At the Campus groundbreaking ceremony of Fulbright recently, Dr. Derby-Talbot, Chief Academic Officer, has addressed key features of Fulbright University Vietnam:
This is a remarkable moment for Fulbright University Vietnam in transitioning from the abstract to the concrete — literally.
Before casting Fulbright’s plans in concrete, however, we have been doing something smart.
We have been doing what progressive companies like software designers do in making innovative products — we have been co-designing our program.
For the past year, faculty and students have been working together in our Co-Design Year to create, improve, and hone Fulbright’s undergraduate program.
This means that students and faculty have been working together in teams to design features of classes, learning activities, and spaces. Their work has looked more like what you would see at a start-up company, rather than a traditional university.
Through this process of co-design, we have produced a great program thus far, and we have learned a lot.
We have learned for example, that starting with the solid base of an American-style, liberal education, we can incorporate modern ideas and innovations that enhance student learning, and create together something truly excellent and unique — a new approach to undergraduate education, tailor-made for Vietnamese students.
In other words, Fulbright is not only being built to be an outstanding university, it is being built to be an outstanding university uniquely designed for Vietnam and for the future.
But the Co-Design Year has been about more than just setting up the university. It has been about building a culture.
The secret to building a great educational experience — and I have been thinking about this for quite a long time — requires more than a great curriculum or an excellent campus.
It requires people who not only take courses, but wonder.
It requires people who not only take in information, but question.
It requires people who not only point out problems, but who come up with solutions — themselves.
It requires people who want more than a degree, who in fact want a rich, meaningful life full of purpose and service.
This is what the Co-Design Year has really been about, about creating a community of faculty, students and staff, that will fill these buildings of our new campus with inspiration, imagination, and continued improvement.
And it is this, that will continue to distinguish Fulbright University Vietnam as an outstanding university, now and for years to come.
To get a sense of what I mean, I’d like to give you a window into the Co-Design Year.
In the short film that follows, I hope you will be able to see what I mean when I say that the Co-Design Year has been about more than building a university, it has been about developing people.