With the generous support of Microsoft, CED has recently expanded its successful, long term YouthSpark scholarship programs in Vietnam. Since 2016, the program supports 240 young Vietnamese women to develop their ICT-related skills and knowledge, and encourages them to pursue future careers within the sector.

Women are underrepresented in computer science, ICT and other STEM related fields, both in Vietnam and in many other countries across the globe. As we transition into the fourth revolution in manufacturing, often referred to as Industry 4.0, modern manufacturing methods will continue to be optimized with smart systems that use big data and automated analytical models. It is vital that women have the opportunity to support this, both in order to maximize the benefits that technology will have and to maximize gender equality in technology. CED recognizes this and, in partnership with Microsoft, has recently expanded its third-year YouthSpark Scholarship program in Vietnam to support the third cohort of 80 young women with a passion for technology who are majoring in ICT and computer science related fields.

The YouthSpark program seeks out promising young women who are interested studying technology and supports them to develop their creativity, technical competencies and soft skills. Candidates living with a disability and from disadvantaged groups are prioritized. A part from financial support, scholarship benefits include exposure to a range of training and events that nurture both ICT and soft skills, assistance in planning a future career in technology, funding and a support network of peers and experts in ICT and computer science.

As part of the program, CED has produced a series of short videos to provide more information on the program and show how scholarships have changed the lives of young women in Vietnam.

In the first video below, Mr. Pham the Truong, General Director of Microsoft Vietnam, explains more about the aims and activities of the Microsoft philanthropy, including YouthSpark Scholarship program. Associate Prof. Dr. Dinh Van Hai, Director, Department of Student Affairs, Hanoi University of Technology and Science (HUST), then expresses how the program has inspired more women to pursue a career in technology. Finally, Nguyễn Huỳnh Thanh Tâm, a scholarship recipient from the University of Information Technology in Ho Chi Minh City, describes how the program has inspired her and shaped her future career path.

During the second video, we follow the story of Vân from Eo Ru, a small village in Vietnam. Vân is a student at the University of Science in Hue who lost the use of her legs when she was just six years old. However, her spirit and determination are both immensely strong. Throughout the video, Vân describes how technology has given her hope and how the Youthspark Scholarship has inspired her to create software that will help many people in need across the globe.

The final video tells the story of Hoai, a fourth year Information Technology student from Hanoi University of Science and Technology. Hoai tells us about her passion for all forms of technology and how the program has given her the confidence to realize her dream of becoming an international IT engineer.

Through the YouthSpark scholarship program, Microsoft and CED hope create many more stories like those of Tâm, Hoai and Vân via encouraging young women to pursue a career in ICT and computer science.

For more information on CED’s programs, please visit www.ced.edu.vn.