Dear precious friends of Fulbright,
May comes riffled with the fourth wave of Covid-19 in Vietnam, where the new variants are spreading faster than ever before. As though we have all braced ourselves to face a world of VUCA, feelings of worries and anxieties are still inevitable.
However, difficulties and challenges are also the impetus for us to grow stronger with courage and optimism. The pandemic cannot hinder us from keep bringing values to the table, delivering new prospects via intellectual and cultural exchanges, via vibrant discussions and seminars about important matters of our nation.
Two notable events within the Vietnamese studies’ framework this Spring Semester were both coordinated by Fulbright’s first-year students with the support of the MVCS teaching team. One was the talk with Director Nguyen Thi Xuan Phuong, a witness of an aching period in our history when our nation was divided, who is also a crew member of the notorious documentary Le 17e parallèle: La guerre du people. And the other was the Se Se Chu poetic-musical night, organized and performed by our students, to commemorate the two renowned poets Luu Quang Vu and Xuan Quynh. With creativity cultivated by liberal education, these students’ efforts are their ode to the nation’s history and poetry, as a way to preserve and share Vietnamese cultural heritages.
All the while, in continuance of the tradition of researching and dialoguing candidly, with the constructive criticism spirit that Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) has pioneered 25 years ago, Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Dean of FSPPM, has given a remarkable speech at the conference hosted by HCMC People’s Committee to devise development strategies for the city from 2021-2030, with a vision to 2045. His in-depth analysis to identify fundamental problems and propose important considerations with a strategic perspective for “the mega-city HCMC” – from positioning the city, growth incentives to breakthrough mindsets – has received strong backing within the think-tanks and policymakers, as well as those concerned citizens who want to contribute towards the next big spur of the country.
Also in May, Fulbright students continue to have us amazed and admired for their excellent achievements. A team of four freshmen from Fulbright University Vietnam has surpassed 12 strong competitors from 6 neighboring countries to bring home a Gold Medal at Mekong Business Challenge. This is the first win from a Vietnamese representative in 10 years, and the team will represent the whole region to compete in the Global Competition in the United States. On the other hand, Fulbright also hosted our first Career Fair 2021, where students have impressed numerous professionals and companies’ representatives from various industries with their intellect, skills, and most importantly, their curiosity and eagerness to learn.
May also marks a new beginning for the exciting academic pivot at Fulbright. FSPPM has opened the application for the Master of Public Policy Class of 2021-2023, aiming to foster another generation of leaders in not only the public sector but also the private sector and social enterprises. With world-class academic standards, the rigorous curriculum closely combines advanced theories and global knowledge with a deep understanding of the Vietnamese context, thereby nurtures new ideas for creative solutions in tackling regional and global challenges. The students are to solve the complex problems facing the community and to strive towards a better future for us all.
That is the grand mission we pursue at Fulbright.
Dam Bich Thuy
Founding President, Fulbright University Vietnam