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First school based on Finnish pedagogical approach has opened in Vietnam

Current issues Basic education Asia Education exports
A private school based on the Finnish curriculum and pedagogical approach has opened in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The opening ceremony of Vietnam-Finland International School (VFIS), the first school in Vietnam that is based on the Finnish model, was held on August 12th, 2019. The school, which operates under Ton Duc Than university, covers grades 1-9, and a part of the teaching staff comes from Finland. At the first stage, some 200 pupils have enrolled in the school.
Finnish and Vietnamese official standing on a stage, ready to cut a ceremonial cord held by women dressed in traditional Vietnamese costume.

Learning environment and pedagogy based on the Finnish model

The master plan of Vietnam-Finland International School has been drawn up with the help of Finnish experts, and the school building has also been designed by Finnish architects, to provide a learning environment that supports the pedagogical approach. The English language programmes of the school follow a learning plan based on the Finnish curriculum. Also the bilingual programmes, where part of the teaching is in Vietnamese, use methods that simulate those used in Finland. Finnish experts will continue to support VFIS in developing quality assurance.

- The learning program demonstrates many features that are central to Finnish education: learner centredness, creating a psychologically safe environment, and emphasis on metaskills and learning to learn. Pupils’ learning and well-being are supported by individualised learning plans, varying stages of support to learning, as well as recesses and school meals during the day, says Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General at the Finnish National Agency for Education EDUFI, at the opening ceremony.

The school operates as a private school with fees ranging from 16800€ for the international programmes to ca 9000€ for the bilingual programmes. The owner of the school, Ton Duc Than University, aims to re-invest all incomes back into the school to develop the programmes, learning environments, facilities and professional staff.

 

Culmination of a four-year process

The preparations for opening the Vietnam-Finland International School started four years ago, and the Vietnamese officials took the decision to establish the school in November 2016. The Finnish partner in the project is Wise Consulting Finland Ltd. In the early stages, EduCluster Finland and Finnish Consulting Group were also involved in the project.


- This project is a good example of how consistent and purposeful education export work can bring about excellent results. VFIS is a great model for future projects, where schools want to adapt the Finnish educational model and pedagogy , says Pasi Toiva, CEO of Wise Consulting Ltd.


The VFIS project has been supported during its different phases by Education Finland, a programme operating in the Finnish National Agency for Education EDUFI with the aim to support Finnish education export. The Education Finland programme has 120 education export companies as its members, and the programme facilitates their networking nationally and internationally and works to remove administrative barriers to boost the growth of the sector in international markets.