A push to reform Vietnam’s banking sector has brought a group of State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) officials and Banking University of Ho Chi Minh lecturers and researchers to Griffith University.

SBV Legal Department Deputy Director General and course attendee, Duong Nguyen Tuyet said: “Vietnam is still a developing country and we are trying to turn it from a planned economy into a market-oriented economy. In order to do that, there are a lot of things need to be adjusted, especially the banking system.”

“SBV needs numerous communication tools to improve public perceptions on new policy as well as draft policy proposals.”

The four-week Griffith based Australia Awards Fellowship focussed on developing sustainable banking systems, increasing Vietnam’s economic competitiveness and reducing the gap between Vietnam and other countries in the region.

The Australian Government funds Australia Awards Fellowships administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. They aim to build capacity and strengthen partnerships between Australian organisations and partner organisations in eligible developing countries in support of key development and foreign affairs priorities.

By providing short-term study, research and professional development opportunities in Australia, mid-career professionals and emerging leaders can tap into Australian expertise, gaining valuable skills and knowledge.

The Fellowship also exposed staff to new knowledge, skills and experience in leading modern banking systems like Australia’s. It alsoincluded a visit to the Reserve Bank of Australia in Sydney.

The course was facilitated by senior Griffith Business School academics, Associate Professor Jay Bandaralage and Professor Tom Nguyen, both of whom have extensive knowledge of economic growth and development delivering donor-funded programs in the developing world. They were assisted by Griffith Vietnamese PhD candidates and academic staff.

Program attendees were encouraged to display ownership and personal accountability by submitting their reports to a panel of lead instructors as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Tran-Phuc Nguyen, a former Griffith University PhD student, and the current Acting Deputy Manager of The Banking University of Ho Chi Minh City’s postgraduate department, said: “By the end of the course, under the enthusiastic help of academic supervisors, each group could produce a report and deliver a 30-minute presentation of their initial research findings, which initiated a very constructive discussion.

“The research results of each study were relevant. The outcomes were realistic and more than expected. This success could be attributed to the great effort and heart of the course-designers, the academic advisors, the tutors and the program assistants.”

The short course was organised by Griffith’s International Business Development Unit (IBDU). Since 2011, IBDU has arranged nine short courses for Vietnamese policy makers and universities.