Recently, the President of the New England Commission for Higher Education (NECHE), Professor Lawrence Schall, made a two-day visit to Fulbright University as the first official step of a comprehensive evaluation to accreditation. During his short, yet fully packed, schedule at Fulbright, Prof. Schall met with the University’s leadership, faculty and staff, as well as the students, all of whom he found very impressive.
As the first not-for-profit, independent, liberal arts university in Vietnam, Fulbright University fascinated the President of NECHE with its origin story, symbol, missions, and most importantly, its people. “I had the opportunity to meet with most of the faculty, as well as many students, and I could not have been more impressed. The student body, with astonishing high GPAs, is 64% female, 24% first-generation, and more than 70% receive financial aid. What most impressed me about these young adults was their passion and thirst for learning and their excitement at being on the ground floor of this student-centered experiment in education,” – he assesses.
With nine majors currently offered and a structured liberal arts core curriculum, the student body and faculty have exponentially grown since its establishment. While ensuring the first cohort of the undergraduate program to graduate in 2023, the University is also actively expanding its admissions and recruiting 20 new faculty members coming from the top of their fields across the globe.
Fueled by the joint efforts of the Vietnamese and American governments, as well as generous philanthropists, Fulbright has grown from a bold dream to a thriving reality, representing the continuation of the partnership between our two countries. NECHE President visited both the current Crescent Campus in D7 – that he named a modern ecosystem – and the in-progress Flagship campus in D9, which he praised as “the most environmentally advanced education complex ever built in Vietnam”.
As envisioned, in 25 years, Fulbright University Vietnam will become the top choice for students in Vietnam and across Asia. These students will reflect Fulbright’s commitment to regional, disciplinary, socioeconomic, and gender diversity. Supported by world-renowned faculty, Fulbright students will engage in research, internships, and student organizations in Vietnam and across the globe. In turn, they will pursue opportunities in the world’s best companies and graduate programs. As these students thrive, Vietnamese higher education will adapt alongside Fulbright, increasingly integrating student-centered pedagogy and liberal arts approaches. Vietnamese youth across the country will become more effective change-makers and leaders to tackle 21st-century challenges.
This initial visit is an official stride in the long and rigorous process of obtaining accreditation. The purpose of the visit by the Commission President is to confirm the validity of a comprehensive report addressing 24 requirements of affiliation, which Fulbright submitted to the Commission earlier this year. Seeking accreditation means that a university has, and is ready to demonstrate, the qualities of the rigorous and clearly stated Standards for Accreditation for assessing institutional quality that is applied through a periodical peer-review process. Fulfilling the mentioned criteria shows that the university has the necessary resources to achieve its stated missions through proper educational programs, is doing so effectively, and can demonstrate that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
Dr. Nora Taylor, Provost of Fulbright expressed: “I was very relieved to learn that Professor Schall was very positive regarding our potential for eligibility for accreditation. He was impressed by what he saw which was very encouraging for all of us here at Fulbright University Vietnam who have been working hard to provide quality education and learning environment for the students.”
Concluding his two-day visit, Prof. Schall writes: “While my time in Vietnam at Fulbright was short, I left longing to return to see where this already extraordinary institution is headed.”
Read more about Professor Lawrence Schall’s visit at Fulbright University Vietnam at: https://necheontheroad.com/2022/05/24/pit-stop-41-fulbright-university-vietnam/