Quality is the watchword of today's education. Whether it is the students or the parents, the primary element that they strive for is a fulfilling package of comprehensive and quality education, which inevitably opens the doors to endless opportunities. Several international students dream of obtaining an American style education, which is regarded as advantageous, as it promises to render the graduates a competitive edge in the workforce. However, only a handful of students can bear the burn of high expenditure for studying in the US, thus in order to solve this observable issue, the American University in Vietnam (AUV) was established in 2011. "AUV is an elite international university that has been commenced with the aim of providing an affordable American-style education to the students with the strong support of a team of American faculty members, curricula, and instructional methods," shares Dr. John Behzad, Provost, Academic VP and Dean - Business School, American University in Vietnam.
Adopting modern pedagogies, students of AUV, by the end of their course, are made capable to attain intellectual ability, cultivate lifelong skills, and achieve their personal and professional aspirations
The University hosts a vibrant community of students and staff members who are always keen to extend their help to the overseas students in terms of both academic and non-academic affairs. "Consisting of optimum students from the Southeast Asian region presently, with the expansion of foreign direct investment into Vietnam, now we are ardently looking forward to enrolling a diversified group of students, including from India. Through AUV's American education, Indian students considerably will get access to U.S. academic degrees at an affordable cost, which are a 1/3 of the educational costs in the US," pinpoints Dr. Behzad. Apart from cost-effective education, another attractive feature of AUV is its transnational institutional access that allows the students to choose to study one or two years in Vietnam and continue their coursework in the U.S. in any of the 350 majors that the University and its U.S. partner universities transnationally offers.
Dr. Behzad explains, "AUV credits are transferable, giving students the opportunity to complete their studies in their preferred field of specialty through 2+2, 1+3 or 3+1 programs for undergraduate degrees and 2+2+1, 3+1+1 or 4+2 for Master's degrees from select partner universities in the U.S." With an assurance of preparing students for a rewarding career, the University conducts a range of programmes in the area of Communication, Hospitality Management, Business, Computer Science and so on. Dr. Behzadadds, "Our curricula include a number of academic innovations, including a cluster of integrative learning experiences, such as FI 100 (Science, Technology, Culture & Society), FI 200 (Climate Change, Energy & Sustainable Environment), FI 300 (Morality, Public Good & Justice), and FI 400 (Shared Values, Civic Responsibility& Societal Engagement)."
The Holy Grail of International Higher Education
An utmost fascinating place to be, Vietnam is popularly known for its low cost of living and this fact lets the international students pursue their education without having to face financial constraints. "AUV has a generous financial assistance program, including both merit-based and needs-based scholarships, coupled with special scholarships available to only international students' viz. AUV's Presidential Merit Scholarship," claims Dr. Behzad. This way, the University provides the students from different nationalities the opportunity to earn a globally recognized degree by paying affordable fees and commencing their studies amidst the mesmerizing AUV campus and avant-garde facilities. Being in Da Nang Vietnam, Dr. Behzad adds, "Our students are facilitated to spend their education tenure in a favorable atmosphere and experience the rich cultural and historical heritage of a growing, vibrant and emerging economy."
Holding the belief of maintaining a small class size, the dedicated faculty members of the University put their entire effort in balancing the theoretical and practical knowledge in a way that eventually enables students to gain productive learning outcomes. Experiential learning, case study, project-based learning, transferring lifelong skills and values and many more are some of the academic strategies that the faculty members integrate into instruction. Adopting such modern pedagogies, students of AUV, by the end of their course, are made capable to attain intellectual ability, cultivate lifelong skills, and achieve their personal and professional aspirations. Students are not only motivated to grow individually, but are also stimulated to develop a higher sense of personal and social values, so that they can actively contribute to the well being of the local, national and global communities.
Being a student-centered University, AUV makes sure that the students are positively engaged both in curricular and co-curricular activities, allowing them to blossom holistically. The University has classified the teaching and learning process after much contemplation, owing to which the first two years of the curricula emphasize the foundation of liberal education; viz., critical & creative thinking, rational & methodical reasoning, quantitative and evidence-based thinking, and oral & written communication and in junior and senior years, students specialize in a major area of study.
"It is no secret that American curricula are in high demand for its quality, rigor, and effective pedagogical methods. We at AUV pride on offering a curriculum, which is entirely based on the American model of university education. As we continue this journey of gifting bright careers, we would like to invite a number of overseas students and suggest them to come and exploit the opportunities that are provided by AUV upholding rich relationships with our partners in the US," concludes Dr. Behzad.
Dr. John Behzad, Provost, Academic VP and Dean - Business School
Dr. John Behzad holds a B.A. in insurance, M.A. in economics, MBA finance, and Ph.D. from Indiana University, USA. He has over 30 years of experience in teaching, research, executive development, and administration at U.S. universities. Prior to his joining AUV, he worked at California State University (CSUEB) where he served as the Managing Director of Emerging Technology Institute, Associate Dean of the College of Business and Economics, and Chair of several departments, university-wide committees and academic programs. Dr. Behzad has traveled extensively and studied the cultures, economies, business and management practices in Southeast Asian countries for over 20 years. He visited India twice (6 months each time) where he took a group of American students to India as part of a study-abroad program.
Panel 1: The Story of Dr. Binh Tran and the Emergence of AUV
Over two decades ago, when Dr. Binh Thy Nguyen Tran, Chairperson and CEO of APU Educational Development Group, returned to her home country, Vietnam, after raising a family in the US, she wanted to help provide educational opportunities for young people in Vietnam. Out of that desire came the APU International School - a leading K-12 institution with campuses in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. Building on the success of APU, a long process began with the goal of creating the first American-styled University in Vietnam. The American University in Vietnam (AUV) received an investment license in 2009 and the groundbreaking ceremony for campus was in September 2010. AUV then collaborated with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), University of Missouri Kansas City, California State University, State University of New York, Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), Wentworth Institute of Technology, and other elite American colleges and universities to continue growing.
Along with International Advisory Board of US educators, AUV established a focus in areas of art, science, and medicine. With support from the leaders Vietnamese Government, and others, AUV received approval from the government in 2015 for courses and degrees to begin in fall of 2016. The AUV now offers a variety of general education courses, with degrees in business, marketing, management, hospitality, communication and computer science. AUV also plans to offer degrees in health & science, engineering and other disciplines.
Panel 2: Da Nang - The Education Hub of Central Vietnam
Apparently, nowhere in Vietnam is changing as fast as Da Nang, where AUV has strategically housed its headquarters. Considering education as first priority, Da Nang authority has been encouraging international cooperation in education, especially calling for interests from foreign institutions to invest in opening their branches in the city. Being the largest city in Central Vietnam and one of the five largest cities in Vietnam, Da Nang is emerged as the hub for economic, cultural, educational, science and technology of the central and highland regions of Vietnam. Annually, thousands of personnel are trained in universities and vocational secondary schools to meet the demand for manpower not only for the city but also for the central region. Majors include IT, High Technology, Tourism and Hospitality, Finance and Banking and Logistics Services.