Fulbright University Vietnam to receive first students this fall

By Huu Cong   May 25, 2016 | 10:20 pm GMT+7
Fulbright University Vietnam to receive first students this fall
HCMC People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong grants former U.S. Senator Bob Kerry, Chairman of the FUV Board of Trustees, Vietnam's formal approval for opening the university. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Cong

Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV), the first American-style private university in Ho Chi Minh City, will be operational from September this year with a Master in Public Policy.

HCMC People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Thanh Phong on Wednesday granted former U.S. Senator Bob Kerry, Chairman of the FUV Board of Trustees, Vietnam’s formal approval for opening the university in a ceremony attended by Secretary of State John Kerry.

The U.S. government has committed to contribute more than $20 million to the new university. HCMC has made 25 ha of land available for the university in District 9.

Previously, Vietnam’s government had approved in principle the university’s legal status, its own seal and bank account, while putting the school’s education and training program under the management of the Ministry of Education and Training, according to a decision signed by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam. The university will also be supervized by the city's People’s Committee.

The new university will be built on the foundation of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, a collaboration between the Harvard Kennedy School's Vietnam Program and the University of Economics, which is "widely regarded as Vietnam's preeminent school of public policy," according to a statement by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The Fulbright Economics Teaching Program (FETP) supports three core initiatives, including the Master in Public Policy program and executive education, research, into complex policy issues confronting Vietnam and policy dialogue, through discussion with Vietnamese policymakers and participation in the public policy discourse in Vietnam, according to the program's website.

The transition from FETP to a more ambitious university was first mentioned officially in a joint statement issued by President Barack Obama and former Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang in 2013, and later was reiterated during Kerry’s visit to Vietnam in December the same year.