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Blog: The Red Dragon and the Rising Dragon, what next for Global Wales in Vietnam?

Tracey Marenghi is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Global Wales’ Study in Wales brand

You’d be forgiven for thinking this edit is another round-up of the latest Game of Thrones saga; it’s actually an update about our next steps at Global Wales in Vietnam following our visit this month.

And why the Rising Dragon?

That’s thanks to Bill Hayton’s Vietnam Rising Dragon depicting the people, progress and growing prosperity in Vietnam over the last 20 years.  This helps explain why Vietnam has been a priority market for Global Wales since 2015.  Vietnam was selected not only for its recruitment potential, but also in recognition of the fact that Vietnam has been investing in its own HE reform.

Between 1990 and 2016, when corrected for purchasing power, Vietnam’s GDP per capita grew by a whopping 3,303 percent, the second-fastest growth rate worldwide, only surpassed by China.  More importantly, Vietnam is currently one of the most dynamic outbound student markets worldwide – between 1999 and 2016, the number of outbound Vietnamese degree students exploded by fully 680 percent, from 8,169 to 63,703 students (UNESCO Institute of Statistics). Given Vietnam’s economic growth projections, and that 60% of the population is aged under 35, student mobility is bound to increase in the years ahead, especially as the country seeks to internationalize its economy and education system.

The Global Wales team have already built a strong platform with key partners in Vietnam; the Ministry of Education and Technology, World Bank, the British Council and Vietnamese universities to inform the HE process taking place, and last week’s visit represents the next step to begin promoting Wales as a study destination.

This trip actually came about as a result of Visit Wales’ partnership with Qatar Airways collaborating on the new Cardiff Airport route and promoting Wales as a tourist destination. The developing stakeholder relationships within Global Wales and Welsh Government meant that an opportunity was spotted to connect Global Wales with Qatar Airways mutual objectives for development in Vietnam.  Supporting Global Wales on this trip with her broad experience of international student recruitment was Arlene Griffiths.

This resulted in two great outcomes

The first was a joint workshop presenting to education agencies in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.  The majority of outbound students use an education agent to facilitate their application to study abroad – Global Wales was able to raise awareness of Wales as a study destination, while Qatar got to promote its Cardiff service.  The second win is that Qatar have co-branded their next digital marketing campaign in Vietnam with Study in Wales, which is set to run for the next couple of months.

We also took the opportunity while in Vietnam to make progress with other key partners.  Getting ready to promote the Global Wales Chevening Scholarships with our colleagues in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we got coverage in Zing.vn, an online news publication with a daily reach of 20m – it’s in Vietnamese, but you can see the article here.  We’re also working with our Global Wales partners, the British Council to support our summer marketing campaign for Study in Wales.  BC Vietnam is renowned for its high-quality language training and promotion of UK culture and this recognition creates a strong network for the Study in Wales brand to establish its first marketing campaigns.

Arlene and I were extremely fortunate to be able to meet alumni that have studied in Wales.  They all fell in love with Wales during their time here and place great value on their learning journey at the various Welsh universities they studied at – all of them now have high calibre careers back in Vietnam.  They have given us wonderful stories to share, to encourage more students to study in Wales.