UT researchers initiate nearly million euro contribution to Vietnamese medical education

Under the leadership of the University of Tartu medical researchers, a 958,804 euro grant was received in tight competition from the European Commission to develop medical education in Vietnam in cooperation of four European and four Vietnamese medical universities. European researchers will support creating the first doctoral programme of medicine which is also supported by the government of Vietnam.

The money was granted from the global Erasmus+ application round, funded by the European Commission, where 147 of the 736 submitted applications received funding. The curriculum development project “Joint capacity building in biomedical higher education through adopting international academic standards and transferring technology between European and Vietnam universities“, written by UT researchers, received the maximum support amount at second attempt.

Medical education and the quality of health care in Vietnam are years behind compared to Europe. “The Vietnamese government also admits there are shortcomings in this field—there is a shortage of doctors in Vietnam and there are practically no people with a doctoral degree, which in turn hinders the local training and teaching possibilities and quality,” says leader of the project, UT Professor of Pathophysiology Sulev Kõks.

Due to this, the European Commission considered the project prepared at the initiative of UT researchers to be very innovative and necessary. The main aim of the project is to, in cooperation of European and Vietnamese colleagues, develop an innovative doctoral programme of molecular medicine for Vietnamese medical universities and train lecturers and doctors who would instruct the healthcare professionals of the new generation.

In its report the European Commission recognises the importance of the project and international cooperation, because at the local level Vietnam lacks the financial resources and competence to develop quality medical education and a doctoral programme. The long-term experience of UT researchers in teaching and doing research in Vietnam, incl. training doctoral students in Estonia, was considered a strength of the project. Three UT scientists—Sulev Kõks, Aare Märtson and Katre Maasalu—have been named visiting professors of Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy for their contribution to the development of Vietnamese medical education and system.

The objective of the project is that with the help of European colleagues, Vietnamese universities will have the capacity to provide higher education and training to future healthcare professionals who contribute to improving the health of the local people with their high quality knowledge and skills and by that fill a significant gap in the labour market.

The consortium founded by UT includes, in addition to UT, the University of Greifswald in Germany, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, the University of Essex in UK and four major medical higher education institutions in Vietnam: Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Danang University of Medical Technology and Pharmacy, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi University of Pharmacy.

The main leaders of the project and consortium from the UT are Professor Sulev Kõks, Associate Professor Aare Märtson, Associate Professor Katre Maasalu, Professor Mare Saag, Dr Aivar Ehrenberg, Associate Professor Triin Jagomägi, Associate Professor Ain Raal, Senior Assistant Urve Paaver and others.

Additional information
Sulev Kõks, UT Professor of Pathophysiology
+372 5263530

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