ASU is advancing USAID’s goals of achieving broad-based, sustainable economic growth for long-term prosperity by bringing cutting-edge solutions to address the multifaceted economic challenges facing the developing world. ASU’s boundary-spanning approach brings together public and private partners and leverages the university’s significant strengths across numerous disciplines including business, law, public administration and engineering.
- Workforce development: ASU has developed a model for vocational training that scales to the developing world, bringing a breadth and depth of workforce training capabilities to promote nimble, competitive economic growth. The resources of ASU’s Polytechnic Campus have been deployed around the world to advance developing countries’ capabilities in STEM professions, advanced manufacturing, clean energy, medical device development and cross-cutting technologies such as 3-D printing.
- Entrepreneurship and innovation: Ranked as the #1 School for Innovation by U.S. News and World Report, ASU is a leader in building entrepreneurial capacity in communities and individuals locally and globally. ASU brings a robust entrepreneurship curriculum, including specialized programming to empower women entrepreneurs. The world-renowned Thunderbird School of Global Management, now a part of ASU, offers entrepreneurship training programs designed to meet the specific needs of the developing world, proven through deployment in Peru, Afghanistan, Pakistan and beyond.
- Market access and supply chain: ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business brings world-class expertise in supply chain management, including procurement, logistics, operations management and supply chain performance optimization, to create solutions that provide market access in any resource context.
- Business-enabling environment: The interdisciplinary approach of ASU’s College of Public Service and Community Solutions draws upon law, public administration, economics, innovation and government to facilitate meaningful social change. For example, the Center for Urban Innovation brings together scholars and policymakers to promote innovation in governance, policy and management to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods, cities and urban regions.
- Infrastructure: ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering is the largest engineering school in the nation, offering expertise for infrastructure projects in energy, construction, communications and more.
Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP), Vietnam
Through the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP), ASU is developing a highly skilled technical workforce that will attract and sustain a healthy high-tech manufacturing industry in Vietnam. HEEAP began in 2011 as a public-private partnership between ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, USAID and Intel, and has expanded into a $25 million program that includes five of Vietnam’s top technical universities, three vocational schools, additional U.S. academic partners and a growing coalition of industry partners. At Vietnamese partner institutions, HEEAP is building capacity for international accreditation and technology solutions and driving faculty development, scaling ASU’s model of the university as a use-inspired research and economic development engine.
The Vocational and University Leadership and Innovation Institute (VULII), a three year HEEAP project funded by USAID, fosters systemic change across the institutions responsible for preparing the next generation of the engineering workforce. VULII provides educational capacity-building workshops and supports academic leadership within the Vietnamese educational system, including ministry officials and university rectors, administrators and professional staff, and faculty. Through HEEAP, ASU helped Ho Chi Min City University of Technology become Vietnam’s first-ever ABET-certified university. HEEAP’s instructional approach produces graduates who are work-ready with both project and applied skills and technical communication competencies required by multinational corporations. To date, 3,498 participants in U.S.-based and in-country workshops have been trained.
Based on the ongoing success of HEEAP, USAID invested an additional $10.8 million in 2015 to support BUILD-IT (Building University-Industry Learning and Development Through Innovation and Technology), a follow-on initiative that further expands HEEAP’s growing consortium of public and private stakeholders. BUILD-IT leverages deep and diverse government-industry-academic partners that share a goal of tightly linking STEM instruction in Vietnamese higher education institutions to the needs and capabilities of industry partners to produce graduates who can lead inclusive, technology-based growth.
HEEAP training at partner institution Cao Thang Technical College, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (credit: ASU Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.)