The Vietnam - The Netherlands Programme (VNP) for M.A. in Development Economics (MDE) started in 1994 under the Cooperation Training Project for the Graduate Program in Development Economics between Vietnamese and Dutch universities . The Dutch government funded this project. Two Dutch institutions and two Vietnamese universities took part in this project. They are the Institute of Social Studies (ISS, the Hague, The Netherlands) and Wageningen Agricultural University (WAU, the Netherlands), the National Economics University (NEU, Hanoi) and the University of Economics_HCMC (UEH, Ho Chi Minh City).
The VNP program at the University of Economics – HCMC has established itself as a center of excellence in development economics training in Vietnam. At the end of the funding period, the Dutch government continued to provide technical support to the program and enabled it to become financial independent with students' tuition fees. In 2003, UEH and ISS entered the Agreement of Training Cooperation for the Joint Master's Degree in Development Economics based tuition fees.
The VNP has developed academic and professional cooperation and collaboration with other international programs such as the Fullbright Teaching Program and the joint program between Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and University of Economics. The VNP has successfully expanded its existing faculty network of members graduating from prestigious universities worldwide to include visiting lecturers from other countries.
In May 2009, VNP, in compliance with ISS's regulation,conducted an external quality assessmentwith assistance of professionals from Manchester University. The result confirmed that the program met with all standards of an international program.
In Vietnam, VNP follows the regulation of and submits periodic reports to the Ministry of Education and Training.