Six undergraduate and three graduate students of Fulbright University Vietnam are awarded this year’s Community Change-Maker Scholarship.

In line with Fulbright’s continued pursuit of nurturing new generations of changemakers in Vietnam, the Community Change-Maker Scholarship was launched in 2021 with the generous support of donors including Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore. 

The Scholarship provides Fulbright students with financial assistance to implement social projects of their dreams for local communities, thus reflecting great confidence from donors in the future of Fulbright and its young people. Recipients of the Community Change-Maker Scholarship are selected based on their track record of academic excellence and the potential impact of their proposed projects.

This year, six Fulbright undergraduates and three Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) students have won over the Scholarship Panel with projects of wide-ranging originality, thoughtful insight, and inspiring causes. 

Having successfully demonstrated their commitment to the betterment of Vietnam society and its broader community, recipients of this year’s Community Change-Maker Scholarship will each receive an award of VND 50,000,000 (equivalent to US$2,137) to realize their projects. These grants do not have any effect on existing financial aid packages.

Nguyễn Thành Phương (Class of 2024)

Thành Phương has been chosen for his Brothers and Sisters Project. The project resulted from his reflection of 5-year volunteer work related to disadvantaged children’s education in his hometown. Through those years, he has continuously challenged himself and the local youth community about the long-term impacts and sustainable values of volunteering activities. Brothers and Sisters project aims towards the transformation of student community service approaches from designing voluntary experience to creating real impact on the end beneficiaries.

Nguyễn Thị Hà Vy (Class of 2025)

Hà Vy will use her Community Change-Maker Scholarship to organize meaningful experiential art activities for the children at the Ha Tinh Orphanage. Believing Art is an effective form of self-expressing and healing, Vy’s ultimate goal is to instill in these children the courage to express themselves creatively, the freedom to have dreams, and confidence in themselves to turn dreams into reality. 

Lê Khánh Hà (Class of 2023)

(as known as Lê Kha)

As an active advocate of human rights, especially for the LGBTQIA+ community, Lê Kha is awarded for “Bao”, a project that aims to make higher education more gender-inclusive. For Kha, the project is a great starter to achieve their longer-term pursuit of establishing a social enterprise that provides training and policy consultancy on gender diversity, inclusivity, and equity.

Co-recipients Vũ Đức Huy (Class of 2023) and Đặng Thị Thảo Nguyên (Class of 2025)

Born and raised in Kon Tum province, Đức Huy and Thảo Nguyên have engaged in social projects towards the empowerment of ethnic minority communities. During the past 2 years, they devoted themselves to study, research and plan collaborative activities with the local community to preserve the cultural folk art of Bahnar Tomb House Statues in Kon Tum, while introducing their artistic beauties to the next generations of the Bahnar people and the general public in Vietnam. 

In collaboration with local artists, the project is expected to open new angles on wooden statues in Central Highlands to the wide audiences through diverse activities, from digitized artworks to an art exhibition during late 2022 to early 2023. 

Mã Y Vân (Class of 2024)

Y Vân currently serves as President at PISE (Project Incubator for Young Social Entrepreneurs), a youth organization that aims to narrow the opportunity gap for the young people of Vietnam and foster their collective actions for positive and sustainable changes within their communities. The scholarship will contribute to a social project she’s been working on at PISE, whose program is to enhance leadership capacity among disadvantaged youths passionate about making a difference in their home regions across the country. 

Lê Minh Nhựt (MPP23)

The Community Change-Maker Scholarship will support Minh Nhựt in running the second cycle of “Bệ Phóng Tài Năng”. The bootcamp has been organized to help better position agriculture, to change out-dated mindset and create a favorable environment for young “farmer-entrepreneurs” to experience actual cases. Accordingly, it aims for synergies and collaborations to develop Vietnamese agriculture.

“Bệ Phóng Tài Năng” not only helps young people challenge themselves but also provides opportunities to learn and practice through activities: (i) Inspiration and knowledge enhancement through a series of training activities with leading experts; (ii) Experience through real case-studies at local businesses; (iii) Training and practicing with support from mentors and industry experts  and (iv) Building young talents networks to achieve sustainable impacts. 

Nguyễn Võ Hoàng Trinh (MPP23)

Hoàng Trinh’s project is geared towards the betterment of farmers in her hometown in the Mekong Delta. Her goal is to help them overcome the perennial issue of oversupply, while inspiring Fulbright students and the young people of Vietnam to come up with innovative solutions for agricultural sustainability and broader societal transformations across the country. 

Nguyễn Vũ Khánh Minh (MPP23)

With the Scholarship, Khánh Minh aims to meaningfully engage female rice farmers of the Mekong Delta in the sustainable value chain. The initiative is inspired by her work with grassroot communities when she realized that the role and contribution of women in their families have not been widely and sufficiently acknowledged.

About Temasek:

Temasek is a generational investor, seeking to make a difference always with tomorrow in mind. As an institution, Temasek has a stake in the well-being of the wider community. They recognize that environmental, social and governance factors can impact their stakeholders, as well as long term sustainability of the companies and businesses. They believe in sharing their successes with their communities. With Temasek International overseeing 23 non-profit philanthropic endowments, they have touched 1.5 million lives across Asia and Singapore through their community work.

Earlier this week, Fulbright University Vietnam and Christina Noble Children’s Foundation (CNCF for short) have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the Christina Noble – Fulbright Scholarship. Accordingly, 1,320,000,000 VND were donated to the scholarship for eleven (11) incoming students of Class of 2026. Established though the generosity and commitment of Christina Noble Children’s Foundation, the scholarship is created specifically for students who come from significantly disadvantaged financial backgrounds.

The MOU signing ceremony to establish the Christina Noble – Fulbright Scholarship

Originally, the scholarship awards 120,000,000 VND/student to five (05) incoming students of Class of 2026. However, after receiving the applications of eleven (11) students, Ms. Helenita Noble – CEO of the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation and also the daughter of the founder, Mdm. Christina Noble – has decided to grant the scholarships to all of the eleven students in need. She shared that it was impossible to pick among these bright and resilient future changemakers, and that CNCF is extremely proud to support throughout their education with Fulbright University Vietnam.

Education is the movement from darkness into light. Education gives children a real chance in the world, a sense of worth, hope and an opportunity for real change. Ultimately, education gives children the tools to define their own futures – and for many is the key to breaking generational cycles of struggle and in doing so – building strong and sustainable communities.” – Ms. Helenita Noble remarked.

Ms. Helenita Noble – CEO of the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation

In addition to Fulbright’s Financial Aid package, this scholarship will help students in their daily expenses such as food and meals. Ms. Dam Bich Thuy, Fulbright University Vietnam’s President added: “At Fulbright, we deeply believe in the principle of equal access to opportunities for all Vietnamese students no matter which family they were born into. […] Financial difficulty should not be the reason to pull the students back from a good university education.”

This scholarship bears even more meaning as it was initiated by two of the former students at Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management: Mr. Nguyen Thanh Nha (MPP1, currently serving as the Director of Programme Development and Strategic Partnerships at CNCF) and Mr. Le The Son (MPP2, currently serving as Senior Financial Aid Officer at Fulbright).

Graduated from the Master of Public Policy Program at Fulbright 14 years ago, Mr. Nha was deeply moved by the lessons from Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh and Lecturer Nguyen Xuan Thanh on poverty alleviation, which he now vouches as a life-changing milestone that turned the trajectory of his career path, pushed him to be more community-minded and work for the betterment of the society. More than anyone else, he truly understands the importance of education and the need for investing in the young minds because he too, was once in the shoes of these students.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Nha, former FSPPM student, Class of MPP1, currently serving as the Director of Programme Development and Strategic Partnerships at CNCF

I am forever grateful for these two years at Fulbright, and I have always been looking for a way to give back,” Mr. Nha shared.

Looking towards future collaborations between CNCF and Fulbright, Mr. Nha hopes to create more opportunities for the students via potentially a mentorship program, enabling them to take charge of their own quest in lives, persevere through the adversities and eventually, give back to the community. Like their university journeys at Fulbright, this is just a start.

 

About Christina Noble Children’s Foundation:

The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation (CNCF) is dedicated to serving the physical, medical, educational and emotional needs of vulnerable children. We believe that every child is an individual who deserves love, respect and freedom from all forms of abuse and exploitation. We establish long-term relationships with the children we support and empower them to live happy, emotionally rich, and independent lives.

CNCF’s programmes address poverty at a grassroots level with a long term focus on providing a nurturing and stimulating environment for all round personal development. Since arriving in Vietnam (1989) and Mongolia (1997), Christina and her foundation have established over 169 projects providing education, healthcare and community development humanitarian services to vulnerable and destitute children and their families and poor rural communities. To date these projects have assisted almost 900,000 children and collectively have impacted the lives of over 1,000,000 children and adults.

In many developing countries around the world, school fees and related education costs pose a significant barrier to children’s education, and are often linked to non-attendance, dropout, and the entry of children into child labor. In Vietnam, the situation is not that much of a difference.

According to Circular number 86/2015/ND-CP issued by the government, the school fees for a child to go from pre-school to university in the public-school system is, on average, VND112,550,000 (USD4,826.33). This means that, for one child, an average Vietnamese family needs to pay roughly VND75,000 ~ VND155,000 (USD3.22 ~ USD6.65) per month for K-12 education and VND2,200,000 (USD94.34) per month if their child makes it to university.

It may not look a lot but for such a developing country as Vietnam, that number can be a fortune for many families. On average, the Vietnam GDP per capita is USD2,566. In other words, for a nuclear family with two children, the school fees alone can cost up to 25-45 percent of the total household income. In addition to school fees, costs associated with uniforms, shoes, books, transportation fees and extra classes are obstacles to education for children.

To exacerbate the problem, according to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, economic inequality is worsening in Vietnam. In 2010, the top 20% make 9.2 times more than the bottom 20%. This increased to 10.2 times in 2019, said former Deputy Prime Minister (now National Assembly chairman) Vuong Dinh Hue. The growing economic inequality means that the educational achievement gap between the children of the wealthiest and the children of everyone else is widened even further.

Many poor families pull their children out of primary school because they cannot afford the cost of the school fees and education materials, or because they need the child to work in the fields or to earn money. Those who are lucky enough to stay in school may find it hard to catch up with their classmates from wealthy families because they cannot afford to go to extra classes or language classes. Those who complete high school are less likely to attend college than students from higher-income families. For some children, the effects of poverty on education present unique challenges in breaking the cycle of generational poverty and reduce their chances of leading rewarding, productive lives.

This widening educational achievement gap may threaten Vietnam’s economic growth. With only a select few individuals receiving the best education and enrichment, Vietnam cannot effectively develop the economic potential of its future workforce. To grow the economy, there exists a need to provide educational and enrichment opportunities for children across the income spectrum, rather than only a select few at the top. The important question is how.

Scholarships

There are ample proposals and rich debate on how to combat educational achievement gap and ensure more low-income students can get access to proper education. One of those proposals is scholarships, especially scholarships for higher education. Scholarship supporters argue that by offering scholarships to low-income students, schools and universities can target specific audience, widen opportunities and improve outcomes. However, most scholarships in Vietnam are merit-based, meaning students with high academic achievements have higher chance of getting a scholarship.

This brings us back to the discussion on academic opportunities. Wealthy families can more likely afford a variety of positive adolescent activities, such as prep-school, language classes, sports participation, school leadership, extracurricular activities and volunteer work, for their children. These activities broaden their experience and academic achievements, make them more well-rounded and place them at the top of the merit-based scholarship recipient list.

Moreover, low-income students, especially those from the provinces, do not have much access to the scholarships available to them. Due to this information gap, high-achieving low-income students do not even apply to the scholarships for which they are qualified. Thus, some may argue that scholarships, instead of solving the problem of inequality, only worsen it if they are not properly designed and implemented.

Affirmative action

In Vietnam, to ensure specific aims of equity of and access to tertiary education can be met, some key policies have been created and implemented. For example, students from special groups will enjoy extra points for their National High School Exam. These groups include: students from remote and mountainous areas (namely Region 1), from rural area (namely Region 2-NT), and students whose parents are ethnic minorities or veterans with disabilities.

Another example is the University Entrance Nomination policy, in which every year a number of students from disadvantaged provinces may be nominated to enter the assigned public universities without participating in any university entrance exams. The number of students is proposed by the provincial governments based on their socio-economic development level. These students, however, are still required to pass the national upper secondary exams as well as pursue an intensive one-year education before entering normal university courses. Ethnic minority students are given preference when the provincial governments make their selections.

While affirmative action such as these policies may improve diversity in the university, Professor Michael Sandel, the author of the famous book Justice, argues that it brings two problems – one practical, the other principled. The principled objection reasons that affirmative action causes unfair in admissions and violates the rights of applicants who are qualified but belonged to the majority group. These students may have higher academic achievements than the affirmative-action students but are put at a competitive disadvantage through no fault of their own.

The practical objection claims that affirmative action may “damage the self-esteem of minority students, increase racial consciousness on all sides, heighten racial tensions, and provoke resentment” among the majority group. This view is also shared by Malcolm Gladwell, the author of David and Goliath. According to Gladwell, students benefited from affirmative action may not really benefit from it. Being among peers who are more academically equipped, these students may feel insecure, left-out, and unsuccessful. It may even result in drop-out for some.

Free education

In Justice, Professor Sandel mentions that to bridge the inequality gap, “a politics of the common good would take as one of its primary goals the reconstruction of the infrastructure of civic life.” This includes investing in top-quality, free public schools to which rich and poor alike would want to send their children.

In a perfect world, free education can help to reduce the financial burden from the students and encouraging them to get enrolled into higher education more actively. However, the world is not perfect and there are limitations to this solution.

It is undeniable that, managing higher education without taking any tuition fees is difficult for the schools. These schools have to get support from the government to maintain their academic and infrastructural costs. Such substantial public financing results in higher tax and cannot be easy to come by in the near future.

Thomas Piketty in his book Capital in the 21st Century argues that free education leads to “spending more public money on students from more advantaged social backgrounds, while less money is spent on university students who come from the modest background.” One of the reasons for this outcome is that free education does not include free cost of living. Most universities are located in big, urban cities where the cost of living can pose as a barrier for low-income students. Since tuition isn’t the only driver of college affordability, simply eliminating tuition expenses would still leave low-income students with unmet need for living expenses—the real cost of higher education for the majority of students.

So what can be done to reduce educational inequality and promote access to higher education for poorer households? While free education can be a great policy, it takes time to be implemented, tested and perfected. Educational disadvantage has built up over decades and it will take decades to fix it.

In the meantime, it requires a combination of effort, financing and skills to address the short-term solution: Aid.

Aid

In order to improve diversity and offer more opportunities for low-income students to access to education, schools and universities should consider providing the appropriate form of aid prior to, during, and after admissions. This is also the practice that Fulbright University Vietnam (Fulbright) follows in the hope to fulfill its mission to the Vietnamese society.

To bridge the information gap, Fulbright conducts outreach activities to high schools across the country. The objective of this program is to put Fulbright within the reach of any student no matter how financially unattainable a goal it may seem, by giving them the right information and guidance needed to understand the opportunity and the application process.

Fulbright also provides buses for schools in the provinces to come to its admissions events, which are organized in key cities of Vietnam, and at Fulbright campus. These activities give the students a taste of the life at Fulbright, extra-curricular activities, and demo classes instructed by the University’s undergraduate and graduate faculty.

The Fulbright Admissions team also provide help to interested students who indicated an existing interest in studying at Fulbright but were not sure about acting on that interest due to lack of knowledge or financial resources to attend university and/or not being familiar with the steps involved in applying to Fulbright and for financial aid.

Fulbright’s admission process is inspired by prominent American institutions, but mindful of the Vietnamese cultural, social and educational background. Taking into account the imminent educational achievement gap, Fulbright University has designed an application package that is unique and exciting. It allows every student to demonstrate who they really are. Fulbright’s evaluation process is also designed in a way that every student is considered fairly, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Fulbright is also the first university in Vietnam to offer a need-based financial aid, which is solely awarded based on a family’s financial circumstances and does not take into account a student’s academic merit. This need-based financial aid package covers not only the tuition fees, but also the living expenses to mitigate the barriers for low-income students to attend Fulbright.

Once admitted, Fulbright students also receive many other forms of aid to help them complete their four-year journey at Fulbright without feeling insecure about their capabilities. For those seeking added language support prior to starting the undergraduate program, Fulbright has a seven-week Bridge Program that runs the summer prior to the start of classes. Throughout the four-year, should a student feel struggle with his or her academic work or personal issues, the Learning Support team and the Wellness Center will provide them with appropriate aid, either in the form of private counseling sessions or mentorship.

At Fulbright, we believe knowledge is for everyone, and education must be accessible for the students from every status. Every person has the right to acquire knowledge as much as he or she wants. The journey to ensure equality in education is a long one, but it should not deter us to initiate the first step.

Thach Thao

Fulbright University Vietnam (Fulbright) is delighted to announce that the Scholarship Committee has selected additionally two (02) recipients for the TPBank STEM Scholarship, totaling up to five (05) awardees receiving the valuable financial support to realize their diverse community-minded projects in the academic year 2021-2022.

Funded by TPBank – the first bank to have a diverse and outstanding digital banking ecosystem in Vietnam, the TPBank STEM scholarship focuses on students majoring in STEM disciplines including Engineering, Computer Science, or Integrated Science for their research projects. Since the initial scholarship announcement in May 2021, we have received applications from a number of deserving and well-qualified students. Previously, three students with exceptional passion for technology and innovation have been chosen for their research projects. After rigorous rounds of applications and interviews, expert panels have chosen two more awardees for the TPBank STEM Scholarships, totaling up to five recipients to receive the said financial support in the academic year 2021-2022.

Nguyen Dinh Thach Lam (Class of 2024) with the research proposal “Investigation into Fibronectin modules’ bioactivity on different Biomaterials using Molecular Dynamics Simulations”.

Tran Thao Nguyen (Class of 2024) with the research proposal “Assessing and accelerating the potential of community-building for high school STEAM communities in Vietnam”.

The recipients of the TPBank STEM scholarships will each receive an award of $2,000 to realize their projects. These grants do not have any effect on existing financial aid packages.

Mr. Khuc Van Hoa, Deputy General Director of TPBank shares: “TPBank highly values Fulbright’s education model and their recruitment effort. Through the TPBank STEM Scholarship, we are committed to support excellent students who struggle financially, so that they can succeed in their education, achieve their dreams and contribute to the betterment of our country.”

 

About TPBank: Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) was established in 2008, inheriting many strengths in modern technology, experience and financial capacity from strategic shareholders. With the leading goal of digital banking, TPBank has launched many breakthrough products such as LiveBank – automatic 24/7 banking model, Savy – universal savings application, QuickPay – QR code payment, mobile banking application Ebank, etc. TPBank has successfully applied the virtual assistant T’Aio with artificial intelligence AI and machine learning technology, customer identification system by voice and fingerprint, etc. All that unique product has helped TPBank become the first bank to have a diverse and outstanding digital banking ecosystem in Vietnam.

Fulbright University Vietnam (Fulbright) is delighted to announce that the Scholarship Committee has selected four (04) recipients for the Community Change-Maker Scholarship and three (03) recipients for the TPBank STEM Scholarship. Since the initial scholarship announcement in May 2021, we have received applications from a number of deserving and well-qualified students. After rigorous rounds of applications and interviews, expert panels have chosen seven (07) projects to receive financial supports to realize their diverse community-minded projects.

At Fulbright, the liberal education offers the students the opportunity to experience and pursue a boundless pool of knowledge and skills, integrating with the world-class curriculum, yet deeply embedded within the Vietnamese context. In unprecedented times like now, it is more important than ever to understand the power of a community-minded mindset. Only by working in solidarity can we march forwards into the future.

On this journey of preparing students for a VUCA world, Fulbright is honored to be entrusted by generous donors such as Temasek and TPBank. With their help, we can advance the students’ educational experiences, enhancing their opportunities to thrive and become future leaders. These scholarships also reflect great confidence from Temasek and TPBank in the future of the University and its young people. The students were selected based on their track record of academic excellence and the potential impact of their proposed projects.

Higher education is about more than just preparing for a career. It’s about opening new doors to incredible opportunities and helping students grow regardless of their background, circumstances, or degree. Only when students are placed in the right nurturing environment can they unlock their true potential to initiate impactful innovation and positive changes. As the first and only university in Vietnam to offer Financial Aid, Fulbright works to provide equal access to world-class quality education to students from all backgrounds and propel them to play an important role in shaping the world’s future. In that spirit, the two scholarships promise to create a ripple effect of positive changes.

Community Change-Maker Scholarships

Funded by generous donors, including Temasek, a global investment company headquartered in Singapore, the Community Change-Maker scholarship focuses on projects committed to serving Vietnam society and contributing to the betterment of the broader community. This year, two Fulbright Undergraduate students and two Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) have won over the expert panels over with their community change-making project proposals:

  • Two Undergraduate students:
    • Le Kieu Oanh (Class of 2023) with “em-in (Emotional Intelligence)”
    • Tran Thi Thu Thao (Class of 2024) with “Long Khanh on the Road”
  • Two Graduate students (Class of 2022):
    • Nguyen Phuong Dung (MPP-PA) with “Empowering Female Farmers in Highland provinces Knowledge-sharing and Community-building”
    • Vu Hai Truong (MPP-LM) with “Youth Talk Sâu”

The recipients of the Community Change-Maker scholarships will each receive an award of 50.000.000VND to realize their projects. These grants do not have any effect on existing financial aid packages.

Le Kieu Oanh

Tran Thi Thu Thao

Nguyen Phuong Dung

Vu Hai Truong

TPBank STEM Scholarships

Funded by TPBank, the first bank to have a diverse and outstanding digital banking ecosystem in Vietnam, the TPBank STEM scholarship focuses on students who are committed to pursue and advance their fields of knowledge through research projects. This year, three students with exceptional passion for technology and innovation have been chosen to receive financial support for their research projects:

  • Nguyen Cao Nghi (Class of 2023) and Nguyen Duy Hieu (Class of 2024) with the joint research proposal on “The Relationship between Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease and Slow Wave Activity Changes in the Brain: Mechanism and Applications”
  • Nguyen Phung Nhat Khoi (Class of 2023) with the research proposal on “Synthetic Game Trees in Artificial Intelligence”

The recipients of the TPBank STEM scholarships will each receive an award of $2,000 to realize their projects. These grants do not have any effect on existing financial aid packages.

Nguyen Cao Nghi

Nguyen Phung Nhat Khoi

Nguyen Duy Hieu

Mr. Nguyen Anh Vu, Vice President of Temasek International, congratulates the students and says: “The aim of the Community Change-Maker Scholarships is to help young students at Fulbright realize their true potential. It is a long-term commitment by Temasek to enable exceptional, community-minded students to pursue projects contributing to the betterment of the broader community, building an even better society for the future.”

Mr. Khuc Van Hoa, Deputy General Director of TPBank shares: “TPBank highly values Fulbright’s education model and their recruitment effort. Through the TPBank STEM Scholarship, we are committed to support excellent students who struggle financially, so that they can succeed in their education, achieve their dreams and contribute to the betterment of our country.”

About Temasek: Temasek is a global investment company headquartered in Singapore. We are a generational investor, seeking to make a difference always with tomorrow in mind. As an institution, we have a stake in the well-being of our wider community. We recognize that environmental, social and governance factors can impact our stakeholders, as well as long term sustainability of our companies and businesses. We believe in sharing our successes with our communities. With Temasek International overseeing 23 non-profit philanthropic endowments, we have touched 1.5 million lives across Asia and Singapore through our community work.

About TPBank: Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) was established in 2008, inheriting many strengths in modern technology, experience and financial capacity from strategic shareholders. With the leading goal of digital banking, TPBank has launched many breakthrough products such as LiveBank – automatic 24/7 banking model, Savy – universal savings application, QuickPay – QR code payment, mobile banking application Ebank, etc.TPBank has successfully applied the virtual assistant T’Aio with artificial intelligence AI and machine learning technology, customer identification system by voice and fingerprint … All that unique product has helped TPBank become the first bank to have a diverse and outstanding digital banking ecosystem in Vietnam.

This fall, a select few Fulbright students with physical disability and/or mental disorders will be able to receive financial aid from Wheel Cards Scholarship. This scholarship is established through the generosity and commitment of Wheel Cards to support college students with disabilities in Vietnam.

As the world’s first wheelchair/ disabilities-related NFT project, Wheel Cards has garnered much interest from people around the globe. Recently, the project was featured on Binance’s NFT platform along with Maye Musk, the mother of Elon Musk. Featuring pixelated characters in wheelchairs, Wheel Cards were sold out in mere seconds for the past 13 days.

Wheel Cards was founded with a mission to raise awareness about wheelchairs and disabilities in the Web 3.0 Metaverse space. The founder, Kunho Kim, spent his youth in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam before attending Harvard in 2012. While at Saigon South International School, Kunho learned of the difficulties Vietnamese people with disabilities face daily. Kunho founded one of the first student-initiated non-profit organizations to donate wheelchairs to paraplegic patients in Vietnam.

With the mission to create a more disability-friendly world, the Wheel Cards team decided to create a scholarship specifically to financially aid students with disabilities at Fulbright University Vietnam. Nam Tran, who is the director of development and strategic initiatives, hopes that “The Wheel Cards scholarship can help raise awareness about disabilities in Vietnam and become a catalyst to create a more equitable world for students with disabilities. We at Fulbright University are excited to work with Wheel Cards team to embrace new technology including blockchain, and the possibility of a more inclusive future that Wheel Cards is envisioning.” 

Kunho Kim (right) donating wheelchairs to patients in Vietnam when he was in high school

Being the world’s first NFT project to create a scholarship program, Kunho hopes that the Wheel Cards scholarship can leave a positive impact. “This was my childhood dream to give back to a society where everyone helped me become who I am right after I had a ski accident in Montana, USA eleven years ago. I hope with this scholarship students with disabilities could advance into any area they want to without much financial burden while studying at Fulbright University. Our team is very grateful to a community of supporters who made this possible and hopes to continue supporting more students with disabilities in the future with our Wheel Cards community members.”

About Fulbright University Vietnam:

In May 2016, during his official visit to Viet Nam, President Barack Obama announced the establishment of Fulbright University Vietnam, Vietnam’s first independent, not-for-profit, liberal arts university. We are an expanding international team of educational innovators, with deep roots in Vietnam, strong political and financial backing, and connections to educational institutions around the world. 

We believe in the power of collaboration, transdisciplinary thinking, and risk-taking, and we understand that effective education requires putting students at its center. Globally integrated but deeply embedded in Vietnamese society, Fulbright is dedicated to providing a world-class education, utilizing the latest advancements in institutional design, teaching, learning, technology and other fields to create an institution that is both innovative and globally relevant. Importantly, Fulbright is committed to serving Vietnamese society through rigorous research and responsible civic engagement.

About Wheel Cards:

Wheel Cards is Door Labs’ first NFT collectibles project. Door Labs’ mission is to create an inclusive metaverse in which all abilities, colors, and genders are represented and celebrated. As part of the mission, Door Labs created Wheel Cards, the World’s first wheelchair/ disability-related NFT collectibles project, and aimed to raise awareness about disabilities, and wheelchairs in Web 3.0 metaverse space. Moreover, Door Labs recently partnered with the Korea Paralympic Committee to create Kaard, the World’s first Paralympic NFTs.

With great excitement, Fulbright University Vietnam (“Fulbright”) is honored to announce a generous gift from an American philanthropist to form a scholarship program for the Class of 2025 to help Vietnamese young talents, who have a strong commitment to community service, pursue quality education at Fulbright.

The scholarship is equivalent to 50% of the annual tuition fee for four years. In addition to the financial aid, the maximum support that a student can receive can be up to 100% of the tuition fee for four years and housing expenses for the first two years at Fulbright.

“We have been deeply committed to bringing quality education to talented young Vietnamese regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds from the beginning. This scholarship represents a significant broadening of Fulbright’s portfolio of student support,” says Professor Jay S. Siegel, Provost of Fulbright University Vietnam.

To apply, students need to demonstrate their exceptional academic excellence as well as their impactful community service. Student’s financial situation will also be taken into consideration. Students who were admitted to the Class of 2025 will be eligible to apply for this scholarship.

Three (03) scholarships were awarded to three deserving students through Priority Cycle of Class of 2025 and two (02) more will be awarded through Spring Cycle. Newly admitted students may find more information on selection criteria and application process in an official email sent by Fulbright University Vietnam after the admissions results are announced.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam– With alignment in the mission to grow Vietnamese talents to become future change-makers, Fulbright and VietSeeds Foundation are honored to announce the creation of the Nguyễn-Phương Family Scholarship, (“NP Family Scholarship) which will award one (01) full tuition scholarship to incoming students for every academic year, starting Fall 2021.

This endowed scholarship is funded by the family of Mr. Nguyễn Phương Lam, a distinguished philanthropist in Asia. Mr. Nguyễn Phương Lam was the first Vietnamese student to attend the Stanford Graduate School of Business and has built a successful career in finance and investment. His philanthropic activities, which center on education and poverty alleviation, span throughout organizations in Asia and the world such as Acumen, Ashoka, Endeavor, and VietSeeds Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to bringing equal access to college education for all students across Vietnam.

Mr. Lam’s family creates this scholarship as a part of their long-term commitment to support our mission of nurturing generations of Vietnamese change-makers for a better and more humane world.

The spirit of the scholarship is to help form generations of Vietnamese leaders/changemakers (in all fields of society) for a more humane, kinder world – a world built on solidarity instead of competition; a world focusing on broad human development and social sustainability instead of just economic and material development; a world based on the principle that the meaning of human life is in the being, and not in the having.

In addition to the financial reward, the recipient of the NP Family Scholarship will have access to special mentorship and career development opportunities offered by the Nguyen-Phuong family.

To apply, students need to demonstrate exemplary traits of future change-makers by having these following characteristics: Curiosity and Creativity, Courage and Resilience, Adaptability and Open Mind, Leadership and Co-leadership. Newly admitted students may find more information on selection criteria and application process in an official email sent by Fulbright University Vietnam.

Fulbright University Vietnam (Fulbright) is delighted to announce two new scholarship programs that will broaden Fulbright’s mission to support our current student’s development toward being independent scholars. The scholarships, effective immediately, will be funded by TPBank and Temasek International. They will be awarded to selected students as grants to support projects demonstrating a high level of academic excellence and/or community impact. These grants do not have any effect on existing financial aid packages.

The launch of these two new scholarship programs is a major step toward broadening the Fulbright portfolio of ways to support our students,” says Professor Jay Siegel, Provost of Fulbright University Vietnam. “The generosity of partners and donors like TPBank and Temasek create opportunities that will propel our students to reach new heights in their study and create a positive impact in their society.

 Specifically, TPBank will fund the TPBank STEM Scholarship. Five Junior and Senior undergraduate students majoring in STEM disciplines including Engineering, Computer Science, or Integrated Science will be awarded grants for research projects in their discipline. Temasek is the inaugural donor for the Community Change-Maker Scholarship.  In 2021, four grants will be available to both undergraduate students and students from the Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management to pursue projects contributing to the betterment of the broader community.

Expert panels will screen and evaluate scholarship applications according to pre-defined criteria and make a recommendation to the Fulbright University Executive Council. Prospective applicants can find more information on the TPBank STEM Scholarship here, and on the Community Change-Maker Scholarship here .

Professor Siegel added, “Fulbright University Vietnam will continue to work with our partners to expand the number and type of scholarships that will enable high performing students to create positive change in their field and the wider community.

The Fulbright Everest Launchpad (FEL) was officially launched on July 03, 2017. This is a special scholarship, which provides a unique opportunity for the students to not only learn but also live and breath in English. From 1,215 submitted applications, Fulbright has chosen the brightest 40 students from different high schools all over the country to join FEL.

Ho Chi Minh City, July 03, 2017 – The Fulbright Everest Launchpad (FEL) was officially launched on July 03, 2017. This is a special scholarship, which provides a unique opportunity for the students to not only learn but also live and breath in English. From 1,215 submitted applications, Fulbright has chosen the brightest 40 students from different high schools all over the country to join FEL.

Each FEL student receives a full scholarship, which is worth VND 65 millions, including accommodations, transportation, and tuition fees. The scholarships are funded by Fulbright’s donor, Mr. Jack Tate. Jack Tate is the founder of the famous Baby Superstores chain in America. In the past 25 years, Mr. Tate has donated more than USD 25 millions for different medical and educational social projects.

“Fulbright is an important part in the development process of Vietnam. And a meaningful and essential element in this development process is to provide the Vietnamese students the opportunity to learn English, science, technology, math at an international-quality university. Vietnam needs to encourage the students to live and study in Vietnam so that they can contribute their talents to the growth of this country,” Mr. Tate shares. This is also the reason why he decided to support Fulbright, as well as to sponsor the FEL program.

“The Undergraduate program at Fulbright University Vietnam will be taught fully in English. And in order to learn completely in English, there needs to be preparations. To Vietnamese students, this is not an easy challenge, especially to the students in the far-away provinces.

Improving the English skill proves to be important, not only before receiving the offer to study at Fulbright, but also during their time at Fulbright. This is the pilot program for the young students, especially those in the provinces with fewer opportunities to learn English,” Dr. Dinh Vu Trang Ngan, Director of the Undergraduate program explains. This the the sole reason why Fulbright developed FEL.

To best prepare these students to learn English, Fulbright partnered with Everest Education to design a unique and innovative English program. The program combines both online and offline techniques to equip students with best, suitable learning methods no matter where they are, or what English level they have.

According to Tony Ngo, Chairman and CEO of Everest Education: “The education system in Vietnam is like chain production in a factory. Students are products, trained in the same speed and delivered the same result. Some tried to solve this predicament through online learning. Yet, it did not work very well with the students because technology cannot listen and understand each and every student; only a dedicated teacher can.”

Mr. Tony Ngo believes that the innovative blended learning of both online and offline methods will help utilize technologies and the teachers’ dedication. “Students will learn a concept of a particular topic at a suitable level, and with an appropriate speed for them.”

The FEL program will take place for 8 weeks, with two phases. During the concentrated English training phase, 40 students will live, learn and play together in an all-English environment in Ho Chi Minh City.  

During the distance training phase, the students will return home and study at their high school while continue with FEL through a highly interactive online program. Each student will be awarded with a laptop or a tablet with full learning documents, software and English learning program.