Bringing the United States and Vietnam Closer Together through Educational Exchange

VEF Announces Success of 2004 VEF Fellows and Support for Centers of Excellence in Vietnam

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April 12, 2004--VEF announced today that the vast majority of its seventy-one Fellows have been accepted to top universities in the U.S. with more admissions coming in the next few weeks.
"This has been a tremendous succcess for VEF and for Vietnam", said Congressman George Miller who is a Board member of VEF and visiting Vietnam. Congressman Miller met with Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem and NA Member Ton Nu Thi Ninh earlier today to share the good news and discuss cooperation between VEF and its Vietnamese counterpart, the Advisory Council of Vietnam (ACV).
"We are very proud that our Fellows will be attending top science and technology institutions in the U.S.", said Kien Pham, Executive Director of VEF. "The schools have been very impressed by the quality of VEF Fellows." To date, VEF Fellows have been accepted to 23 graduate schools including Stanford, MIT, Brown, Princeton, Tufts, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Georgia Tech, Rutgers, Carnegie Mellon University, University of North Carolina, UCLA, University of Virginia, New York University, University of Washington, and others. (A complete list of schools is below.) These seventy-one Fellows were selected from an open, transparent and competitive process that included more than 800 applicants and involved U.S. standard testing and a final interview by visiting American scientists invited by the U.S. National Academies.
Separately, in its efforts to encourage VEF Fellows to return to Vietnam in the future, VEF supported a workshop on "Building Science and Technology Capacity in Vietnam" which took place today in Hanoi. This workshop, focusing on centers of excellence, was organized by the Institute of Mathematics (under the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology - VAST) and the Science Initiative Group (SIG), a U.S.-based expert organization in centers of excellence. Dr. Phillip Griffiths, chairman of SIG, commented "Vietnam has all the elements for success in science. It has a culture of learning and a young population eager for advanced knowledge. Centers of excellence will help Vietnam attract its talents such as VEF Fellows back to the country and it will help Vietnam compete effectively as a member of the WTO."
The international experts at the workshop also included Dr. Chung Kim of South Korea, Dr. Mary Kalin of Chile and Dr. Sadeg Faris of Malaysia . Dr. Chung Kim was among the architects of South Korea's scientific success and is currently the president of the Korea Institute for Advanced Study. He is a Board member of VEF and SIG. Dr. Mary Kalin is a leading figure in Chile's Millennium Science Initiative and currently serves as the director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology and Research on Biodiversity. Dr. Sadeg Faris is an expert in innovation and has established InventQjaya, a major technology lab and government-business joint venture in Malaysia. All of these experts share the same enthusiasm for Vietnam's potential in science and technology.
The workshop was attended by policy makers and representatives from many Vietnamese ministries, scientific organizations and universities. The participants explored various concepts and sought an appropriate model for Vietnam. A follow-up meeting will be held this summer in Hanoi.
List of U.S. Universities that have accepted 2004 VEF Fellows, as of April 12, 2004:
Stanford University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Princeton University
Brown University
Carnegie Mellon University
Tufts University
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
University of California - Los Angeles
University of Michigan
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Virginia
University of Missouri
University of Washington
University of Utah
University of Florida
University of Rochester
New York University
Tulane University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Rutgers University
Michigan State University
Pennsylvania State University