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Internationalisation of higher education in Vietnam through English Medium Instruction (EMI): practices, tensions and implications for local language policies
chapterposted on 2018-05-16, 00:00 authored by Ly TranLy Tran, Huong Thu Nguyen
The proactive approach to internationalisation of higher education in Vietnam in the last twenty years is closely related to the phenomena of using English as medium of instruction (EMI) and borrowing curriculum from foreign institutions. In both policy and practice, EMI has been simultaneously used as a key instrument and as an indicator of internationalisation of higher education. Vietnam’s language policy stresses the preservation and enrichment of Vietnamese, the national official language, and other ethnic minority languages. However, the ways in which internationalisation is constructed through the use of EMI and EMI programs are promoted as a marker of distinction in higher education and in the labour market perpetuate the sentiment that the mainstream programs delivered in Vietnamese, alongside with EMI programs within the same university, are of second order importance and have lower status. This chapter addresses the promotion of EMI in the internationalisation agenda of Vietnamese universities and its implications for local language policies. It argues for maximising the potential benefits of using EMI to enhance the quality of higher education and graduate employability while ensuring equity and equality in university contexts where both EMI and Vietnamese medium programs are offered concurrently.