Singapore University of Social Sciences

Social Innovation in Hanoi

Social Innovation in Hanoi (OEL332)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Linguistics and Languages, Business Administration, International Trade, Science and Technology

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: College of Interdisciplinary & Experiential Learning


The objective of OEL332 is to provide students with the conceptual tools and learning experiences to develop a deeper understanding of social innovation in Hanoi. This is achieved through a combination of experiential learning, e-learning, classroom activities, and participation in an overseas trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. Vietnam’s reforms over the past 30 years has transformed it from one of the world’s poorest nations into a lower middle-income country today. Despite reducing the poverty rate from 70% to 7%, Vietnam continues to work on socio-economic development towards achieving UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through its ‘whole-of-society’ approach which emphasises the engagement of the private sector and civil society. Hanoi is at the forefront of such developments, having more social enterprises than other provinces. This is due to the strong ecosystem of support available in capacity building, financing, networking, training, and incubation of social businesses. Hanoi is thus ideal for exploring the role of the state in encouraging social innovation in Vietnam, and the role that social enterprises and start-ups play in Vietnam’s socio-economic development. This course will expose students to different aspects of Vietnam, from its economic, socio-cultural landscape, social entrepreneurship and start-up culture, to ethnic minority communities in Vietnam. It will focus on examining the role and participation of the state, private sector, and civil society in contributing to Vietnam’s sustainable development goals. Through visits to universities, social innovation centres, start-ups and businesses, hands-on activities with social enterprises, and field learning with ethnic minority communities in Sapa, students will extend their personal networks with individuals and organisations across different fields, and develop a deeper appreciation of Vietnam’s dynamism as a landscape of opportunities. At the end of the course, students would be able to better appreciate how the relationships between social innovation and the sustainable development play out in Vietnam, and extend their understandings to other countries.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July


  • Experiential Learning
  • Geopolitical, Historical and Socio-cultural aspects of Vietnam
  • Socio-economic Issues in Vietnam
  • Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals
  • The Role of the State in the Economic Development of Vietnam
  • Economic and Business Opportunities in Vietnam
  • Vietnam’s relationship with the world
  • Civil Society and its Role in Vietnam
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation
  • Social Entrepreneurship Scene in Vietnam
  • Digital landscape in Vietnam
  • Ethnic minorities in Vietnam

Learning Outcome

  • Explain how Vietnam’s rapid modernisation led to the emergence of its current social problems
  • Identify the key features of sustainable development and social innovation within Vietnam’s political-economic framework
  • Compare the roles that civil society and the state play in the economic and social development of Vietnam
  • Examine how Vietnam’s startup landscape evolved together with the rise of social problems
  • Deconstruct how presumptions about Vietnam shape one’s interpretations of its social innovation and sustainable development practices
  • Apply social scientific theories to relate social innovation to sustainable development
  • Verify new understandings of the relationships between social innovation and sustainable development with local partners
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