On the morning of 14 October, Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, Fulbright University Vietnam hosted a cordial ceremony to welcome Master of Public Policy cohort 2019-2021 (MPP 2021).
In his remarks welcoming 70 new students enrolling in the program, Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Dean of Fulbright School, emphasized the school’s commitment towards highest academic integrity and quality to ensure quality learning experiences and outcomes for graduates.
Building upon the heritage of Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, Dr. Tu Anh highlighted important reforms pursued by the School to strive to be among internationally distinguished education institutions.
Starting from MPP20, the School opens a new Leadership and Management program. With the Policy Analysis program, the school has started to teach some courses directly in English. In August this year, the school worked with the Vietnam Program and Harvard Kennedy School to organize, for the first time, an executive program for MPP20 students at Harvard University.
“So far, these reforms have received positive feedback from students. The participation of 70 students of MPP21 cohort, divided equally into two concentrations, is the continuation of these early successes,” Dr. Tu Anh continued.
The second important reform is that the school sets forth to go international and reach the highest international standards in public policy training.
In July this year, the Fulbright School officially became the first public policy school in Southeast Asia to receive accreditation from NASPAA‒the global network of public policy, public administration, and public administration schools in the United States, thereby putting the school’s name on the list of public schools with the highest standards in the world.
Dr. Tu Anh noted that “the school will continue to “embed itself” to a deeper, more substantive, and inclusive approach to Vietnam’s public policy environment at both the central and local levels through five activities, including policy training, research, dialogue, advising, and advocacy.”
Over the past year, the school has conducted four major studies, including two on strategic economic development orientations for Thai Nguyen and An Giang provinces, one that uses big data to optimize the operation and management of HCMC’s public transport system, and the fourth study is a project to develop Ho Chi Minh City to become a regional and international financial center.
The ultimate aim of these activities is to serve public values and interests. At the same time, these efforts in the medium to long term also help the school to gradually build its financial base, a prerequisite for the sustainable development of the school in the future.
Dr. Ryan Derby-Talbot, Chief Academic Officer, Fulbright University Vietnam underscored the school’s focus on adaptive education, not just technical education.
“As a graduate student at Fulbright, you will be faced with many problems and situations that you, as a leader, a manager, a student, will need to work through that go beyond simply taking notes or following your lecturer’s instructions.
You will leave your Master’s program with more than a set of notes and grades. You will leave with new thinking skills, with deeper experiences, and with a network of fellow thinkers that can support your continued learning and success going forward.
This, I think, is the beauty of Fulbright University’s academic philosophy. We aren’t just here to give you technical information, we help you become a better thinker, an adaptive problem-solver, in service to the larger society,” Dr. Ryan Derby-Talbot emphasized.
U.S. Consul General, Marie Damour, in her remarks at the ceremony, applauded the school’s achievement in training over 2000 leaders for the country in the past 25 years.
Ms. Marie Damour believed that societies need highly educated, experienced professionals to selflessly take up the mantle of leadership both in business and in government.
“We believe you will follow in those great footsteps to become the future leaders of Vietnam in business, social enterprise, government, and academia. You have worked hard to get here. You have excelled in your studies, and in your careers…Some of you may have new ideas for strengthening leadership and accountability in government.
Others may create new approaches to developing urban infrastructure or promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Still others may develop ways to use data and technology to improve the delivery of public services,” Madam Marie Damour noted.