December 14, 2017

Fulbright Economics Teaching Program: A Two-Decade Success

December 14, 2017

The idea of the training center that would become FETP emerged even before the embargo was lifted between Vietnam and the United States.

Anyone who is attached to the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP) (the forerunner of the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management) does not forget the historical moment of this program: before the US abandoned the economic embargo Vietnam and normalized relations.

From FETP to High Quality College

The launch of the program began in 1995 with the involvement of veterans of the United States who had participated in the Vietnam War, namely Thomas Vallely (Director of the Vietnam Program at Harvard University), John Kerry, former US Secretary of State and Senator John McCain.

Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung, who was attached to FETP both during his time in the United States as well as during his tenure at the United Nations as Ambassador of Vietnam to the international organization, stressed that there are many factors Together, they bring about progress in FETP and bilateral relations.

“We recall from 1984 to 1985, Mr. Vallely contacted Mr. Hoang Bich Son, then the Ambassador, the United Nations Resident Representative at the United Nations – New York, the only Vietnamese diplomatic mission in Vietnam. The two countries have no diplomatic relations then.

Son later became head of the Central Committee’s external affairs committee and then Chairman of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Committee. Mr. Vallely wants to do something after his return to Vietnam before, witnessing the economic difficulties and the severe consequences of the war, “the deputy minister said.

He recalled, in his early activities, that Vallely and Harvard University’s study of the Vietnamese economy made many proposals straightforward.

The first major result was the “Dragon Fly Toward”, which was completed in 1994, in which authors applied market economy theory to newcomers in Vietnam to introduce the basic balance of a What does the market economy mean in terms of specific conditions in Vietnam, thereby suggesting macroeconomic policies, sectoral economics with the ambition that Vietnam will turn real potential? Apparently a dragon like the phenomenon of some dragons in East Asia at the time.

“From the early days, there were many difficulties, the leaders of Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City have paid attention to, even specific orders with Harvard University With the functions and tasks assigned by the State, Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Thach invited, facilitating the work of the research team.

As far as we know, many senior leaders were very interested, read the book “Towards dragon fly”, I still remember the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assigned to translate in the delegation of Mr. Dao Duy Tung , then the Standing Secretary of the Secretariat with the research team.

Vietnam’s leaders want Vietnam not only to escape from poverty, but also to soon industrialize, modernize and match some of the great powers of Europe as President Ho Chi Minh wishes, “Trung said.

From the experience of other countries about the role of higher quality education in economic and practical development in Vietnam, the idea of ​​the Fulbright Education Exchange Program with Vietnam is emerging. Senator Kerry, Mc Cain’s supporters, was approved by the Vietnamese government to begin in 1991-1992, even before the United States lifted the economic embargo against Vietnam.

“The program was born in that context, supported by the Government of Vietnam, including the direct attention of former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai and leaders of Ho Chi Minh City. Most of the lecturers and staff are Vietnamese, as the US says in a target from the beginning, “said the deputy minister.

For more than 20 years since the two countries normalized relations, in addition to politics and economics with co-operative, coordinated and educated achievements, education can be the most prominent field in the relationship. Vietnamese – American.

A growing generation of Vietnamese in the US. In the United States, more than 16,500 Vietnamese students attend universities in the United States, ranking the eighth among the countries with the highest number of students studying in the United States.

More than 1200 students enrolled in FETP in Vietnam, the Fulbright Program – a program established several months before the two countries normalized relations – is also a bright spot. More than 600 alumni of the Fulbright program, many of whom have become leaders throughout Vietnam, are at the top.

With FETP, many Vietnamese leaders also participate in teaching and policy dialogues such as Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, former Deputy Prime Minister, Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan is one of the teachers. The first of this program.

In June 2014, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung agreed to invest in a project to establish the Fulbright University of Vietnam in the form of a foreign-invested university operating for non-profit purposes. funded by the Vietnam University Trust Fund (TUIV) in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Vietnam University Initiative Trust Fund (TUIV) was chaired by Thomas Vallely, the “chief architect” of FETP 20 years ago, and he went on a broader path with everyone. You know a lot of Vietnamese – American.

As President Barack Obama and President Truong Tan Sang set the framework for a comprehensive partnership in 2013, the two leaders placed educational diplomacy at the heart of the two countries’ relations. 21st Century.

At the celebration of the 20th anniversary of FETP, US Ambassador to Vietnam, Ted Osius, emphasized that the two countries have expanded their relations with a wide range of activities, from rapidly growing trade relations to increasing Enhanced security cooperation. But cooperation in the field of education has helped the United States and Vietnam map the road to a new relationship more than 20 years ago.