From 31st May to 18th June 2021, the Summer Training Course "Sustainable Forest Management and Bio-Economy" in the ERASMUS program: "European - Vietnamese Higher Education Network for Sustainable Forest and Bio-economy" co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission (EC) was hosted by Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry. The training course was held online with virtual events and excursions.
In the opening ceremony of the course on 31st May, Prof. Dr. Nguyen The Hung – Chancellor of TUAF had a welcome speech for the event. Attending the event, there were 6 partner universities who were leaders, experts from two other universities of Vietnam (University of Science (VNU), Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry (TUAF), Vietnam National University of Forestry (VNUF), and three universities from Europe (Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development (HNEE) - Federal Republic of Germany, Valladolid University – Spain (UV), South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (XAMK).
At the third Intensive Learning Period BioEcoN, there were 12 lecturers, experts, and nearly 100 students from above six universities belonging to European – Vietnamese Higher Education Network for Sustainable Forest and Bio-Economy. They come from countries around the world, including Bangladesh, Germany, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Nigeria, the Philippines, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and Vietnam. The BioEoN project established a Higher Education Institution (HEI) network of excellence for peer2peer learning and joint academic capacity building. Three universities from Vietnam collaborate with three universities from Europe (Germany, Spain, and Finland) to develop innovative learning materials that offer students a multidisciplinary view of sustainable forest-based bioeconomy. By developing a new Master of Science Programme, the partner universities develop, customize and align their curricula towards multidisciplinary skills and competencies. The project partners internationalize to produce fit-for-job graduates in response to rapidly changing job markets. The six partners merge their expertise to develop this innovative Master Programme.
Because of the outbreak SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the training course was postponed several times and finally decided to apply the Microsoft Team online platform to maximize opportunities for the international group of students and lecturers. Together with the challenges of internet connection, different time zone, and online-class management, this is also a great chance for the project manager, lecturers, and students being adapted to the recent global situation. The summer training course at the TUAF is the final BioEcoN Intensive Learning Period in a row within the framework of the project after two years of development. This is concurrently a good opportunity to carry out international links in education and training and cultural exchanges between universities and countries.