FUV issued a press release on the source of US government funding.
Vietnam Debt Repayment Fund Support for Fulbright University Vietnam
June 9, 2016
HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam. A recent press report incorrectly stated the source of some of Fulbright University Vietnam’s US government funding. This statement is intended to correct the record.
Fulbright University Vietnam has not received any funding that was allocated to the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF). One source of FUV’s federal funding is the Vietnam Debt Repayment Fund, which was created when the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam agreed to repay two civilian debt obligations of the former Saigon government.
In exchange, the United States government agreed to turn over to the Vietnamese government frozen assets (banks accounts and real estate) of the former Republic of Vietnam that had been frozen since 1975.
VEF was established in 2000 by the US Congress. The legislation that created the foundation specified that it would be financed out of the Vietnam Debt Repayment Fund. The legislation made half of the Vietnam Debt Repayment Fund available to VEF.
The balance remained under the control of the US Treasury Department. Former Senator Bob Kerrey and Former Senator John Kerry were among sponsors of the VEF Act.
In 2014, the US Congress passed legislation authorizing the US State Department to use the remaining funds in the Vietnam Debt Repayment Fund to support the creation of a private, nonprofit university in Vietnam. The legislation specified that only funds in excess of those already committed to VEF could be invested in the university.
This legislation was incorporated into the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, which became law in December 2014. It enjoyed bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The Vietnam Education Foundation has been a flagship academic exchange initiative of the US and Vietnam for sixteen years. Thanks to VEF, hundreds of talented young Vietnamese achieve their dream of pursuing advanced academic training in the US. VEF has also helped build meaningful linkages between Vietnamese and American institutions and individual scientists.
FUV enjoys a strong working relationship with VEF. We look forward to involving the VEF community, especially VEF Fellows, in FUV academic activities. Their participation will be essential to our success.
Regarding Former Senator Bob Kerrey’s role in FUV’s fund raising process
Former Senator Bob Kerrey played a vital role in passing the December 2014 legislation by building a bilateral coalition in both the senate and the house. Bob used his existing relationships and also built new relationships to secure the support of influential lawmakers in both parties.
Although Bob was himself a democrat, he was especially successful at building a coalition of republicans. This was essential because both the senate and house were at that time controlled by the Republican Party.
The Trust for University Innovation in Vietnam is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation domiciled in Massachusetts. TUIV’s mission is to promote institutional innovation in Vietnamese higher education.
TUIV supports the Fulbright University Vietnam initiative by mobilizing financial and intellectual resources for the university, by stewarding the US government’s contributions to FUV, and by exercising oversight of the project.
Until FUV received its licensed to operate as a higher education institution in May 2016, TUIV represented the FUV project before the Vietnamese government. TUIV’s chairman is Thomas J. Vallely.
Fulbright University Vietnam is the first nonprofit, independent Vietnamese university. The university is committed to excellence in teaching and scholarship, to the freedom of inquiry and to mutual respect. It is committed to the highest standards of integrity and accountability.
FUV will offer world-class educational programs in a range of fields including public policy, business, engineering, and the liberal arts and sciences. FUV’s first academic unit, the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management, will launch in 2016.
FUV’s Fulbright School of Arts and Sciences will launch in 2018. FUV’s founding president is Ms. Dam Bich Thuy.