The Fulbright story

We’re very excited that…the new Fulbright University Vietnam will open in Ho Chi Minh City — this nation’s first independent, non-profit university — where there will be full academic freedom and scholarships for those in need.

Students, scholars, researchers will focus on public policy and management and business; on engineering and computer science; and liberal arts —  everything from the poetry of Nguyen Du, to the philosophy of Phan Chu Trinh, to the mathematics of Ngo Bao Chau…” — President Barack Obama, Hanoi, May 24, 2016

We started under a tamarind tree.

Our origin story dates to the establishment of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP), now the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM), in 1994 by the Harvard Vietnam Program.

Powered by funding from the U.S. Department of State, FETP built a reputation as a center of excellence in public policy research and teaching in Vietnam.

On FETP’s campus, students and faculty alike spent many hours underneath a large tamarind tree. It is fitting that the initial vision for an independent nonprofit university emerged from discussions among FETP supporters and stakeholders, sitting under a tamarind tree.

In 2012, the Trust for University Innovation in Vietnam, an American nonprofit corporation, was established to sponsor and shepherd this newly formed idea.

As we continue Fulbright’s growth, we proudly carry the tamarind tree at the center of our seal, rooted in our history and growing to meet Vietnam’s needs. Since that day in the tree’s shade, Fulbright has received support from both the American and Vietnamese governments.

After donating 15 hectares of land for our future campus in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 9, the Vietnamese government granted Fulbright our operating license in 2017. Additionally, since 2016, Fulbright has been receiving generous support from the Department of State Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs and the United States Agency for International Development to advance the University’s mission and goals.

Today, our vibrant Crescent Campus hosts our first class of undergraduates and cohorts of dynamic FSPPM graduate students.

When we move to our permanent campus in District 9 in the coming years, our students will once again study under the same tamarind tree, replanted on campus as a symbol of our university’s history.

Read more about our origin story at HERE

We’re honored to bear the name Fulbright.

J. William Fulbright was an American statesman who launched many of the international exchange programs we know today. Fulbright’s emphasis on liberal arts education and international cultural understanding resonates with all nations and peoples.

It was for this reason that the Vietnamese architects of Fulbright University Vietnam, many of them veterans of the exchange program, chose Fulbright’s name to adorn what will be a genuinely Vietnamese institution.

We’re proud to bear the Fulbright name, and share Senator J. William Fulbright’s belief in the power of educational exchange to foster mutual understanding among nations.

We’re inspired by the long-lasting tradition of liberal arts education he committed his life to. As the only university in the world to bear the Fulbright name, we carry it with pride and responsibility.

Recent Milestones

  • 2013

    Fulbright highlighted by President Truong Tan Sang and President Barack Obama.
  • 2014

    The US Congress allocates funding to create an American-style university in Vietnam.
  • 2015

    The Ho Chi Minh City government grants 15 hectares of land in the Saigon High-Tech Park in District.
  • 2016

    The Vietnamese government grants Fulbright its establishment license.
  • 2017

    The Vietnamese government grants Fulbright its operating license.