How do we make high-quality education accessible to everyone?

In 2017, Duyen Thi My Bui was sitting in a restaurant in D1, Ho Chi MInh City. She had been working for many years at an international school in the city. Sitting in the restaurant, she started scribbling a draft for her five-year plan on the menu. The first line in it? “Live somewhere I don’t know.”

Fast forward two years, and Bui is in the Learning, Education and Technology Master’s programme at the University of Oulu. Mission accomplished, as far as her first item on her five-year plan is concerned. But what made her pursue further education in the first place?

“I was seeing a big gap between the students of the international school I was working in and with the students of public schools in Vietnam. I wanted all the children in Vietnam to be a part of the same high-quality education system as the students in my school. I don’t want to see children who are talented but do not have a chance to discover their potential. So, how can we make high-quality education accessible to everyone?” Bui asks.

Bui says that she hopes she will find an answer to her question in her programme. So far, she says that her programme really focuses on how people learn and how technology helps to enhance learning. 

“I really believe that technology can make it happen. I am thankful that in the programme there are chances to use new technologies and get to know current trends in education and technology. And how to apply technology to improve the way students learn,” Bui says.

Bui is driven to become an expert in learning and get into the field of learning design, how to create new learning environments for students. She wants to get back to practical work--teaching--after accumulating knowledge but also make an impact on a bigger level. One area that needs work in her country is the regulation of learning. 

“We need to figure out how to set the goal to regulate and monitor learning in effective and meaningful ways. This is a policy question, for which there needs to be an understanding of how learning works, how to set goals and monitor them, how to follow up on progress. These are the ‘big picture’ ideas in education,” Bui says.

Going back to her story of coming to Oulu, Bui laughs that in her life, she sometimes feels like she is just following images she’s seen as a child. 

“I still remember seeing a snowy mountain and some blue lights on the television, when I was little. I didn’t know the lights were called aurora borealis as a kid. Anyway, the images stayed with me. As an adult, I’ve been to the Mount Everest base camp in Nepal just to see the snowy mountains, and in Oulu I’ve already seen the northern lights,” Bui says.

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Last updated: 12.6.2020