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USAID BUILD-IT forum explores impact of women in STEM fields

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) project and Lac Hong University co-hosted the final forum in the six-part Playbook forum series, entitled “Women in STEM: Engaging in Applied Projects”, on December 15.

The BUILD-IT project is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Arizona State University.

This forum explored the positive impact of women in STEM support services designed, implemented and conducted by BUILD-IT partner universities and Arizona State University, according to a press release from USAID Vietnam. Participants in this forum experienced the successes and challenges of enrolling, supporting and graduating women in STEM fields.

Attending the forum, Lopa Basu, senior advisor at USAID Vietnam, reflected, “It is exciting to be part of the sixth and final forum in BUILD-IT’s Playbook Series. The impact of the first five forums cannot be overestimated, and I am sure this forum will continue in this tradition of impact. Saving what I consider to be the most important and most impactful forum for last, this forum celebrates the eight-year collaboration between USAID, BUILD-IT and their university partners in their value of Women in STEM.

“These forums have brought together experts in academia, industry, and government with the common goal of transforming Vietnamese higher education, aligning it with the needs of industry, to create ready-to-work graduates who can contribute effectively and efficiently to an ever-changing workforce,” the USAID Vietnam senior advisor said.

While benefits of BUILD-IT’s programs are obvious in real time, the real value of BUILD-IT is in its long-term support of higher education. To leverage seven years’ worth of programs, workshops, seminars, and training sessions, BUILD-IT created its Playbook Series to assist in sustaining BUILD-IT’s value long after the BUILD-IT program ends in 2023.

The 2022 series of BUILD-IT forums celebrated key topics from the BUILD-IT playbook series, as prioritized by university partners. Topics in this playbook series include Institutional Accreditation, Project Based-Learning, Digital Immersion Learning, Program Accreditation (AUN-ABET), Industry Advisory Boards, Women in STEM, Maker Innovation Network, and Faculty Development and Active Learning.

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