Read the full newsletter HERE.

Dear cherished friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,

This month, I had the pleasure of joining a special conference hosted by Fulbright University Vietnam, in coordination with the U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City, to celebrate 27 years of normalized diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the United States. While it warmed my heart to hear Fulbright being cited as a paragon of the people-to-people ties that help strengthen the U.S. – Vietnam relationship, our discussion also revolved around the question of how the university can cultivate a new generation of Vietnamese who can further propel our future.

I believe the answer can be summed up in one word, space. Whereas Fulbright students enjoy a liberal arts education that’s intellectually rigorous and tailored to the demands of the 21st century workforce, they also need concrete space to employ and experiment with the skills they have acquired; to stretch their knowledge, dreams and imagination beyond the scope of schoolwork.

That is why alongside classes anchored in critical thinking and progressive ideas that most oftentimes lead to lengthy yet lively debates between faculty and students, our campus is also alight with student clubs’ get-togethers, student-led community projects, and internship opportunities – extracurricular activities we deem essential to the nurture of a wholesome academic curriculum at Fulbright.

Nonetheless, the room to grow for our students is not limited to experience on campus. Starting from the Spring semester of 2023, Fulbright undergraduates will have the opportunity to go on international exchange for an academic term at Bard College, New York, and/or the Singapore University of Technology and Design. This program is part of our continued efforts to build partnerships with leading institutions that exemplify the best of higher education within the region and across the world.

My dear friends,

The commitment towards excellence that can level, or rival, the standards set by prestigious universities and impactful international enterprises is a quality not only instilled in Fulbright students during their time on campus, but also integral to who they are and whichever endeavor they choose to pursue after graduation.

On August 6, the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) held the commencement ceremony for graduates of the 2022 Master in Public Policy (MPP2022). Even though the two years of their quest to obtain a Master’s degree were marked, marred, and even scarred by a global pandemic, the MPP2022 graduates had demonstrated “exceptional courage, resilience, agility and determination” that “exemplified the very best of what we call the Fulbright spirit,” remarked Professor Pham Duy Nghia, MPP Program Director and Faculty Member of FSPPM, at the event.

When we liken the 2022 Class of Fulbright’s Master in Public Policy and the upcoming 2023 Class of Fulbright graduates to ships in full sail, the sentiment is based on an ethos constantly harbored and faithfully maintained at Fulbright: whereas our campus provides an open space where students can freely explore and unlock their potential, ultimately, that environment is cultivated with our utmost care and full awareness around the fact that these young people will be the architects of our future – to envisage, design, and build the urban and working spaces; the cultural, community, and academic spaces of our dream.

As a result, the space we cultivate at Fulbright also represents our concentrated efforts to evoke that feeling of home – a safe, nurturing nest for individual self-discoveries, innovation and academic excellence deeply rooted in the history and culture of Vietnam, yet fully embracive of the lessons learned and success stories across the globe. But we also know, the feeling of home is not solely confined to your birthplace. Home is also encapsulated in the set of humane and humanistic values engraved in your heart and soul. It’s something that you can carry and rely on regardless of where you choose to study, work, or dedicate your life to. For “home is […] the untold story of a life being lived”, to quote the late art critic and writer John Berger.

With the sincerest gratitude,


Dam Bich Thuy
President, Fulbright University Vietnam

Read the full newsletter HERE

Dear cherished friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,

The radiant summer has come with various academic and extracurricular activities at Fulbright, where students are well equipped with foundational knowledge and practical experience to become the next changemakers of Vietnam.

This summer, our Crescent campus is crowded with exciting events, ranging from the STEM summer internship program for High School for the Gifted VNUHCM students at Makerspace – a special space for Fulbright students to study engineering-related subjects, to the graduation ceremony of the Marketing Foundation for the Next Vietnamese Change-Makers course in collaboration with Young Marketers, just to name a few. Another highlight of Fulbright’s summer activities is the 2022 Fulbright Leadership Camp, the two-day off-site camp to Buu Long, Dong Nai Province enabling 50 campers, most of whom are student club leaders, to foster vital skills, become more aware of their individual leadership styles and lead positive change for the community.

From June 24 to 26, Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) welcomed 29 participants, who are holding management positions in different sectors, to a short course on the implementation of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects. Different from the long renowned Master of Public Policy program, this PPP course is the first of its kind at FSPPM, yet still yields incredible feedback from the participants. With diverse backgrounds, the participants brought their unique perspectives to heat up the discussions about the case studies and scrutinize the economic, financial, and risk management aspects of a PPP project.

My dear friends,

We always believe that all students will enhance their learning through relevant experiential learning opportunities, and that will foster their creative thinking to solve real-world problems. That is why Fulbright always strives to offer and encourage students to venture outside of the classroom and explore their areas of interest, whether that be joining student clubs, applying for internships or boot camps, and making the most out of service-learning opportunities. On the one hand, we bring the world to Fulbright, where students can learn from the insights of international visiting scholars and speakers through formal coursework and informal engagements. On the other hand, we also bring Fulbright to the world, where students can seize opportunities to study abroad at our partner institutions across the globe, such as the exchange agreement we signed with Yale-NUS, the first liberal arts college in Singapore, last year. Đặng Thị Hoài Linh, a Class of 2023 student who was selected to represent Fulbright University Vietnam in the program, described her first semester abroad at Yale-NUS to be so much beyond academic fulfilling. It was an extended opportunity for her to meet people from all walks of life, to inhabit different places, and to understand the world in a much more nuanced light.

This month, we are delighted to announce nine winners of the 2022 Community Change-Maker Scholarship, which was established with the generous support of donors including Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore. This year, six undergraduates and three graduate students have won over the Scholarship Panel with projects of wide-ranging originality, thoughtful insight, and inspiring causes. This scholarship provides Fulbright students with financial assistance to implement social projects of their dreams for local communities, thus, reflects great confidence from donors in the future of Fulbright and its young people. Such projects are the fruitful results of Fulbright’s efforts to spread the community spirit to our students.

We’re also thrilled to receive the donation from Christina Noble Children’s Foundation (CNCF) to the Christina Noble – Fulbright Scholarship for eleven incoming undergraduate students of the Class of 2026. This scholarship, created specifically for students who come from significantly disadvantaged financial backgrounds, will support bright and resilient future changemakers throughout their quest for education with Fulbright University Vietnam.

With the sincerest gratitude,


Dam Bich Thuy
President, Fulbright University Vietnam

Read the full newsletter HERE.

Dear cherished friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,

For a quarter century, it has been the goal of transforming the human capital of Vietnam that informs our long-standing efforts to reimagine higher education in the country. For we believe an education in the liberal arts is key to a better future, and that the development of human resources is catalytic for advancing true social progress. During her visit to Fulbright University Vietnam on June 11, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman also emphasized the importance of youth empowerment to deliver solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, translating our vision of sustainability into a reality. One of the five objectives in the Indo-Pacific strategy, of which Ms. Sherman reiterated the U.S. commitment to a strong and independent ASEAN, is to build collective capacity within and beyond the region.

Sharing the same commitment, the joint pledge between universities to promote our position as leaders in the 21st century was the central message that Fulbright University Vietnam had expounded on at the Teaching and Learning Summit in Hanoi. Hosted by VinUniversity with the participation of leading universities across Vietnam, the event aimed to propose strategic initiatives, plan long-term visions, and strengthen partnerships between institutions to transform the country’s higher education.

We believe that, for any significant progress to take root, such ties should also be deepened and extended to PreK-12 education. This month, Fulbright University Vietnam has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Wellspring International Bilingual School Hanoi. The agreement to advance cooperation between our two institutions will pave the way for across-the-board development programs, and increase access to liberal arts education for teachers, students and parents across Vietnam.

My dear friends,

One of the virtues of liberal arts that we consistently cultivate at Fulbright is that of lifelong learning. Where young people in their early 20s elect to pursue their first undergraduate degree, the university also attracts professionals, experts and officials from the public and private sectors who want to invest in knowledge and career development.

While the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) has emerged as one of the leading public policy institutions in the region and a trusted voice in contributing to national dialogues and forums, recently, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Fulbright has successfully organized the Coca-Cola Leadership Program. Delivered by senior lecturers at Fulbright and distinguished guest speakers across fields, the program was an empowering training ground for young leaders at Coca-Cola Vietnam to acquire the tools and knowledge needed to impact meaningful change within their organization.

The collaborative spirit to transform the human capital of Vietnam is also evident in contributions made by generations of students, graduates and scholars to the university over the years. Starting from 2022, a group of FSPPM alumni will grant need-based financial aid packages of 50-100% tuition fees to admitted Master of Public Policy students working in not-for-profit organizations, social organizations and enterprises.

Their initiative is a fine example of the “pay it forward” tradition at Fulbright, fostering opportunities for the next generation of changemakers to emerge, and innovate. A gift to education is also a long-term investment in our young people and in turn, ensuring our own future and the future of Vietnam.

With the sincerest gratitude,


Dam Bich Thuy
President, Fulbright University Vietnam

Read the full newsletter HERE.

Dear precious friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,

The month of May marks our traditional Giving Week – an effort to bring our community closer, to appreciate each other’s passion and dedication for education, as well as to nurture unity. After a year without any outdoor activities, the Giving Week kicked off with Fulbright Fun Run – a special occasion for the Fulbright community to get together, join a refreshing morning run around our Crescent Campus and enjoy fun activities such as an art exhibition, a Giving Fair from our very own student clubs, and a Human Library where people exchange their lifechanging stories.

Throughout the week, Fulbright members joined hands to contribute in various ways, from non-material forms, such as volunteering, writing a note of gratitude to one another, exchanging encouragement and support via all forms – hugs, handshakes, fist bumps – and spreading positivity all around campus, to donating to Students’ Development Fund or Campus Construction. Beyond our expectations, we have received generous support from not only within the Fulbright community, but also from broader society. It gave us such courage and confidence to further advance on our journey of pursuing our mission. We hope to continue this annual tradition for Fulbright to join hands with other communities to build an educational environment that nurtures a generation of change-makers, and contributes toward the development of Vietnam, the people of Vietnam, and the world beyond our nation.

My dear friends,

When Fulbright University Vietnam was just an idea, the founding members believed in this project for it is not only a milestone in the Vietnam-US partnership, but also to close the gap between the demand for skilled employees in Vietnam’s workforce and educational opportunities in the country. That belief created a ripple effect, which inspires our friends, supporters, and donors to continue making a positive impact in Vietnamese society.

On May 12, 2022, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and Fulbright signed a financing agreement for $37 million, in which DFC financing for Fulbright’s new campus in Saigon High Tech Park, Ho Chi Minh City. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh during his official visit to the U.S. for the US-ASEAN Special Summit. The commitment is a testament to the ongoing partnership between the United States Government, the Government of Vietnam, and the private sector to advance economic growth and opportunity in Vietnam. As the DFC’s representative shared, this investment will help facilitate opportunities for the next generation of students and workers in Vietnam and across the region, bringing quality education more accessible to everyone and addressing complex and cross-cutting challenges of the century.

A firm believer in Fulbright’s capacity to foster the next generation of change-makers, the US Department of State has recently announced a full-ride scholarship program for government officials from Laos under the Mekong – US Partnership Master in Public Policy (MUSP-MPP) Program at the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM). The five-year grant of US$800,000 will allow MUSP MPP-PA to bring 20 rising young public officials from Mekong countries, starting with Laos, to attend FSPPM for a Master’s degree in Public Policy – Policy Analysis.

This program is a part of Fulbright’s long-term commitment and efforts to foster regional leaders and address key challenges of the Lower Mekong region. It is also a testament to the excellence that FSPPM has strived for and has been accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) – the “gold standard” in public services education.

With the sincerest gratitude,


Dam Bich Thuy
President, Fulbright University Vietnam

 

Read the full newsletter HERE.

Dear cherished friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,

Since our earliest days, Fulbright University Vietnam has always been oriented toward the values of localizing global knowledge. We aspire to build a world-class university in Vietnam, which is rooted in a liberal arts education, not only globally integrated but also deeply embedded in Vietnamese society. We believe that, regardless of generation, a deep understanding of our past holds the key to unlocking the future; one that strengthens our footing in a world still regarded as uncertain, ambiguous, volatile, and complex.

This April, our community was delighted at the launch of the Vietnam Studies Center at the university. Coinciding with the official Memorandum of Understanding signing between Fulbright and the State Records and Archives Management Department of Vietnam, the Center’s establishment will become a hub for academic seminars, displays, exhibitions, digitalization of Vietnamese archival documents and artifacts, as well publications of local and international research centered around Vietnam. We hope they will serve as inspiring opportunities, and incentives, for the young people of Vietnam to rediscover, and re-examine, the layered stories of our country – its history, culture, society, and people – thus prompting them to not merely master a deep understanding of Vietnam, but above all, it’ll nurture one’s identity and civic consciousness in a country now intrinsically globalized.

My dear friends,

Reflecting on the goals set for the Vietnam Studies Center at Fulbright, I appreciate the fact that they’re also evocative of the values which have carved the way for the proven success of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP) since 1995, the predecessor of the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) at Fulbright University Vietnam today.

Our 27-year journey of transforming Vietnam’s human capital has always been grounded on educational programs based on globally embracive and locally probing insights into the country’s economic pulse, against the backdrop of rapidly changing scenes and new realities within Vietnam and that of the world. The enduring success of FETP, and now FSPPM and Fulbright, altogether, is credited to the tireless efforts of experts, visionaries, and leaders in Vietnam and across the world, those who have wholeheartedly dedicated to the advancement of Vietnam.

And now, with a community of more than 1500 FETP and FSPPM alumni from 62/63 provinces in Vietnam – an excellent class of officials and civil servants who have pioneered progressive change within their communities across the country – Fulbright has not only been recognized as “the most

important educational legacy between the Vietnam-US relations but it is now deemed an “invaluable well of knowledge” for future generations of Vietnam.

That legacy is honored and still cultivated at Fulbright University Vietnam until this day. This April, FSPPM announced the application for the Master of Public Policy Class of 2024 (MPP2024), which will provide scholarship packages granted by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), U.S. Department of State. Particularly, the scholarship program is also eligible for policy consultants and policymakers from public areas of Laos – a milestone step that reflects our mission to serve as one of Southeast Asia’s influential hubs and destinations for education.

My dear friends,

I’ve always believed university is the place where our young people can discover themselves, understand more about who they are, and determine their path to lifelong learning.

Such is why Fulbright University Vietnam is pleased to collaborate with MetaMinds Network to initiate “Mind Talks: Better Reader – Better Me”, a series of talks and discussions that invite young Vietnamese people to exchange with established authors, key opinion leaders, influencers, and thinkers on life-defining books. The first season of Mind Talks will explore the theme “Ikigai – A reason for living”, which we hope will spark inspiration in Vietnamese younger generations to figure out their answer, and as a result, inspire them to pay it forward when it comes to positive change they wish to impact.

Every member of the Fulbright community believes that higher education, specifically the liberal arts education at Fulbright, does not simply equip students with the essential skills, and intellectual and critical faculties to find a job after graduation. But most importantly, Fulbright is the place where the young people of Vietnam can discover their answer to the question “Why do I work?” while striving for the good of our community and society.

Sending my very best,

Dam Bich Thuy
President, Fulbright University Vietnam

Read the full newsletter HERE.

Dear cherished friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,

Looking back on the journey of Fulbright University Vietnam, I can’t help but regard every step forward and every milestone we made in the last 6 years as evocative of the word “friendship”.

That spirit of friendship began with the establishment of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP) – now the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management – in 1995, before the normalization of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Vietnam. At the heart, FETP – and Fulbright University Vietnam – are the fruits of dedicated efforts from visionaries and leaders between the two nations, among whom was the former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who recently made a visit to our Crescent Campus as the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change. In his exchange with Fulbright students and distinguished guests, Mr. John Kerry expressed high hopes for the future of Vietnam and its young people, while stressing the importance of collaboration and partnership between Vietnam and the U.S. to bring about positive change in education, sustainable development, and environmental protection.

The good rapport between our two nations is also illustrated in the YSEALI Academy at Fulbright. Launched in 2020 in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State, the YSEALI Academy’s main mission is to organize seminars and workshops that foster the capacity of young professionals from across Southeast Asia. These seminars often address regional challenges from regional perspectives, featuring industry experts and prominent scholars to unpack critical issues facing Southeast Asia, and involve learning activities designed to create lasting professional relationships between fellows.

I’m pleased to hear that after two years – and four successful seminars – the YSEALI Academy’s upcoming seminar, titled “The Digitization of Trust”, is expected to be the last one online. Moving forward, we hope to see the return of in-person seminars, and that Southeast Asian fellows can soon travel to Vietnam, visit Fulbright’s Crescent Campus, and attend sessions together.

My dear friends,

The spirit of friendship imprinted on every major step forward of Fulbright University Vietnam is also evident in the faith that many people and organizations from Vietnam and across the world have put in our mission and vision. Alongside Fulbright’s Financial Aid Program are scholarships that enable qualified students, regardless of their socioeconomic status, to get a liberal arts education at Fulbright. They are made possible by the generosity and support of Mr. Nguyễn Phương Lam, the donor of Nguyễn-Phương Family Scholarship; TPBank and Temasek International, the donors of the TPBank STEM Scholarship and Community Change-Maker Scholarship respectively; the Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam – Thu Thiem Branch and the Vietcombank – Fulbright Scholarship; and Wheel Cards, the world’s first wheelchair/disabilities-related NFT project and their Wheel Cards Scholarship.

The spirit of friendship at Fulbright is also embedded in our continual pursuit to become a world-class university, yet remaining true to our Vietnamese roots. This March, Fulbright is pleased to announce “Tonkin Free School & Vietnamese Liberal Arts Education Model”, an International Research Conference organized in celebration of the 115 Anniversary of Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc (Tonkin Free School, 1907-2022), as well as the 155th Birth Anniversary of Phan Boi Chau (1867-2022), and 150th Birth Anniversary of Phan Chau Trinh (1872-2022). The conference aims to offer new perspectives and deepen understanding on the liberal tradition in Vietnamese history, as well as its enduring lessons for today’s world.

My dear friends,

From time immemorial, humans have learned to collaborate and trust one another to promote the good of community and society. Whether it’s the camaraderie between faculty and students at Fulbright on their journey of knowledge and self-discovery, or the partnership between Fulbright and other organizations to advance the future of education in Vietnam, I believe any significant progress that the university have made over the last few years wouldn’t have been possible without the exceptional commitment and dedication from our faculty members, staff, and students – whose passion and inexhaustible energy are equally matched by that of generous givers, entrepreneurs and officers from all over the world who have joined forces with Fulbright. With all these valuable lessons about friendship and collaboration on our journey to reimagine higher education for the next generations in Vietnam, I believe we can make into reality the ideas once considered unthinkable, and together, build a better future for our people, community, and society.

Sending my very best,


Dam Bich Thuy
President, Fulbright University Vietnam

Read the full newsletter HERE.

Dear cherished friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,

In this very first letter of the Year of the Tiger, I would like to begin with wonderful news. On February 25, Fulbright University Vietnam was honored to receive a gift of USD 40 million from 8 philanthropists and their families, our inaugural members of Fulbright’s Founders Circle. This commitment highlights one of the largest philanthropic gifts to a higher education institution in Vietnam and will support the first phase construction of Fulbright’s flagship campus in Saigon High-tech Park, Ho Chi Minh City. This first phase of our flagship campus is expected to be completed at the end of 2023 and welcome up to 1,500 students.

Philanthropic giving, especially towards education, is still a new concept in Vietnam. That is why this momentous gift is even more meaningful. It not only helps realize Fulbright’s bold dream of building Vietnam’s first-ever green campus – a permanent home for future change-makers but also inspires more philanthropic giving in Vietnam, especially towards education. A gift towards education is a gift that keeps giving. It changes not only the lives of students themselves but also our community at large. As the beneficiary of this meaningful gift, we understand our full responsibility to make it grow in its impact and foster a “pay it forward” culture, benefiting generations of future leaders.

This momentous gift was announced together with the visit of the U.S. President’s Envoy for Climate Change John Kerry to Fulbright. As a veteran senator, Mr. Kerry has been playing a pivotal role in the normalization of the two former adversaries as well as the establishment of Fulbright University Vietnam. Fulbright represents the tireless effort from both governments and their people to close this chapter of our past and head towards a brighter future together. Such a future requires universities, such as Fulbright, to step up and find solutions for the grand challenges that the world is facing, such as climate change. That was also the key message that Secretary Kerry shared with our students at the fireside chat.

My dear friends,

To create this positive impact – as expected by Secretary Kerry and our supporters, it is required of Fulbright to integrate globally but be deeply rooted in the Vietnamese context in all of our teaching and learning activities, research, and other initiatives. Only by truly understanding Vietnam can we solve the challenges Vietnam is facing. That is why our liberal arts and engineering model at Fulbright does not only focus on the interdisciplinary majors but also requires students to have extensive knowledge of the Vietnamese culture, society, and history. At Fulbright, we offer unique courses, such as our “Ethics in Practice” course. The course encompasses general ethics and digs deeper into how to nurture ethics in empathy and mutual understanding through critical analysis and flexibility in real-life contexts.

At Fulbright, our students do not just come to learn important things. We want them to also be able to do important things, learn to empathize and work with others, all while living purposeful, fulfilling lives.

This “public service” spirit is demonstrated clearly when a group of researchers from the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) – led by its Dean, Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, recently completed a proposal of economic development strategies for Hau Giang Province during 2021-2030. FSPPM also just wrapped up the first phase of the Citizen-Powered Innovation Initiative (CPII), launched by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The project aims to identify, promote and accelerate local initiatives that are committed by top leadership to solve citizen-identified problems and will be implemented transparently to mobilize public action and inform broad-based learning.

My dear friends,

Fulbright has achieved significant milestones within the six years of our establishment. Yet, we are still a long way from realizing our vision. On our quest to reimagine higher education in Vietnam — for students, for Vietnam, for the future, we ask for your help in whichever shape and form. We cannot do this alone, but I sincerely believe that together, we will create this invaluable intellectual impact for Vietnam, and the future.

Sending my very best,


Dam Bich Thuy
President, Fulbright University Vietnam

 

Read the full newsletter HERE.

Dear cherished friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,

As we’re welcoming the arrival of Spring – the season of new beginnings as honored and celebrated in Vietnam’s upcoming Tết holiday, the hope it signifies of a return to normalcy, or for life to assume the “new normal” and blossom again, holds even greater significance for many of us, especially after protracted months of setbacks, incalculable loss, and personal grief endured during the pandemic. Within the Fulbright community, the past year also presented challenges that tested the limits of our resoluteness, and resourcefulness, in ensuring the continuous run of an academic program internationally standardized, while upholding our agility to adapt to the whirlwind fluctuations induced by the pandemic in our country.

While speculations over the future still linger on our minds and plague society, we couldn’t have been more pleased to pick up a few positive signs of a much anticipated rebound – one that heralds a return to how the best of things was, before the pandemic. Namely, the lecture hall of Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) has been receiving students of the Class of 2023 in Master in Public Policy (Policy Analysis) since December 2021. While lectures held on campus in times of Covid-19 still require strict safety protocols from students and all members of the university alike, everyone shares the fevered excitement of attending classes in person, whose unbeaten optimism is palpable throughout educated debates and critical inquiries that exemplify the very spirit of Fulbright.

We’re also proud to have successfully organized a cordial reception which united over 50 alumni and scholars of the Fulbright Scholarship Program and the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program in Vietnam throughout the years, many of whom have been ardent supporters of Fulbright University Vietnam in our quest towards building a world-class university open to Vietnamese students from all walks of life. After the Tết holiday, we expect to welcome around 500 undergraduate students back to our campus, following an eventful semester taught and studied online. Although these are very early signs of relief, having weathered the tumults that many of us have experienced during the pandemic, we can’t help but feel hopeful and appreciative of the small things once taken for granted: friendships, meaningful connections, and in-person interactions with our inspiring fellows.

As reflected by Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Dean of FSPPM, in his speech delivered to the graduates of the Class of 2021 in Fulbright’s Master in Public Policy in our commencement ceremony held in late December 2021: “The future is unpredictable”. Six months ago, most of us couldn’t possibly imagine the exhaustive, sweeping changes inflicted upon our beloved Ho Chi Minh City and with them, our normal way of life. The world post Covid-19 will, or has already to some extent, come out as completely poles apart from what we had been familiarizing ourselves with regarding the long-standing issues in international politics, economic disparities, and social opportunities. Confronted with the complexity and volatility of a new world whose one and only constant variable is that of uncertainty, we have no other choice but to embrace it with a strengthened mindset, flexible and responsive to any staggering events looming along the way.

My dear friends,

I wholeheartedly believe that once we’ve composed ourselves with the right attitude, and readied with the foolproof power of knowledge, science, and pragmatic skills, we will be able to cope with anything, and everything, in a calmer, more level-headed and constructive manner. Such an informed and astute mentality can even turn adversities and challenges into opportunities for future success. It’s also the raison-d’etre behind dedicated efforts from each and every member of the Fulbright community to cultivate an academic environment in which students are emboldened with enlightened tools and ideas that shall serve as meaningful support for their individual paths and journeys of self-discovery into an unknown future. As such, Fulbright University Vietnam has always been a familial, trusted community where the young people of Vietnam learn “how to learn”, how to adapt to the ever-changing world, and to ask exacting questions that lead to innovative solutions.

In such an academically rigorous environment, every passing day demands small acts of self-improvement, relentless commitment to set goals, and untiring efforts from Fulbright students, faculty members, and staff to better ourselves while pursuing excellence in our chosen fields. In 2021, we were thrilled to celebrate the achievements of our two faculty members: Dr. Pamela Nguyen Corey and her book City in Time: Contemporary Art and Urban Form in Vietnam and Cambodia; and Dr. Ian Kalman with Framing Borders: Principle and Practicality in the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. These new and remarkable publications bear the fruits of Corey and Kalman’s extensive fieldwork and research since their graduate days, while they’ve also been delivering inspiring classes in Art and Anthropology at Fulbright, respectively, much loved and admired by our undergraduates. At the same time, we’re also proud to receive great news of accomplishments from our students. From winning First Prize at the VinUniversity Global Case Competition 2021 to bringing home the championship from HLU Debate Tournament 2021 to being awarded the TPBank STEM Scholarships for their community-minded projects, Fulbright undergrads have demonstrated their budding talents and driven desires in applying what they have learned from Fulbright to serve and contribute to the good of communities around us. These young people are the very embodiment of our hope for a better and brighter future, and the reason Fulbright University Vietnam will continue striving towards building a world-class liberal arts and science university in the years to come.

Finally, I’d like to dedicate my heartfelt and best wishes to you and your loving family in the new Lunar New Year.


Dam Bich Thuy
President, Fulbright University Vietnam

 

Read the full 2021 – Year In Review here.

 

Dear cherished friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,

At the time of my writing, the end of 2021 is fast approaching. A year which, laden with memories disquieting and painful of long-suffering months when Vietnam was storm-tossed by the latest Covid-19 outbreak, many of us might have wished to forget.

However, I believe that every major event in our lives has the potential to impart invaluable lessons to a world already reckoned as highly volatile and in a state of flux. As such, the pandemic is no exception.

As the old saying goes: “If a man keeps cherishing his old knowledge, so as continually to be acquiring new, he may be a teacher of others.” At this juncture between the past and the future, I would like to invite you to look back on some of the lessons we have learned from the still-unfolding crisis, so we may make provisions for a new year inundated with unknowable risks and fluctuations.

More than ever, the global pandemic has engraved in our mind the inexorable fact that we are now living in a VUCA world, that of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. The ground beneath our feet is shifting by the hour and it has been exacerbated by technology’s breakneck acceleration, the vicissitudes of which have been further precipitated by the pandemic’s sweeping impacts. Today, we have learned the hard way a piercing truth: the failure to prepare and act promptly in the face of change shall result in costly consequences, incalculable and detrimental.

I still remember the early days when Fulbright University Vietnam was established 5 years ago, during which members of the founding board fervently discussed and debated the mission and vision of a 21st-century university. At the time, albeit the impossibility to foretell today’s state of affairs, we all shared the emphatic belief that first and foremost, higher education should and ought to equip younger generations with the critical faculties to confidently confront the unforeseeable that tomorrow may hold. That unshakable conviction has guided each and every step of our unrelenting pursuit of what was deemed an ambitious undertaking: to redefine higher education for Vietnam, its young people, and the future. Each and every day of our 5-year journey has been imbued with dedicated efforts, big and small, from members of the Fulbright community to build an edifying bedrock that shall cultivate and transform the idea of an educated, well-rounded member of Vietnamese society: one who’s not only endowed with the necessary skills and knowledge of a modern, globalized world but equally – if not more importantly – possesses the unique acuity and ability to make meaningful contributions to their community while living up to their full potential.

Under the taxing circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, the past two years have presented the greatest test that Fulbright University Vietnam had yet to undergo to prove the substance of our mission, vision, and educational model. Like any other organization, Fulbright is also susceptible to the dour strains of this unprecedented crisis. And yet, with hindsight, I am proud to share with you the unassailable fact that, it is the very spirit of “Embrace the Uncertainty”, which has been nurtured throughout our 5-year journey, that has also enabled the whole Fulbright community the flexibility to adapt, manage, and persevere when confronted with unanticipated events. Despite being physically distanced, not to mention differences between time zones, during the past semester our faculty and students have succeeded in conducting creative learning experiences, while maintaining the cherished connection of a tight-knit community whose every member is committed to the motto of “learning together, thriving together”. Removed from the usual trappings of a live auditorium, Fulbright has been, nonetheless, able to successfully organize pertinent and impassioned virtual talks and panel discussion whose topics range from economic recovery strategy to reimagining the “new normal” after the pandemic – these are intellectual dialogues and open debates that shall critically benefit and inform the future of Vietnam and its society moving forward. While the pandemic has taken its toll on people from all social strata, the Fulbright community has never shied away from assuming the mediating role of a goodwill agent to galvanize donations and contributions through social projects to provide aid and relief for the underprivileged in Vietnam.

2021 also marked a significant milestone for the university’s storied journey when the YSEALI Academy at Fulbright officially came into operation. The fact that the pandemic has presented unparalleled challenges which pushed many organizations into varying modes of survival, however, has also underlined Fulbright’s resilient capacity and valiant effort to seize timely opportunities to further advance our quest for regional excellence and international accreditation. At the YSEALI Academy at Fulbright, our seminars on Public Policy, Technology and Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, held virtually throughout the year, have enriched, encouraged, and inspired more than 100 distinguished fellows – young professionals and future leaders of Southeast Asia – to impact positive change that addresses pressing issues facing the region such as energy security, digital transformation, and startup ecosystem.

My dear friends,

Throughout my whole life, I have learned the time-tested lesson that once we find ourselves at the crossroads of choices insurmountable to handle alone considering the ominous risks and unforeseeable odds ahead, the most sensible solution is to remind ourselves of and fall back on our core values. The very things dearest and truest to your heart shall help you make the right decision. This recipe has worked wonders for me and looking back, it also applies to Fulbright University Vietnam’s unfailing agility amid the pandemic’s oscillating tumults.

You might wonder: what is the core value of Fulbright? The answer is rather simple and none other than our pioneering spirit and unwavering desire to serve the community and society at large. It is rooted in the credence born 26 years ago with the establishment of Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (now the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management), in collaboration with Harvard, whose mission was to educate and train government’s officials and leaders who shall bolster Vietnam’s economic reforms, also known as “Đổi Mới”. Believed in and built upon since then, while rising above stringent constraints and dire impediments, we are proud to have proved Fulbright University Vietnam its worthy successor by daring to think the unthinkable and making the impossible possible, which entails our adamant effort to facilitate public engagement and participation in transparent and candid dialogues with the government regarding the country’s policies and burning issues.

Once again, the pandemic has put Fulbright to the most trying of tests when it comes to our core value, as we have been entrusted the task of driving forward discussions and advisory work for the country’s economic recovery strategy, or when we were compelled to initiate fundraising campaigns to support medical frontliners and the city’s vulnerable population. All the way through, we are staunchly guided by the moral compass of doing the right thing, which has helped us see through copious cynicism and difficulties encountered along our trailblazing path. In this extraordinary moment in time, the right thing to do is to keep charging ahead with our fervent belief in serving the country and its community to which we always belong, in whichever way possible, even beyond our capacity.

My dear friends,

It was once said that pioneers’ path is often sequestered and fraught with precarious obstacles. Be that as it may, I still believe Fulbright is not alone on its journey toward the advancement of the future of Vietnam through education, for we have had your generous support and good faith in the university’s mission and core values since its very beginning.

I strongly believe that all of our contributions today, in any way, shape and form, shall add to the realization of a university worthy and living up to society’s great expectations – a proud legacy of intellectual capital built, believed, and invested in for Vietnam’s future generations and beyond.

 

With the sincerest gratitude,

Dam Bich Thuy

President, Fulbright University Vietnam

Read the full newsletter HERE.

Dear precious friends of Fulbright University Vietnam,

The month of November marks our annual celebration of Vietnamese Teachers’ Day, in which we honor and pay tribute to the extraordinary teachers, educators, and mentors in our lives. At Fulbright, where each and every member of our academic community dedicates their best endeavors, day and night, to the tireless task of building an internationally recognized university for Vietnam and its young people, the one special day of November 20th might not suffice to express our gratitude to these beloved and esteemed stalwart torchbearers.

Today’s world – whose exemplary denominators are identified as that of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity – puts strenuous strains and mounting demands on the roles and responsibilities of a teacher. To merely relay knowledge will no longer do; teachers of the 21st century should and ought to provide invigorating impetus for students to be evermore inspired, to dare to dream, to pursue a lifelong passion for learning. Above all – and especially at Fulbright – teachers are counted on to endow students with the critical faculties of open inquiry, intellectual curiosity, and the desire to serve and contribute to the common good of society through their empathetic maturity and uniquely individual journey.

Along my very own journey at Fulbright, for the past 5 years, I have been privileged to receive students’ thankful notes and heartfelt admiration expressed to the university’s undergraduate and graduate faculty, whose devoted and empowering tutelage is cherished for transforming their personal attitude and viewpoint towards the true meaning of education, as well as imbuing each and every study session with joyful anticipation and revelatory inspiration.

The terrific efforts of the Fulbright faculty are lauded not only by our students, but equally recognized by the Vietnamese government and multifarious members of our society. Recently, our very own Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Dean of Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM), has been honored and bestowed the medal “For the Cause of Vietnam’s Diplomacy” by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, for his contributions to the training, research, and consultancy of the country’s economic policies over the past years. Under his astute leadership and guidance, alongside generations of experts, advisors, lecturers and scholars, FSPPM has carried over and fleshed out the mission of its antecedent – the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, established in 1994 by the Harvard Vietnam Program – of committing to the country’s foreign affairs in general and economic diplomacy in particular, by advancing Vietnam’s global integration, socio-economic development, and sustainable future.

My dear friends,

This year’s month of November also marks the welcoming of Professor Norah Taylor, Fulbright University Vietnam’s Distinguished Visiting Professor, who has been named Interim Provost of the university. With her depths of experience in education, enriched by her personal attachment and endearment to the country and people of Vietnam, her insightful scholarship and exhaustive appreciation for our arts and culture and that of the whole region, Professor Norah Taylor has our full support in entrusting her with the steadfastness of Fulbright’s future development and cultivation of Vietnam’s next generation of trailblazing talents. The undertakings of a pathfinder of a progressive academic institution definitively entail manifold challenges, but under Professor Norah Taylor’s stewardship, we believe Fulbright’s historied journey will continue to blossom and bear the fruitful rewards of our unwavering commitment to the future of Vietnam.

With the sincerest gratitude


Dam Bich Thuy
President, Fulbright University Vietnam