Introduction of SEAMEO and SEAMEO RETRAC

Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO)

SEAMEO Regional Training Center in Vietnam



On 30 November 1965, the Ministers of Education of Southeast Asian countries established the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) for the development of the region through regional co-operation in education, science and culture.

SEAMEO consists of:

Eleven Member Countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam

Eight Associate Member Countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Spain and United Kingdom.

Four Affiliate Members: the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and University of Tsukuba (Japan); and the British Council, China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE).

One Partner Country: Japan

Vietnam, readmitted as a SEAMEO Member State on February 10, 1992 by the SEAMEO Council, hosts the SEAMEO Regional Training Centre (SEAMEO RETRAC) in Ho Chi Minh City, as one of the 15 SEAMEO Centers in the Region.


Through the pursuit of excellence and the development of expertise, SEAMEO RETRAC aims to become a leading regional centre in the field of educational management, serving all SEAMEO Member Countries.


To assist SEAMEO Member Countries to identify and address issues of educational management and other educational fields, particularly in teaching and learning, through research, training, consultancy, information dissemination, community service, networking and partnership.


The SEAMEO RETRAC Governing Board is the main policy making body of the Centre. The Governing Board comprises one representative from each of the 11 SEAMEO Member Countries. The Centre is headed by a Vietnamese Director who is nominated by the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam, approved by the Governing Board, and officially appointed by the SEAMEO Council President.

The Centre is staffed by qualified professional, administrative and service personnel working in the following divisions and departments:

  • Division of Education;
  • Division of Foreign Studies;
  • Department of International Development;
  • Department of Research and Project Development;
  • Department of Personnel and Legal Affairs;
  • Department of Planning and Finance;
  • Department of Administration;
  • Annex 2;
  • Library and Information Center; and,
  • Department of Quality Assurance and Branding.

In addition, experts from donors, governments, international organizations and exchange programs from affiliated countries complement the permanent staff under partnership agreements.


SEAMEO RETRAC assists SEAMEO Member Countries, especially Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam, to identify and tackle problems of leadership and management in education at all levels. SEAMEO RETRAC directs its efforts on educational issues by undertaking innovative, relevant programs through research, training, consultancy, staff exchange and fostering of regional and international partnership, and engaging in other related activities within and outside the region. In addition, SEAMEO RETRAC offers language training, teacher training and other training programs in education.


In cooperation with local, foreign and international organizations, SEAMEO RETRAC conducts:

Training courses, workshops and conferences;
Research, consultancy, project development and information dissemination; and,
Study tours, personnel and student recruitment & exchange for educational, scientific and cultural purposes.


Critical thinking and creative problem solving;
Interactive, informal and based on experience sharing and practical learning;
Innovative learner-centered; and,
♦ Flexible and cost effective.

For more information on SEAMEO RETRAC and its activities, visit