June 29, 2020

Three graduation theses to be developed as case studies for classroom use

June 29, 2020

Three graduation theses from the 2020 class of Fulbright’s Master in Public Policy, Policy Analysis concentration (MPP-PA 2020) have been selected as case studies for educational purposes.

These three original works constitute the final theses of 3 Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM) graduate students, Ho Bao Tram, Pham Van Long, and Nguyen Thi Xuan Huong. Their research topics respectively cover agriculture, industry and journalism.

Ho Bao Tram examined local government policies facilitating agricultural start-ups in Dong Thap province from 2016 to 2019, using Gartner analytical quadrants. Pham Van Long investigated the effects of industrial clusters in Vietnam, supporting his research with empirical evidence. Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Xuan Huong explored how national policies shape public press and the relationship between the state and the press in Vietnam.

MPP guaduate Pham Van Long

MPP graduate Ho Bao Tram

MPP graduate Nguyen Thi Xuan Huong

Learning through contemporary case studies and original research is a key feature setting public policy studies at FSPPM apart from other policy pograms. Before case studies earned popularity among Vietnamese universities, FSPPM was the first to pioneer this innovative approach in its curriculum, using both paper-based and multimedia formats. Case studies used in our MPP program are compiled from 2 sources: original FSPPM faculty research set in Vietnam, and publications on global, East Asian or Southeast Asian issues produced by prominent American universities, particularly Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Business School.

The collection of case studies being used at FSPPM are constantly updated to keep pace with social and economic dynamics in Vietnam. Each FSPPM faculty member is well known for engaging case studies in their respective research fields. Lecturer Nguyen Xuan Thanh is a prolific case writer tracing eminent mergers and acquisition deals in Vietnam banking industries, to name a few, Sacombank, SCB, Tienphong Bank and some appraisal projects valuing listed public companies, including  Vinamilk, King Do, and REE.

Dr. Vu Thanh Tu Anh, Principal Investigator of many regional development project by FSPPM, is the author of many case studies investigating prospects of provincial development, for instance, “An Giang – Potential and Realities”; “Tay Ninh – Rising to new heights”; “Chu Lai Open Economic Zone – Laboratory for institutional and policy reforms”, and more.

Widely used by FSPPM in our Master of public policy (MPP) as well as in our executive training programs, case studies function aas a link between research and education activities at FSPPM. On the one hand, case studies help learners better understand theoretical knowledge. On the other, they necessitate students apply the fundamental principles taught in class to solving practical problems in the real world. As a technical exercise, case studies help students consolidate economic formulas, analytical and synthetical skills and creative thinking.

Professor Nancy Koehn, Harvard Business School, argued that learning through case studies is more beneficial than conventional problem sets, as they place learners into the drivers’ seat, urging them to apply knowledge, honing their intuition in identifying and seeking solutions to tough problems.

Quynh Chi

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