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Co-developing higher education in Nepal and Vietnam

Group of young students with disabilities.

DVINE-project promotes wellbeing, health, and dignity of people in Nepal and Vietnam by developing curricula and pedagogical approaches, as well as by building capacity in higher education institutions. The DVINE consortium includes 7 universities from Finland, Norway, Turkey, Nepal, and Vietnam.

 “We are strengthening the student-centred nature of education compared to the current teacher-centred teaching methods, and we are introducing teachers new teaching methods, “says project manager Ari Nieminen from Diaconia University of Applied Sciences.

New methods are being utilized in community development, innovation studies, and in simulation education. There has also been interest in sign language and using it in teaching in Nepal and Vietnam.

In addition, materials and literature will be procured to support the implementation of the new curriculum. For example, there will be new simulation dolls (simulation mannequins) that are used to practice and simulate nursing work in health education. The staff of the partner universities will also be pedagogically trained by northern partners to be able to use simulation methodology in teaching.

The corona pandemic has expanded opportunities for participation

The corona pandemic brought its own challenges to the implementation of an international development project, even though much of the work was already planned to be carried out remotely. The seminar in Oslo in the autumn had to be moved completely online due to travel restrictions.

“The online implementation has surprisingly increased the inclusiveness of the activities, as more people from all participating countries and universities have been able to participate,” Nieminen says.

In the future, the aim is to open the project’s workshops, at least partially, to students and users of social and health services in different countries. Workshops have also been conducted online, which has also required learning to use participatory, co-development methods online.

“We want to avoid a situation where experts come from the West and explain how things should be. Development is successful when it meets the real needs of different actors and is done together,” Nieminen says.

The DVINE-project promotes dignity

Another key goal of the DVINE project is to promote dignity of people (mutual respect, worth, appreciation). All participating universities have a strong value base, either through a Christian background or through professional ethics of the social and health fields. Yet, in different cultural settings, dignity refers to somewhat different things.

“Universal equality is easy to declare as an ideal value, but in practice societies and work organizations are hierarchically organized. This poses a practical challenge to welfare services and the promotion of people’s mutual respect,” Nieminen reflects.

The DVINE project is administered by the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences (Diak) in Finland, and the project partners are: VID Specialized University (VID) in Norway, Gazi Üniversitesi (GU) in Turkey, Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy (HUMP) and Hue University of Sciences (HUSC) in Vietnam, Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS), School of Nursing and Midwifery, Lalitpur Nursing Campus (LNC) and Xavier’s College (SXC), affiliated with Tribhuvan University in Nepal.

The DVINE project is funded by the European Union, Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency from the Erasmus+ programme: Higher Education – International Capacity Building

Press contact:

  • Project Manager Ari Nieminen, Diak, tel. +358 40 484 5625,