British Council launches UK/Vietnam Season 2023

June 15, 2023 | 17:33
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On June 15, the British Council – the United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations – announced the UK/Vietnam Season 2023, a series of programmes from June through to December that showcases and celebrates the best of educational and cultural exchange and collaboration between the two countries.
British Council launches UK/Vietnam Season 2023
British Council launches the UK/Vietnam Season 2023 celebrating the best of UK-Vietnamese partnerships

Celebrating the British Council's 30-year anniversary in Vietnam and 50 years of diplomatic relations between the UK and Vietnam, the UK/Vietnam Season, themed on the climate, the environment, and shared heritage, will bring together thought leaders, academics, educators, entrepreneurs, and artists from various organisations in the UK and Vietnam to share ideas and experiences. They will discuss existing and future collaborations in the areas of arts and culture, education, and English language.

Around 200 dignitaries, stakeholders, and partners attended the opening ceremony of the UK/Vietnam Season at the Vietnam National Museum of History in Hanoi.

The launch highlighted the role of the British Council as the partner of choice and a leading advocate for arts and education in Vietnam, focused on environmental sustainability, digital heritage, and inclusive growth. At the event, some of the most innovative and creative work from both UK and Vietnamese artists and organisations was showcased.

British Council launches UK/Vietnam Season 2023
Scott McDonald, chief executive of the British Council

Scott McDonald, chief executive of the British Council said,We are delighted to bring our exciting collaboration to Vietnam in celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations and the 30th anniversary of the British Council here in 2023. We hope that the UK/Vietnam Season will deepen the UK’s relations with Vietnam and provide an opportunity for people from both countries to strengthen existing bonds and forge new creative partnerships in English, education, arts, and culture – areas that, we believe, have the power to unite people around the world.”

Tackling climate change is a key theme of the UK/Vietnam Season and a shared priority for the citizens and governments of both the UK and Vietnam.

Together with top universities and organisations from both countries, the UK/Vietnam Season will host hackathons, residencies, symposiums, and digital exhibitions to introduce and showcase innovative and creative solutions to addressing climate change – such as an illustrative exploration of the endangered natural habitat through the perceptive eyes of children that raises awareness about protecting the planet and shaping a better, more liveable environment for the future.

Another key theme is shared heritage, where participants will share, reflect, and explore UK and Vietnam ties through cultural heritage in all its forms. The Season will feature diverse programmes that showcase the richness of the special relationship between the two countries, including one-of-a-kind music festival performances that promise a sonic journey into the heart of residents from Hue to Manchester.

Within the framework of the UK/Vietnam Season, continued cooperation between the British Council in Vietnam and the government has also been fostered through the MoU signing between the British Council and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The MoU will enable both parties to engage in a mutually beneficial cooperation on the arts, the heritage sector, and cultural and creative industries to reinforce the shared vision of supporting UK-Vietnamese collaborations and partnerships and strengthen connections between the people of Vietnam and the UK.

British Council launches UK/Vietnam Season 2023
Donna McGowan, director of British Council Vietnam

Donna McGowan, director of British Council Vietnam said, “The British Council has witnessed the flourishing of Vietnam over the past 30 years, and we are excited to continue to contribute to the development of its English proficiency, education, arts, and culture. The UK/Vietnam Season 2023 programme furthers the British Council’s mission to foster discussions, cooperation, and initiatives around key issues to strengthen the development of the UK-Vietnam partnership and ignite a brighter future ahead. By providing a foundation for the creation of lasting partnerships, the UK/Vietnam Season will connect ideas and experiences from Vietnam and the UK, giving a platform for conversations on shared challenges.”

Reflecting on the partnership between the British Council and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Dr. Nguyen Phuong Hoa, director general of the International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said, “The British Council and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have worked closely for years to strengthen relations between the UK and Vietnam and develop our capabilities in arts and culture. Our cultural heritage is an important source of creativity and innovation, and we are committed to nurturing new initiatives and works inspired by our shared heritage. By creating contemporary dialogues and stimulating new narratives, we can draw inspiration from our shared histories and forge a stronger bond between our countries. The UK/Vietnam Season celebrates the long-standing relationship between Vietnam and the UK and promises to build new connections and create a shared future for the next generation.”

The British Council has a long-established presence in Vietnam, with a dynamic portfolio spanning the arts and creative industries, education (higher, vocational, and non-formal), and English teaching, learning, and assessment, delivering a range of academic and professional UK qualifications. It has 345 staff in Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City across six offices and teaching centres. Four more Young Learner language centres will open in 2023, with a further 10 planned in the coming two years.

By Oanh Nguyen

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