho and An Giang have a long history of engagement with the Australian aid program and key sectors including agriculture. However, a point of difference might be to target regional and/or provincial universities that also include a focus on disadvantage – with a substantial number of students from rural and ethnic minorities in priority geographic regions (e.g. northwest) under the new AIP. An example is Thai Nguyen, a designated regional university with a focus on the northern mountainous area (with around 100 alumni). As a regional university Thai Nguyen has more autonomy, including approval to license their twinning programs.
By strengthening the capacity of 1-2 targeted universities, the HRD program is expected to contribute to GoV’s ongoing higher education reforms at an operational level, and contribute to improvements in higher education quality and access, especially for the disadvantaged students.
Australian support may include strengthening the following:
human resource management theory and practices for university managers (through short courses/technical assistance)
English language proficiency, teaching and research capacity of lecturers (through scholarships, fellowships, short courses); and
enhancing linkages with Australian institutions (through fellowships, volunteer placements, NCP mobility grants, etc.).
Detailed identification of targeted universities and capacity needs and gaps will occur in the inception phase of the new HRD program, tentatively from December 2015-February 2016. Support activities will be designed in Year 1 (2016-2017) subject to funding availability.
A feasibility study2 conducted in late 2014 investigated options to support the TVET sector, including:
Bringing together relevant government agencies, training providers and industry to agree on a common national framework for evaluating and assessing vocational and technical competences and developing standards of occupational competency within a number of key sectors. This would be led by support for the establishment and operation of Sector Skills Councils who would be responsible for developing the industry-led qualifications that make up the relevant levels of the Qualifications Framework. This activity could be linked to strengthening capacity of selected ‘centres of excellence’ colleges in targeted areas, for example the water supply sector. Some ‘centres of excellence’ colleges already have established links with a number of Australian TAFE institutes. Coordination with these establishments would be expanded and strengthened through a technical assistance program to bring in Australian expertise and experience as well as involving Australian businesses in Vietnam.
In parallel, the HRD program considers support for a number of industry focused TVET teachers from centre of excellence colleges in priority sectors - to attend Certificate IV Workplace Training and assessment courses, with an intensive period of embedded work experience to provide them with the requisite practical skills required within their specific industry. This program could be implemented through an in-country scholarships program to be undertaken through any Australian accredited organisation (e.g. RMIT Vietnam or others), that is accredited to deliver the proposed Cert IV program. The industry work experience component could be provided by the larger Australian companies operating in Vietnam.
The Program deliberately does not support a ‘top down’ approach involving the government-regulated authority imposing the standards for curricula, occupational standards, quality control, teacher selection and student assessment without any involvement of industry or employers. This approach relies heavily on the human resources and capacity of MoLISA and particularly GDVT personnel to develop and implement the required systems and modalities. This approach has been tried by donors in the past, with limited success, due to the tight control exercised by MoLISA, including GDVT.
Annex 4: Short-term Training
Short-term training has advantages. It can enable participation by senior or critical staff that cannot be absent for long periods; it may be more suitable to women particularly those with young children; it can be customised to meet specific needs; and it can provide more diversity in the type of awards available for study and training.
At the same time, short-term training can create a substantial workload, both technical and administrative, to effectively meet requirements; the time lag between identifying short term training needs, followed by the customised design of the course content and subsequent outsourcing of program delivery can impact the availability of key participants.
It will be critical to plan approaches to short-term training to ensure the training program is contextualized and demand driven rather than supply driven. Key factors include:
Effective training design and timing including, targeted content, in-Australia, in-Vietnam delivery, structured/ad hoc courses, appropriate participant selection, multiple teaching methods/blended models and follow-up support;
Organisational context, including, commitment, clear identification of needs, barriers and capacity gaps;
Establishing feedback loops between program design, delivery, monitoring and evaluation and organisational practice for capacity building.
Wherever possible, successful completion of the training should result in either a formal transcript or a complete unit/ subject offered within a course under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) or through an institution accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency. In all cases, compliance with this level of quality assurance requires a recognised standard of both course content and course delivery.
While some courses may involve in-Vietnam delivery only, most are expected to involve both an Australian and Vietnamese delivery component. To achieve the public diplomacy outcomes sought from the program, it is important that, short course participants have the opportunity for an “Australia experience”. However, in some cases (such as economic reasons, access to available technology or the inability of proposed short-term training participants to travel), solely in-Vietnam delivery may be appropriate.
Subject to budget availability, between three (3) and five (5) short courses will be developed initially under the program, with each course delivered up to three times over Years 3, 4 and 5 of the program. Research indicates that between 15 and 20 participants is the optimum number for each course.
Close liaison with DFAT sector experts at Post will be essential to ensure alignment of STT topics with current priorities and sector initiatives. As some of the AIP Priority Sectors are traditionally male-dominated sectors (e.g. agriculture, water, infrastructure, economic reform), it will be essential to carefully select the STT courses to be delivered and specifically promote the courses to women to achieve gender balance across each sector.
The courses will be custom designed by contracted Australian education institutions, based on consultation with DFAT sectoral experts, partner governments and the private sector, as to appropriate course content for the target participants. Courses could likely include a theoretical and familiarisation component in Australia, and a practical component in Vietnam.
Where the agreed STT courses are discipline- or technology-specific, to maximise development impact from those specific skills provided through the program, each such short course should consider including an innovative cross-cutting public policy component.
This component should address key issues to provide awardees with a broader set of generic skills (covering gender equality and social inclusion, leadership and governance, ethics and transparency). The depth to which these cross-cutting subjects will be addressed would depend on each course curriculum, length, and the existing skills and experience of its participants.
Table 1: Potential STT Course Cross-cutting Components
Promotional strategies for the STT courses should be included in the Program’s Australia Awards Promotions and Communication Plan. However, in most cases, STT courses will not be advertised broadly, but rather notified to a clearly defined sector(s) or group of organisations, particularly those identified in the Targeted Category. While some STT participants will have sufficient English language ability to participate actively in the training, course selection and delivery must allow for a range of language skill levels among participants. Provision of a translator may be required, or alternatively, non-English speaking candidates may be streamed into dedicated training cohorts.
Annex 5: Contractor In-Country Responsibility Principles for Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) and the New Colombo Plan (NCP)
It is proposed the Program support the implementation of the AVID and NCP programs primarily through administrative support. Support should only complement, not duplicate, support provided by other partners and stakeholders.
Contractor responsibilities will be confirmed by DFAT Hanoi within three months of commencement of the Program.
Table 1 outlines the principles that will guide identification of responsibilities of the Contractor to support implementation of the AVID and NCP programs, and examples of activities that may be identified:
Table 1: Principles and activity examples for AVID and NCP
Identified activities should support the AVID and NCP:
Effectiveness and efficiency
Planning (AVID only) and cohesion with the HRD Program
Promotion and public diplomacy objectives
Stakeholder communication and collaboration
Ensuring cohesion between AVID support and other HRD supports managed by the Contractor
Coordinating the annual planning process
Managing the Post volunteer database and updates to the global DFAT database (managed by Volunteers Section)
Facilitating the issuing of appropriate work permits / visas for volunteers.
Assisting core partners with joint in-country orientation/ networking/ professional development activities (where activities can be combined)
Events management, facilitating high level visits, and production of communications materials and online content
Promoting and raising the profile of the NCP within Vietnam with key stakeholders, including relevant GOV agencies, Vietnamese universities and the business sector
Support involvement of NCP students in Australia Awards or AVID activities
Events management, facilitating high level visits, and production of communications materials and online content
NB: NCP funding is not eligible as Official Development Assistance (ODA) and implementation responsibility rests primarily with the Australian and Vietnamese universities involved. Support for NCP activities will be subject to available funding from non-aid sources.
Annex 6: Australia Awards Fellowships: Rounds 1-14
Increase in number of Vietnam Fellows (with some regional comparisons) - and trend line
Data sourced from various DFAT Australia Award Fellowship reports 2008-2014
BY AAV PROFILES:
Profile 1: Local government officials, staff from local NGOs and provincial enterprises
Profile 2: Central agency officials
Profile 3: Tertiary lecturers and researchers
BY EQUITY OF ACCESS FUND:
Ethnic minority origin
Annex 7: Benefits and challenges of split-degree programs
Often, split-degree (and credit transfer) programs have evolved from long-established student / staff exchange agreements among institutions. In these instances, levels of mobility continue to be a very significant aspect - necessary for students to benefit from studying and living in a different culture and academic context. New technologies are impacting student learning across all developed, and in many developing, countries.
A pertinent question relates to the real or perceived values of the “international experience”. Is, for example, a student more likely to gain more employable skills by completing an in-Australia component (of either a standard Australia Awards Scholarships program or a split-degree) ORthrough online tutoring and interaction while located in the student’s own country? In this situation, it can easily be argued that the participant, although being able to access quality Australian tertiary education by using all current and emerging online technologies, is clearly missing out on the personal, political and social growth that will necessarily accompany studies in a country other than their own. However, any such technological delivery does add a further dimension to a student’s experience, and can readily expand access for students and staff who are not able to physically move to another country for a period of time.
Split-degree programs involving non-Anglophone countries face challenges relating to the need for bi- or multi-lingual student participation. However, fortunately, or otherwise, English is the dominant language of instruction in much of the world, and DFAT’s program specifically requires an appropriate level of English language ability. Certainly, gaining fluency in a second language helps a participant’s communication skills broadly, as well as their employability and understanding of another culture.
While awarding two separate degree certificates appears to be the most common form of award in collaborative programs, in a world of increasing “credentialism”, some potential split-degree students may perceive that nothing less than an (international) joint testamur is sufficient. This is not currently possible in Australia, under existing quality assurance policies and practices.
Further, there is a perception that some split- (and double, multiple and combined) degrees are more legitimate than others. Part of the concern rests with the perceived double-counting of course credits/ workload for two or more qualifications. This has led to the “two for the cost of one” label for many double degrees - not measured in monetary terms alone, but also in relation to student workload.
The lists below of benefits and disadvantages of split / dual degrees summarises the available data to date concerning split-degree courses involving formal relationships between institutions in two or more countries:
Benefits of split-degree courses
Increased relevance of postgraduate research to national priorities if first half of degree is completed in student’s home country;
Capacity building (disciplines) of home country institutions is enhanced as host country academic personnel are mentored by host country institution counterparts;
Institution-to-institution links between home and host country universities are strengthened and provide increased learning and professional development opportunities in both locations;
Administrative capacity within home country institutions is improved through institutional administrators’ observation of host country university practices;
Potential success-oriented students may be more likely to apply (for a scholarship) if they will be required to complete a lesser time studying in a host-country, away from their home, work or support networks;4
Language skills are enhanced – particularly technical language – in both institutions;
Strategies to model greater transparency in student and course management are promulgated through observation of host country practices;
Potential exists for “flow-on” international self-funded student recruitment benefits to the host country;
Split-degree courses offer more cost-effective implementation, through lower comparative costs of home country course components;
Suited to students with social constraints, e.g. on account of caring responsibilities or disability.