Luan’s photo in ADS program

ACET has been conducting the English Language Training Program for AusAID’s Australian Development Scholarships (ADS) since 2007, after competing for the tender the previous year. The program operates at ACET’s centres in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, with in excess of 100 candidates undertaking training each year. The purpose of the training is to prepare the scholarship candidates for the IELTS examination.

The training program for the ADS candidates generally runs from February through to September each year, with candidates beginning their study at various points in ACET’s academic pathway from AE3 to AE6. ADS candidates receive between 300 and 600 hours of in-class English language tuition depending on their entry point. In addition to the in-class tuition, they are involved in a comprehensive program of self-study with access to academic counseling and monitored study activities on a daily basis.

At each of our centres, ACET has appointed a team of experienced teachers and administrators led by a program coordinator and pastoral care officer in each city. The team works in close collaboration with each other and with the ADS candidates to deliver a program of the highest quality
2011 marks the fifth year of ACET’s involvement in the training of ADS candidates. The following table outlines the number of candidates ACET has trained and the level of success that has been achieved:
Total candidates
completed training
62 (80.5%)
70 (92%)
88 (95.65%)
111 (97.4%)
15 (19.5%)
6 (8%)
4 (4.35%)
3 (2.6%)

In general, the percentage of candidates who have reached the IELTS target band score (6.0 with no sub-band under 5.5) has increased significantly over the period, culminating in a 98% success rate for the most recent intake.

Candidate profiles

This year, as a result of AusAID’s priority to reach deeper into the more remote rural provinces of Vietnam, ACET is training a diverse group of candidates with very different backgrounds.
Included amongst our current group of students in Hanoi are three young women who are true examples of the diversity of this year’s cohort. They originate from two of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups. Hoang Dieu Thuy and Dinh Thi Hue, from Ha Giang and Cao Bang provinces respectively, are from the Tay group, while Mong Thi Luan from Lao Cai is from the Nung group. Interestingly, both of these groups share strong affinities in terms of language and culture and co-exist in the valleys and lower hills of the provinces between Hanoi and the Chinese border.

Mong Thi Luan – hoping to undertake MA in Tourism

Luan comes from a typical Nung family in which agriculture is the main source of income. Luan’s mother and brothers work rice paddies and raise pigs, chickens, ducks and fish. Growing up in a large family of seven children presented many challenges. The money generated from farming was not always enough to keep everyone at school. Luan’s mother borrowed books from relatives and was forced to withdraw her other children from school. Luan, the youngest of the seven, was the only one to complete high school and go on to graduate from university. Luan is hoping to undertake a Masters degree in tourism in Australia with the intention of returning to Vietnam to assist people from her community to establish and maintain an income stream from tourism activities.

The two Tay candidates have similar backgrounds. Thuy says “my passion is heritage”. Brought up by her grandparents until she was six years-old while her parents worked at establishing their careers, Thuy is now following in the footsteps of her mother, a retired government researcher and writer on Tay minority culture. She is intending to study a Masters in Social Science with a focus on the management of heritage. Hue’s father has been her inspiration. A retired Cao Bang local government statistics man, he has overseen Hue’s move into a career in economic policy making in the province. She is hoping that her future studies in economics in Australia help her to lift the standard of living for the people of her community and region.

ACET wishes these three candidates well, firstly in their English language training and later in their studies in Australia and in the achievement of their career goals.

Hoang Dieu Thuy (left) – passion is heritage and conservation & Dinh Thi Hue (right) – hopes to be a policy maker.

Nguyen Van Thai – Working Towards Stronger Management of Vietnam’s Biodiversity

Amongst many priorities for Vietnam’s future development is the environment. The country faces many challenges in this area, none greater than the sustainable management of its biodiversity. Many ADS scholars, past and present, are committed to this cause

One such person is Nguyen Van Thai, an ADS candidate this year, who has a deep passion for animal conservation. Thai is a Wildlife Manager in one of northern Vietnam’s biggest national parks, Cuc Phuong National Park, situated south-west of Hanoi in Ninh Binh Province. His specific area of interest is the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP), particularly the animal known as the pangolin (sometimes called the scaly ant-eater).
In 2010, Thai applied to participate in training at the prestigious International Training Centre at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, located in Jersey in the United Kingdom. This organization’s mission is to “save species from extinction” and they have been involved in sponsoring wildlife managers from developing countries to study at the facility since 1984. Thai is only the second such representative from Vietnam. During his four month period there, he undertook training in theory and practical skills. This study included guidance on sponsorship proposal writing, the application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in natural resource management and workshops on leadership and management skills. The “hands on” part of the experience involved working closely with the local staff at the ‘Jersey Zoo’ and delivering a series of presentations in several UK zoos on threatened species in Vietnam.
Thai knows that the Vietnamese government and specialists working in his field face stiff challenges moving forward into the future. In Australia, Thai will study a Masters in Forestry with an emphasis on wildlife conservation, hoping that the knowledge and skills he learns will help in his quest to create greater awareness amongst his countrymen and women of the plight of the many endangered species in Vietnam.
To see more about animal conservation, zoos and Thai’s work in Vietnam, click on the following links:


IELTS Preparation

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