New Laos-US project to strengthen management of educational institutions

Dr Oudom Phonekhampheng (right), and Sengthong Phothisane exchanging the signed MoUs in Vientiane on Oct 21, 2021. - VN

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/Asia News Network): Laos and the United States are partnering to strengthen management, administrative and technical abilities so that educational institutions can more effectively contribute to the socio-economic development of Laos.

Continuing the United States’ support to Laos in strengthening academic institutions, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Education and Sports have launched the “Study and Modeling of Management Capacity and System Strengthening Project”.

The project budget is US$ 2.9 million, running from 2021-2023, and granted by USAID and implemented by Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International, in partnership with the National University of Laos.

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to officially launch the programme took place on Thursday between Acting President of the National University of Laos, Dr Oudom Phonekhampheng, and Project Manager from RTI International, Mr Sengthong Phothisane.

Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Dr Sourioudong Sundara and US Ambassador to Laos Dr Peter M. Haymond witnessed the signing ceremony.

Under the MOU, the project will design and develop management training courses and provide comprehensive training plans based on the needs of academic institutions, including the National University of Laos, Souphanouvong University, Savannakhet University and Champassak University, university professors, and students.

It will enhance the capacity of operational and managerial skills through training, technical and academic consultations, mentorship, applied learning and implementation of target educational institutions and students.

The project will monitor and evaluate learning and modelling through the sharing of lessons learned from the universities.

Dr Sourioudong said “The USAID-supported programme is an important project that will contribute to achieving the education and sports sector’s development goals.”

The key point of this project is to transfer knowledge to academic institutions in order to continue to build the management capacity of various organisations in Laos.

Ambassador Haymond said “The new programme demonstrates our strong commitment and expanding relationship under the US-Laos Comprehensive Partnership.”

This year marks the 5th anniversary of the partnership, and the United States is proud to partner with Laos in helping local academic institutions to contribute more effectively to Laos’ socio-economic development goals.

Since the inception of the US-Laos Comprehensive Partnership in 2016, USAID has increased its assistance to support the Lao government to improve the climate for investment and trade, enhance the competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises, strengthen governance and the rule of law, promote inclusive education, and advance health and education outcomes for the Lao people.

All of this assistance encourages sustainable and inclusive development, market-driven growth, supports economic independence and integration with Asean, and helps Laos achieve its national development goals.

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