Initiated by a group of Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management alumni, the new need-based financial aid packages will be granted to Master of Public Policy admitted students who come from not-for-profit organizations, social organizations and enterprises.
Each year, the financial aid packages of 50-100% tuition fees will be granted to two or three admitted students, starting from the Master of Public Policy Class of 2024 (MPP2024). The financial aid program will run in five years.
The packages aim to support admitted students of both Policy Analysis (PA) and Leadership & Management (LM) concentrations of the Master of Public Policy program. The students must be full-time workers in community development institutions, social enterprises, social organizations, not-for-profit organizations, and non-governmental organizations.
According to three founders of the fund, the financial aid packages target certain students who cannot afford to pay tuition fees to study at FSPPM.
“We hope this initiative will support candidates who are passionate about serving the community and improving their personal capacity to contribute more and go further in their community service path. We acknowledge that some admitted students have given up on their dream of pursuing Master of Public Policy at FSPPM because of financial constraints,” one of the fund’s founders, who is a MPP4 alumna, shares.
The founders assume the financial aid packages partially satisfy other FSPPM alumni’s desires to give back to the school. They hope that the initiative will also pave the way for philanthropic efforts from Fulbright students who receive financial aid from philanthropists while studying at Fulbright and wish to pay it forward after becoming successful in their career after graduation.
One of the most precious gifts that Fulbright has received is the collective support fostered by the multi-generational students. Fulbright students, both current ones and those who have long graduated, have been supporting the School’s development through their active participation in the university’ activities and fundraising efforts. For those master degree holders, it is a lifelong commitment with Fulbright to nurture liberal education focused on empathy and community-mindedness, as well as to inspire and empower the next generation of change-makers.
The class gifts that fuel liberal education
The current students and alumni from Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) have made a significant contribution to the Giving Week’s Fund. It is the solidarity and sustainability of a community with diverse backgrounds and interests cultivated over the past two decades. Graduated years ago, members of Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP), the former institution of FSPPM, have gone a long way in their own pursuits, yet still sustained their tight knit relationships with each other and with Fulbright.
Generations of the Master Program gathered at the Opening Day of Giving Week, participated in the Fulbright Fun Run, Giving Fair, and other exciting activities. There was an invisible urge pervading the FETP/FSPPM alumni community, which ignited a lot of ardent discussions in response to the donation.
“Immersed in the excitement of Giving Week 2022, the FETP 13 (2007) classmates got together to discuss how many trees and bricks to donate. We would like to thank the Organizing team for inspiring us with meaningful activities on the Opening Day of Giving Week,” proudly shared Ms. Lê Thị Quỳnh Trâm, an alumna of Class of FETP 13. In addition to nearly VND40 million (approx. US$1,700) donated for the Student Development Fund, they also contributed one “tamarind tree” and three “bricks” to support the construction of the cutting-edge and environmentally friendly flagship campus in Saigon Hi-tech Park, which will soon welcome master and undergraduate students to liberal arts education.
“Following the suggestion of Ms. Trâm and Ms. Yến (FETP 13), I circulated the donation announcement in the Fulbright School Alumni (FSA) community and also posted on FETP 13’s private Facebook group. The FETP 13 classmates discussed the goal number of donations and together made contributions. At the end of the campaign, the number exceeded our expectation, not to mention the individual contributions were directly sent to the School,” Mr. Lê Trung Nam, Director of Fulbright School Alumni. It has created a momentum for other classes’ donations, following FETP 13, FETP 11 (2005) contributed two “bricks”, MPP7 (2014) donated one “brick” while MPP4 (2011) gave one “tamarind tree” and one “sapling”.
Thus far, FSPPM’s alumni and current student community has contributed nearly VND150 million (approx. US$6,500) to support campus construction and social projects of Fulbright’s students.
Fulbright School Alumni: the constellation of actors
Managing the network of Fulbright alumni over the years, Mr. Lê Trung Nam believes that the transparency and integrity inspired by lecturers and the learning environment have glued the different personalities together. Besides, since 2015, the efforts of active members from FSPPM, such as Mr. Quý Tâm (Chief Interpreter and Alumni Relations Manager) and other alumni, in organizing connecting activities, 20th and 25th anniversary of the FSPPM’s establishment, field trips and regular conversations (FSA Talks, seminars), which help strengthen the solidarity of this community.
As fellows, the alumni always behave in a respectful and friendly manner regardless of their social status and backgrounds. Thanks to such cohesion, alumni and current students are always supported by their fellows in every walk of their lives. This is an essential vision of liberal education at Fulbright: train individuals to not only excel skills and harness enthusiasm, but also nurture empathy to support each other and create collective efforts towards the development of Vietnam and the world.
“I really believe in the power of education to change the world. It motivates me to contribute to the development of Fulbright through FSA’s activities. The alumni community has always desired to further support the School’s development, starting with the establishment of an Endowment Fund. Having Fulbright’s direct funding channel [like Giving Week] makes the donation even more convenient,” Mr. Lê Trung Nam shared about FSA’s plan with excitement.
The only requirement when Fulbright grants students and masters students financial aid or scholarships is a commitment to serve the community and pass on the legacy to future generations. Thus, their knowledge, skills and networks they acquire at Fulbright can contribute towards development progress for a better Vietnam and the world. The donation of FETP/FSPPM individuals and classes is a statement of that belief and commitment. Receiving love, efforts, both in-kind and cash donations, Fulbright is proud of the growing community of alumni and current students, which empowers Fulbright in making liberal arts education more accessible and nurturing the academic passion inside the young generation.
About Giving Week 2022
Giving Week is an initiative at Fulbright to bring our community closer, to appreciate each other’s passion and dedication for education, as well as to create a tradition of unity.
Fulbright Giving Week 2022 wishes to Empower Changemakers through many exciting events, to name a few: Giving Fair; Human Library; Art Exhibition, Music Show.
Each VND500,000 (approx. US$22) is equivalent to a sapling, VND10 million (approx. US$440) is presented by a brick and 20 million (approx. USD 870) can grow a tamarind tree. Those are essential donations to construct our District 9 Campus.
To make a contribution, kindly fill in this form.
About Fulbright School Alumni
Since 1995, more than 1,500 students from all over Vietnam have graduated from the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM), formerly known as the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP). Our alumni are making an impact in a diverse range of roles within the government, the broader public sector, the not-for-profit sector, and private organizations in 60 of the total 63 provinces nationwide.
The Fulbright School Alumni (FSA) network is hugely diverse and provides a valuable lifelong network of fellow graduates and public policy professionals in Vietnam. FSPPM alumni stay connected to the School and have a significant impact on our academic development and operation. Academically, they support the School teaching efforts with different capacities, be it guest lecturers, tutors or teaching fellows, or student mentors. As for research and outreach, FSA members work closely with faculty as analysts and collaborators, bringing in local understandings valuable to research questions.
Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) has opened the applications for Master of Public Policy Class of 2024 (MPP2024). For the first time, the program will recruit policymakers, politicians, and government officials from Laos under Mekong – U.S. Partnership Program (MUSP).
Admitted students are granted a full scholarship by the U.S. Department of State, including:
- 100% Tuition fee for MPP – Policy Analysis concentration
- Housing & meal stipend of US$500/month for 15 months in Vietnam
- Settlement stipend of US$250
- One round trip airfare to HCMC
- Visa application for maximum of 2 years
- Medical insurance for maximum of 2 years
- A cultural briefing trip during the Orientation period
- Attend an Alumni engagement event, and series of policy seminars, workshops at Fulbright.
Applicants from Laos also have the chance to apply for an elective course held by the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management at Harvard University (USA).
The MUSP-MPP program are looking for policymakers, politicians, and government officials from Laos PDR who have a bachelor’s degree and at least two (02) years’ experience of working full time.
Admitted students are required to attend full-time classes at the Ho Chi Minh City campus of Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (Fulbright University Vietnam) for a Master degree in Public Policy – Policy Analysis concentration.
For more details about the full scholarships for government officials from Laos:
The Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management has received a five-year grant of US$800,000 from the U.S. Department of State to launch Mekong-US Partnership- Master in Public Policy (MUSP-MPP) program. From now to 2026, MUSP MPP-PA brings 20 rising young public officials from Mekong countries, starting with Laos, to attend Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management at Fulbright University Vietnam for a Master degree in Public Policy – Policy Analysis. Graduates will obtain the Master in Public Policy degree issued by Fulbright University Vietnam.
The Fulbright School of Public Policy & Management is one of only 11 schools outside the United States, and the only one in South East Asia that have been fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). This is considered as the “gold standard” in public services education.
In addition to our core public policy expertise serving the Vietnamese government, the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management has demonstrated a strategic and long-standing track record and commitment to addressing key challenges of the Lower Mekong region through a variety of projects and initiatives such as Lower Mekong Public Policy Initiative (LMPPI) to bring policy makers from Lower Mekong countries together to promote mutual learning and trust, and stimulate dialogue on public policies; and the Natural Capital Management Program (NCMP), our first program initiative of 2021-2022 is to address critical issues and policy responses in the Mekong Delta region.
In 2010, during the graduation ceremony for Fulbright School’s first Master of Public Policy cohort, the late Prime Minister Phan Van Khai remarked that he himself had learned a lot, especially about the market economy, through discussions with a group of Harvard and Fulbright professors. Such knowledge, which he “successfully applied during his tenure, contributed to the development of the country”.
As the Prime Minister of Vietnam from 1997 to 2006, he was one of the technocratic leaders with the most substantial contributions during the country’s reforming and opening period. He also played an influential role in establishing the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, the predecessor of the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management at Fulbright University Vietnam today.
His deep connection with the Fulbright School stemmed from a study trip to learn economic reform lessons from East Asian countries, organized by a group of Harvard professors who founded the School in the early 1990s. At the time, Mr. Khai was the Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers (the equivalent position to the current Deputy Prime Minister). He and other senior officials in charge of the economic sector in the state apparatus then learned methodically for the first time the core pillars of the market economy – from supply and demand, prices, exchange rates, to the import-export mechanism – concepts that were still extremely foreign to those who had just come out of the centrally planned economy.
Although the Doi Moi process started in 1986, “Vietnam’s development programs, guidelines and strategies were still very vague and exploratory” because “very few people understood the principles of economics,” recalled Professor Thomas Vallely, Director of the Vietnam Program at Harvard University, who organized the study trip that year.
The impression from this trip was so profound that later on, Mr. Khai became an avid advocate for the idea of a training program in applied economics for Vietnamese leaders and officials taught by Harvard professors, at a time when the relations between the two countries still had not fully normalized.
That was because Mr. Khai, along with other visionary Vietnamese leaders at that time, understood that more than ever, the country needed leaders with knowledge and a market economy mindset in order to successfully lead the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy.
Later, Dr. Jonathan Pincus, Director of FETP from 2008 to 2013 noted that FETP “was an excellent idea born at the right time”.
“A factor that shaped the Fulbright School in its early days was the emergence of Asian economies and the aspiration of Vietnamese leaders to be a part of the historic movement where the economic center of the world shifted from West to East,” said Mr. Pincus.
Overcoming numerous obstacles and challenges from both sides, eventually, Ho Chi Minh City, which had been considered a “laboratory” for innovative ideas in the early Doi Moi period, was chosen to be home to a Harvard training program. In January 1995, the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP) was officially established, only half a year before Vietnam and the United States normalized diplomatic relations.
Foreseeing Vietnam’s path of reformation
When the Fulbright School was established, the founders faced different choices and they made strategic decisions that set Fulbright apart from any other economic or political training program in Vietnam even later on. It was a decision to not target central-level officials like the typical approach, but to focus on modern economic knowledge and improving management capacity for local government officials instead.
“In the early 90s of the last century, access to modern economic management knowledge was a luxury for local officials,” explained Mr. Vallely.
This decision of the Fulbright founders also came from keen observations of Vietnam’s reform trajectory when Mr. Vallely and his partner, Professor Dwight Perkins, Director of the Harvard Institute for International Development, visited Vietnam and did a survey here in 1989. They found that Vietnam’s crucial national economic reform was largely driven by local reformations, which were later often described as a journey to “tear down” the old mechanism from the bottom up.
“These ‘jumping the fence’ actions, such as the discreet ‘agricultural land allocation’ movements in localities on the verge of renovation were meant to ‘emancipate’ production and business activities that have been suppressed for too long in the old mechanism. These reforms were successful because they precisely hit local pressure points. When central-level leaders observed that these experiments succeeded locally, they felt confident and bold enough to enact them into national policies,” Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Director of the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, explains.
According to Dr. Tu Anh, FETP’s decision to focus on training local officials, therefore, showed ‘a deep understanding of the reform trajectory in Vietnam’ and such incredible ‘foresight’ that even to this day, he still feels truly fascinated and grateful about.
As a result of that strategic decision, a community of more than 1500 alumni from 62 out of 63 provinces in Vietnam has become an invaluable asset of FSPPM today. They have contributed to forming an excellent class of officials and civil servants of Vietnam in the Doi Moi era, pioneers who created positive change in their own communities.
Mr. Seth Winnick, U.S. Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, shared a story with Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh which happened more than 10 years ago. Whenever he went to localities in Vietnam and met Fulbright alumni, he could recognize them almost immediately by their distinct expression of the “Fulbright DNA”. He even coined the term “FETP Index” – a province with a high index means there are many FETP alumni working there and they are definitely at the forefront of innovation and reform in Vietnam.
The outstanding contributions of FETP alumni didn’t just take place locally. Many people, after serving in the leadership role of a particular province or department, have been promoted to the Central Government to lead the planning and implementing of important policies at the national level.
Global knowledge – local action
When it first started, FETP did exactly what was “requested” by the Government of Vietnam at that time, which was to impart the most up-to-date knowledge on market economy to state officials, in accordance with the context of the country.
“We then taught neoclassical economics courses the way you would at Harvard, with the Harvard Kennedy School’s curriculum being translated into Vietnamese in a way that was easy to understand,” recounted Mr. Thomas Vallely.
Mr. Cao Van Trong, former Chairman of Ben Tre province was one of the first students of FETP. Before entering in the program, he had already obtained a bachelor’s degree in industrial economics from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics. However, a year at FETP for him was an entire journey of “reconstruction”, from his knowledge to vision and thinking.
“We learned very new knowledge about micro- and macro-economics, about the economy management tools, especially the two very important tools in the market economy: fiscal and monetary policies. But the most significant thing that I learned from Fulbright is the approach and mindset that dissects an issue from many different angles. That is a timeless value,” said Mr. Trong.
Taking it a step further, when FETP has built trust with the society and with the government system, the lecturers were able to boldly put real Vietnamese practices at the heart of the training program. Harvard’s famous “case study” method was modified by the lecturers to suit the Vietnamese context, which Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh often likened to the journey of “Vietnamizing global knowledge”.
2008 marked a historic milestone for FETP when it changed from a 1-year applied economics training program to a 2-year master’s degree program in public policy – the first Master in Public Policy program in Vietnam. Transcending the framework of a traditional economic training program, the School had begun to venture into the “sensitive” but increasingly urgent issue in Vietnam: public policy, public management, and public administration.
That was because, as explained by Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, after more than 20 years of renovation and integration into the global economy, Vietnam had entered a period when the old driving forces of growth had gradually become outdated and required the apparatus to introduce drastic reforms, especially in terms of institutions. The decisions were no longer simply to “emancipate” from the old mechanism as before, these reforms must be relevant to the vivid, creative, and multi-dimensional realities in the drastically changing context of Vietnam and the world.
In order to solve these increasingly complex policy problems, leaders and executives needed to be equipped with new knowledge and mindsets. Therefore, Fulbright School’s faculty members have made constant efforts to create new knowledge that caters to the needs of the time. There are Fulbright “specialty” subjects such as Regional and Local Development, Public Investment Appraisal, Law and Public Policy… Every lesson at the Fulbright School has now turned into lively discussions about practical problems facing Vietnam.
From environmental and energy policy for the Mekong Delta region, to the strategy to promote infrastructure development projects following the public-private partnership (PPP) model, or even the strategy to build Thu Duc into a smart city, each graduation thesis of Fulbright students has been very practical policy analysis that they can continue to pursue after returning to their daily work.
According to a veteran Vietnamese diplomat, it is the journey of engaging in the center of socio-economic development of Vietnam over the past 25 years, reflected in the constant efforts to update the curriculum to accommodate the needs of the community and provide the country with high-quality human resources has helped “Fulbright to become the only international educational exchange program that still continues to reach new heights”.
While other projects came to an end, FETP has now become the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM), one of the first 10 public policy schools in Asia and the first in Southeast Asia to achieve accreditation from NASPAA – the “golden standard” of public policy, public management, and public administration schools around the world.
When they put down the first bricks to begin the construction of a humble school, located in a small alley on Vo Thi Sau Street, the founders of FETP could not have expected that it would go this far. Right now, Fulbright is not only “the most important educational legacy in the Vietnam-US relations”, but also an “invaluable intellectual property” of Vietnam.
Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (Fulbright University Vietnam) has opened the applications for Master of Public Policy Class of 2024 (MPP2024).
(Read the full announcement HERE)
The MPP2024 program will provide scholarship packages for various groups of applicants granted by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), U.S. Department of State.
For Policy Analysis concentration:
Full scholarship (equivalent to about VND 526 million/student) granted to:
- Policy consultants and policymakers from public areas; lecturers and research fellows from public universities and organizations; or distinction graduates from universities inside and outside Vietnam.
- Policy consultants and policymakers from public areas of Laos (applicants of Mekong-US Partnership – Master in Public Policy (MUSP-MPP) program).
Partial 50% scholarship (equivalent to about VND 263 million) granted to: Managers and executives from non-profit organizations, social organizations, and enterprises; lecturers and research fellows from private or international universities and organizations.
For Leadership & Management concentration:
Partial scholarships (40% tuition fees) are granted to admitted students to complete required credits. The remaining payable amount (equivalent to VND 252 million) accounts for 60% tuition fees.
Prospective students are middle and senior managers, managers in government agencies, enterprises, non-profit organizations and NGOs.
Scholarship for both concentrations is inclusive of tuition fee and fees for field trip (if any) and exclusive of lodging, course materials, extracurricular activities, Harvard course, and personal expenses.
Excellent candidates with financial constraints, from public sector or remote areas, or female candidates will be considered for financial aid.
This year, the Fulbright school will resume organizing the entrance examination for student selection with Quantitative skill and English tests for applicants of the Policy Analysis concentration after one-year hiatus caused by Covid-19. Applicants of the Leadership & Management concentration will be exempted from the tests.
For online application, please click HERE.
For details about MPP2024 admissions, please click HERE.
- July 24, 2022 for applicants from Laos under MUSP-MPP program.
- August 4, 2022 for other applicants.
Built upon the heritage of Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, an initiative by Vietnam Program, Harvard University, Master in Public Policy (MPP) by FUV is designed to provide high-quality manpower for policy-making institutions and governmental bodies, NGOs, NPOs, private enterprises, research universities and institutions.
MPP program is directly offered and administered by Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM), the first academic unit under Fulbright University Vietnam. FSPPM pioneers in developing and educating public policy programs with a view to advocating for a transformative public policy and management in Vietnam and the region – through its commitment toward excellence in teaching, research and civic engagement.
In July 2019, FSPPM is the first public policy school in Southeast Asia to be accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA, U.S.). Accreditation from the internationally prestigious network in public policy programs is a significant milestone projecting the school towards regional and international standards. Achieving the accreditation is a testament to the quality of education offered at FSPPM in par with other international programs.
FOR ADMISSION INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
The Admissions Office
Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management – Fulbright University Vietnam
105 Ton Dat Tien, Tan Phu Ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
On March 18, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh welcomed Mr. Thomas Vallely, Chairman of Fulbright University Vietnam’s Governing Board and Director of the Vietnam Program at Harvard University, and senior faculty from Fulbright University Vietnam.
The Government of Vietnam attaches importance to strengthening economic and development policy dialogue and consultation with the world’s leading research institutions, said Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh during the reception for Mr. Thomas Vallely.
The Prime Minister spoke highly of Mr. Vallely’s initiative to establish the Vietnam Executive Leadership Program (VELP) – a platform for discussing socio-economic development issues in Vietnam.
He suggested the VELP should focus discussions on such topics as green growth, sustainable energy development, institutional building, innovation, and public-private partnership in order to put forward recommendations to the Government.
For his part, Mr. Vallely highly valued Vietnam’s groundbreaking commitments at the COP26, affirming his strong support for Vietnam in climate change adaptation and acceleration of green growth.
Vallely founded the Harvard Vietnam Program in 1989 and established the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP)in Ho Chi Minh City in 1994. FETP was later developed into Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, the first academic unit of Fulbright University Vietnam.
He leveraged the Vietnam Program’s research to engage in a candid and constructively critical dialogue with the Vietnamese government about the strategic challenges confronting the country.
Under his leadership, the Fulbright school emerged as a center of excellence in public policy research and teaching and a pioneer in the development of new modes of institutional governance in Vietnam.
The Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) recently completed the first phase of the Citizen-Powered Innovation Initiative (CPII), launched by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) under the Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) program. The project aims to identify, promote and accelerate local initiatives that are committed by top leadership to solve citizen-identified problems and will be implemented in a transparent manner to mobilize public action and inform broad-based learning.
The first phase of the Initiative was the Identification and Engagement phase (Phase I), which took place from October 2020 to October 2021. It aims to enable UNDP to develop a grounded mechanism and fair assessment to identify and engage with interested provinces. FSPPM has submitted to UNDP the final report, carried out by a research team including members from FSPPM and UNDP Vietnam, which documents the work conducted in Phase I, the corresponding findings and recommendations moving forward. Link to the report can be found HERE.
One major component of this phase is the field study to five provinces, carried out in two rounds: the first round to Thua Thien-Hue, Quang Ninh and Ha Giang in December 2020 and the second round to An Giang and Tay Ninh in early April 2021. The second round of the field study promoted the CPII Digital Expo, gauged the provincial leadership interests, and explored local initiatives that would be suitable for display at the Digital Expo.
The Digital Expo and its website (cpiivietnam.org) were officially launched on 14 April 2021. It is intended to become a living platform where provinces showcase their tested local solutions and share lesson-learned, effectively creating a pool of quality innovative solutions for UNDP’s consideration in future rounds of funding within the CPI Initiative and beyond.
Based on the level of information provided by the initiatives collected from the second field study and also from initiatives submitted to the CPII Digital Expo via its website, the research team developed a quantifiable set of criteria for shortlisting initiatives for the first round of funding of CPII starting in November 2021, which evaluated initiatives around four primary components: expected impacts, leadership commitment, transferability, and feasibility.
As of 15 July 2021, after 2,5 months of its official launch, the CPII Digital Expo received 98 initiatives coming from all parts of the country, of which 69 were endorsed by government agencies in 15 provinces, indicating a strong commitment of provincial governments to adopting innovation in public governance.
The research team put forward some recommendations based on the findings from the study in relation to governance innovation in Vietnam, among which is the need to have an agenda to assist the provincial leadership and to develop the capacity for public officials and civil servants. The component at the center of this agenda is a mechanism to assist and encourage provincial governments in citizen engagement, with a particular focus on effective collecting, evaluating and sharing of innovative solutions from local communities to tackle local challenges. The researchers propose that citizen engagement would be more appropriately framed as stakeholder engagement, by which local governments not only gather innovative ideas and solutions from diverse community groups but also engage them in the design and deployment of such solutions.
In a separate but related study entitled “Digital Competencies of Public Officials Holding Provincial Leadership Roles in Viet Nam: Preliminary Findings from Case Studies”, the research team found evidence that civil servants holding provincial leadership positions in the three surveyed provinces have different levels of competencies in skill sets that are deemed critical for them to operate effectively in the digital environment in the public sector. The digital era poses challenges to the supply side (local governments) in piloting innovative solutions, some of which include the shorter life cycle of technologies, continuous and fast adoption to these technologies by the people, and the inherent constant shifting of the demand side’s expectations of higher quality of public services. Successful governance innovation in the digital era requires continuous updating and upskilling of government employees in core digital competencies.
The Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) recently completed a study proposing economic development strategies for Hau Giang province from now until 2030 with a vision to 2050. The findings of the study will serve as outputs for the provincial government to draft up the socioeconomic development plan for the next 10 years and prepare for the province’s integrated planning in the 2021-2030 period.
The FSPPM research team led by Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, FSPPM conducted the study in May 2021 and submitted the final report in late August 2021. The study analyzes the socioeconomic situation of Hau Giang province in the general context of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam and the world, positions the province’s competitiveness and evaluates the competitiveness of three key industries: processing and manufacturing, high-tech agriculture and logistics. Subsequently, the study puts forward a series of recommendations on the province’s economic development goals for the 2021-2030 period with a vision to 2050, accompanied by development strategies and priority solutions in the 2021-2030 period.
The research team used tools to analyze and compile statistical documents, secondary data and in-depth studies on the natural, geographical, cultural and economic conditions of the Mekong Delta in general and Hau Giang province in particular. They also paid field study trips to hi-tech agricultural zones, industrial zones, big waterways and roads and businesses in the province and conducted in-depth interviews and surveys among local departments, agencies and businesses on the current economic situation and growth bottlenecks that the province is facing. Due to the development of Covid-19, the meeting with the provincial People’s Committee and the Party’s Committee to discuss the key findings of the study and the proposals on the province’s economic development strategies was held online in July 2021.
The project suggests specific development goals in each period, including the targets of building sustainable foundations for economic growth in the 2021-2025 period, turning Hau Giang into a fairly industrialized province in the 2025-2030 period and turning the province into an industrial manufacturing and logistics hub of the Mekong Delta by 2050, raising its status with an average GRDP of US$13,000/capita.
The project also proposes overall strategies for Hau Giang Province to reverse its downturn trend and specific strategies for four areas: industrial development, agricultural and rural development, key industry clusters and urban development.
Fulbright University Vietnam is delighted to announce the publication of the second issue of the Fulbright Review of Economics and Policy (FREP), an international journal published on the platform of Emerald Publishing. Link to the journal’s inaugural issue can be found here. The second issue is a collection of the best papers selected from the FREP virtual workshop held on September 15, 2021 on the theme of “Policy responses for sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery.”
As we all know, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is more than just a global health crisis. Besides having already claimed millions of lives (WHO, 2021), it has had multi-dimensional impacts on the economy and society that have uncovered serious vulnerabilities in our national and international systems and have shown how sensitive we are to severe natural shocks and diseases (OECD, 2020).
During this unprecedented time, governments worldwide have struggled to balance the goal of saving lives with that of keeping the economy open. Fiscal and monetary stimulus programs have been introduced to ease the economic depression and to relieve the burden on people, especially disadvantaged populations. At the heart of the pandemic responses are governments around the world, which have proven their vital role in mitigating the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19.
Even though the pandemic is far from over, it is about time we reflect on several lessons and experiences that would help us move forward into the future. Calls for resilient and sustainable recovery have arisen with the clamor to “Build Back Better,” which urges resilient, inclusive and environment-friendly recovery post-disaster (Hallegatte, Rentschler, &Walsh, 2018). In this sense, governments’ post-pandemic policies and actions should target more than just economic revitalization but the other aspects of public governance, public service delivery, green development and social equality and justice.
In the FREP virtual workshop on “Policy responses for sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery,” Fulbright University Vietnam was able to gather many speakers and participants from across the globe to present and lead insightful discussions on policy responses to issues on equitable development, economic or fiscal resilience, climate change, sustainable climate finance, single-parent families, mental health education, community-based and -driven approaches during the lockdowns and early periods of the pandemic and their interlinkages for a sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery path. The speakers presented their insightful analyses of the COVID-19’s significant impact on policies: how different governments responded to the pandemic would signify the route to recovery.
FREP is Emerald Publishing’s new journal in the fields of economics and public policy. FREP is a peer-reviewed, open-access international scientific research journal that aims to promote publications that employ rigorous analytical tools and advocate for evidence-based policy. The journal is hosted by the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management at Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) and sponsored by FUV.
Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) held the commencement ceremony for 47 students from the 2021 class of Fulbright’s Master in Public Policy (MPP2021). It is the second year the commencement ceremony took place in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic with a number of students joining virtually. All the faculty and students present at the ceremony gathered in the solemn yet cozy space of the school campus, sharing warm hugs and smiles as they ended a nearly two-year journey together with a lot of ups and downs.
The ceremony was held after several delays due to the complex development of Covid-19 pandemic. It was scheduled to take place in the summer of 2021 but was delayed until the final week of the year. One week before the event, many MPP2021 students took to social media to share their warm, sincere and heartfelt messages about their unforgettable journey with Fulbright.
While congratulating fresh graduates, Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Director of FSPPM, stressed that the past two years were challenging, witnessing the maturity of MPP2021 students and making them understand that maturity never comes easily. He expressed his hope that the graduates would take advantage of everything that comes their way as opportunities to grow up and contribute to the development of the community and the country in the post-Covid context.
Ms. Dam Bich Thuy, President of Fulbright University Vietnam, praised MPP2021 graduates for not only overcoming the challenges of a rigorous, demanding, and international academic environment but also the challenges of a global pandemic. “We, at Fulbright, often say that the Class of MPP2021 is the Class of MPP in the years of Covid-19. The journey that you have overcome to be where you are today has been disrupted and challenged by the outbreaks over the last two years in our country,” she said.
The disruptions and challenges could be about the students’ learning schedules and experience on campus, their work environment and career opportunity, or worse, the choices that they had to make in the critical moments of tragedies that befell their life, she elaborated.
Ms. Thuy expressed her gratitude to all the graduates for they have chosen to not give up, to never quit trying, to never let go of their dreams and commitments. “You are the shining examples of what it means when we speak about the spirit of “Embrace the Uncertainty” at Fulbright,” she said.
Assoc. Prof. Pham Duy Nghia, MPP Program Director, said FSPPM itself has tested its limits and intentionally posed these challenging tests on the students during the last two years. “Together, we have learnt and explored new things in a changing world. Amazingly, these explorations made us more composed, confident, and aware of our inner selves,” he admitted.
He claimed the tough time also offered an opportunity for the Vietnamese government, businesses, and people to demonstrate their resilience; meanwhile, the class of MPP2021 is where all students representing different stakeholders in the society show their visions, their insights, and their attitude towards the rapidly changing world.
Just like in previous years, FSPPM named the graduation ceremony Commencement as they expected that it would begin a new chapter in the life of each graduate. Ms. Dam Bich Thuy hoped that the education at Fulbright had provided the students with the skills and confidence to confront the future ahead – the future many experts have predicted as uncertain, complex, volatile, and ambiguous.
In times of a global crisis due to Covid-19, we are reminded of the importance of public policy and management in our life, she commented, as the effectiveness of a good public policy and strong leadership from the government has been crucial to how countries across the world are combating the pandemic and will continue to be so in our efforts to recover and rebuild our economies.
“More than ever, this is the moment for graduates of the Public Policy and Management Program at Fulbright to demonstrate your spirit of being a pioneer, to demonstrate your ability to create positive change for the world and the people around you… Your duty is to apply the valuable knowledge, the skills, and experience that you have learned from Fulbright, and turn them into meaningful actions that will help the people around you, the community, and our society, no matter where you are, or how you wish to take your career further,” she said.
Traditionally during the FSPPM commencement ceremony, a keynote speech is delivered by someone who has social prestige and makes a considerable contribution to the public policy and management segment. Former Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan is that one in this year’s graduation. He said he had great expectations of the Fulbright school’s graduates as the next generation of changemakers in Vietnam and told them to always incorporate the theories they had learnt in the rapidly changing reality to keep them deeply rooted in the Vietnamese context. He hoped they would nourish their talent and virtue on the mission to serve the country. After delivering his speech, the former Deputy PM participated in a Q&A session with MPP2021 students and shared about his own experiences and lessons in his economic diplomacy career with distinguished achievements.
Dao Thien Ly, a graduate of MPP2021-PA class, expressed her joy for overcoming all difficulties and challenges to achieve her goal on the educational path: the noble Master in Public Policy diploma granted by the Fulbright school.
“Looking back on our journey, each of us sitting here cannot forget the nights we stayed up to complete all the assignments. The 8:20 deadline gave us goosebumps many times. Although we submitted our assignments, sometimes we forgot to press the turn-in button and received zeros. I am still shivered thinking about these deadline mishaps,” Ly said.
She claimed that the diversified student base at Fulbright gave her the chance to learn from her classmates to acquire not only academic knowledge but also the attitude, manner, empathy, and mutual respect, and she thus became a better version of herself.
“On behalf of MPP2021 graduates, I’d like to say we are committed to doing our best to be worthy of being a Fulbright student with knowledge, competence, and integrity, and we are ready to make a positive impact in any career field,” she said.