PHER VIETNAM (Partnership for Higher Education Reform in Vietnam)


The Partnership for Higher Education Reform (PHER) is a five-year initiative spanning from 2022 to 2026 to modernize Vietnam’s leading universities and strengthen Vietnam’s higher education system in alignment with USAID’s Higher Education Program Framework.

The project was officially launched at the Summer Workshop on July 25, 2022. It is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the form of non-refundable technical assistance and assigned to Indiana University, USA, as the project implementer.


PHER strengthens and supports three VNUs — Vietnam National University-Hanoi, Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, and the University of Danang – to achieve the following objectives:

  1. More sustainable and autonomous Vietnamese universities
  2. Improved teaching learning quality
  3. Improved research and innovation capacity
  4. Strengthened University – Industry Linkages

PHER engages a wide range of partners from the public and private sectors who can support, advance, expand, and accelerate the program.


PHER builds on effective models, introduces innovative approaches, and develops new partnerships. Its strategy centers around four key programs: Governance Excellence, Teaching and Learning Excellence, Research Excellence, and University-Industry Linkages. Higher-education policy advocacy and reform, technology and digitization, and gender empowerment are critical, cross-cutting strategies for success across these four pillars and support the long-term sustainability of PHER outcomes.

PROGRAM FOR GOVERNANCE: In this Program, PHER will provide leadership development opportunities for university leaders and policy makers in the broad area of higher-education governance.

PROGRAM FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING: The Program for Teaching Learning Excellence focuses on building institutional capacity for the VNUs in teaching and learning to improve academic quality, drawing extensively from IU’s successful experiences.

PROGRAM FOR RESEARCH: PHER will also facilitate inter-institutional research collaborations, doctoral training, and exposure to current trends in research methodology.

PROGRAM FOR UNIVERSITY-INDUSTRY LINKAGES: Through this program, IU and private-sector partners will support the VNUs to create incentives and develop guidelines on university outreach and building and sustaining prosperous partnerships between university and industry.


PHER envisions to serve as a “virtual” institution. It will provide a series of digital portals to support the project’s efforts to transform higher education policy and practices. These knowledge repositories will initially house content related to the four pillars and will grow to accommodate additional content and structure.


Through policy research, workshops, and seminars to dive deeply into key policy issues, PHER and partners will inform and develop recommendations to improve efficiency and create a culture of innovation within the Vietnamese higher-education system.


With extensive support through the Partnership for Higher Education Reform, the three partner universities are expected to become more sustainable, accountable, and autonomous through improved governance; demonstrate improved academic quality; and demonstrate improved research and innovation capacity.

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