Happy Birthday, Capstone Vietnam! Chúc mừng sinh nhật, Capstone Việt Nam!

Posted 16/09/2014 by maavn
Categories: Announcement

Tags: , , , , ,

LOGO-5thyears_Capstone vietnamA special greeting on the occasion of Capstone Vietnam’s 5th Birthday.

16 September 2014

Dear Friends,

It has been five years since Capstone Vietnam was born. Five years of hard work, sacrifice, ups and downs, rewards and, ultimately, a deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment at what we have been able to achieve – together.

Our mission is simple yet supremely challenging: to leverage opportunities for individuals and institutions to succeed through a variety of high-quality education and training solutions. Yes, I’m biased, but in my opinion, Capstone Vietnam has created something new, something fresh, something that meets a need and fills a void in the marketplace. This newness includes our services, our approach and our way of doing business.

Capstone is defined is defined as a “high point” or “crowning achievement,” the best an individual or organization can achieve, and the inspiration for our slogan Reaching New Heights. We are dedicated to enabling our clients to do just that, be it through institutional services, overseas study advising or other education and training activities. Our slogan guides and inspires and propels us forward, as do our values.

Vietnam’s greatest resource is its people – hard working, motivated, always on the move and in search of ways to enrich their lives and enhance their marketability through education and training. Every individual has enormous reserves of untapped potential and undiscovered talents. Our goal at Capstone Vietnam is to help our clients “reach new heights,” tap that potential, reveal those hidden talents and make a meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of individuals, organizations and society.

I would like express my heartfelt gratitude to our many clients and partners in Vietnam, the U.S. and elsewhere, both institutional and individual, who have placed their trust in Capstone Vietnam. I’m grateful for your support and for the opportunity we have been given. I’d also like to thank our hardworking and dedicated staff who have become full-fledged members of the Capstone family. You make it happen.

Happy 5th Birthday, Capstone Vietnam! 5 Years of Integrity – Learning – Global Awareness – Innovation – Results! 5 Years of Reaching New Heights! We look forward – with great excitement and anticipation – to what the next five years will bring and what contributions we can make.

All my best,

Mark A. Ashwill, Ph.D./Managing Director


 

16 tháng 9 năm 2014

Các bạn thân mến,

Đã tròn năm năm kể từ khi Capstone Vietnam ra đời. Năm năm của sự nỗ lực, sự hy sinh; năm năm với biết bao thăng trầm, những thành quả, và trên tất cả là một cảm nhận sâu sắc của sự hài lòng và mãn nguyện về những gì chúng tôi đã đạt được – khi cùng sát cánh bên nhau.

Sứ mệnh của chúng tôi thật đơn giản nhưng vô cùng thách thức: làm thế nào để tối ưu hóa cơ hội vươn tới thành công của các cá nhân, tổ chức thông qua những giải pháp đa dạng về giáo dục và đào tạo chất lượng cao. Vâng, có thể tôi hơi thiên vị, nhưng theo ý kiến của tôi, Capstone Vietnam đã đạo ra một cái gì đó rất mới, rất tươi, thứ có thể đáp ứng được nhu cầu hiện hữu và lấp đầy một khoảng trống trên thị trường. Sự tươi mới này bao gồm những dịch vụ, cách thức tiếp cận và đường lối kinh doanh của chúng tôi.

Từ Capstone trong ngôn ngữ được định nghĩa là “đỉnh cao” hay “thành tựu tột đỉnh”, là điều cao nhất mà một cá nhân hay tổ chức có thể đạt được, và là nguồn cảm hứng cho khẩu hiệu của chúng tôi: Vươn tới những đỉnh cao. Đó cũng chính là mục tiêu mà chúng tôi luôn cống hiến hết mình để giúp khách hàng đạt được, cho dù thông qua các dịch vụ dành cho tổ chức, các dịch vụ tư vấn du học hay các hoạt động về giáo dục và đào tạo khác. Chính khẩu hiệu đó đã dẫn đường, truyền cảm hứng, và đẩy chúng tôi vươn tới phía trước, cũng như những giá trị mà chúng tôi luôn theo đuổi.

Nguồn tài nguyên quý giá nhất của đất nước Việt Nam chính là con người –  những con người lao động hăng say, đầy ý chí nhiệt huyết, năng động, và luôn tìm kiếm con đường để làm giàu cuộc sống, tăng cường sự tiếp cận thị trường thông qua giáo dục và đào tạo. Trong mỗi cá nhân đều chứa đựng nguồn trữ lượng khổng lồ những tiềm năng chưa được tận dụng và những tài năng chưa được khám phá. Mục tiêu của chúng tôi tại Capstone Vietnam là giúp đỡ khách hàng “vươn tới những đỉnh cao”, khai phá tiềm năng, bộc lộ những tài năng ẩn giấu, và tạo nên sự khác biệt có ý nghĩa lâu dài trong cuộc sống của các cá nhân, tổ chức, và xã hội.

Tôi muốn bày tỏ lòng biết ơn từ trái tim mình tới rất nhiều khách hàng và đối tác của chúng tôi tại Việt Nam, Hoa Kỳ và ở những nơi khác, cả các tổ chức và các cá nhân, những người đã đặt niềm tin vào Capstone Vietnam. Tôi biết ơn vì sự hỗ trợ của các bạn và vì cơ hội mà các bạn đã mang đến cho chúng tôi. Tôi cũng muốn cám ơn những nhân viên đã làm việc hăng say và cống hiến hết mình cho công ty, những người đã hoàn toàn trở thành một phần của gia đình Capstone. Các bạn đã làm cho tất cả những điều này trở thành hiện thực.

Chúc mừng sinh nhật lần thứ 5, Capstone Vietnam! 5 năm của sự Chính trực – Học hỏi – Nhận thức toàn cầu –  Đột phá – những Thành quả! 5 năm một chặng đường Vươn tới những đỉnh cao! Chúng tôi mong chờ – với sự phấn khích và mong mỏi to lớn – những gì mà chặng đường 5 năm tới sẽ mang đến và những đóng góp mà chúng tôi sẽ tiếp tục cống hiến.

Thân mến,

Mark A. Ashwill, Ph.D.

Giám đốc điều hành

2014 Operation Light the End of the Tunnel

Posted 15/09/2014 by maavn
Categories: Interview

Tags: , , , ,

Below is an interview with Chuck Searcy, a former Army intelligence analyst who has lived in Vietnam for the last 20 years working – in partnership with Vietnamese colleagues – to ameliorate the effects of various war legacies, including unexploded ordnance (UXO) and Agent Orange.  The interview was with Mike Cerre, a former ABC News Correspondent and war veteran, and took place on 4 September 2014 at the Marines’ Memorial Club and Hotel in San Francisco.  Follow this link to read an announcement about the event and to learn more about Mr. Searcy’s background.

Vietnam: Off The Beaten Track (OTBT) Tour 2014

Posted 11/09/2014 by maavn
Categories: Announcement, Commentary

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Courtesy:  Princeton University

Courtesy: Princeton University

Below is a description of a new tour organized by EducationUSA, US Embassy, Hanoi.  Its purpose is to reach out to talented and gifted students in five (5) provinces in northern Vietnam.  Eligible t0ur participants include those who wish to “engage with Vietnam’s top students who are prime candidates for U.S. institutions looking to diversity their pool of full scholarship recipients” and, naturally, who are able to provide “full scholarships (tuition, room, board) to top international students.” 

The potential benefits to the participating colleges and universities, in addition to diversifying their pool of full scholarship recipients and, possibly, its student population, are:  1) global service through outreach to rural areas; 2) favorable PR, should they decide to place any stories about accepted and funded students in the Vietnamese media; and 3) the possibility that they might find a student in one of these high schools whose parents have the ability to pay.  (Not all of the nation’s wealth is in its cities.)

While I’m pleased to see a tour to places other than Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) – I organized the first US higher education fair in Danang back in the day – it’s worth acknowledging a political reason for this activity related to the exercise of soft power beyond the confines of Hanoi and HCMC, i.e., to demonstrate to State/DC that the US Mission is making the attempt – with the assistance of US college and university reps, to inform rural students about opportunities to study in the USA, even though most cannot afford it.  (This reminds me of a former deputy principal officer in the US Embassy, the #2 person, who once went rogue, rhetorically speaking, at a reception for visiting US higher education colleagues, possibly after a few too many glasses of wine, when he voiced the opinion that the US Mission should focus all of its education-related outreach efforts on wealthy Vietnamese.)

If possible, I’ll check in with the participants and report back later this fall.

MAA

educationusa logoSpend one week visiting northern Vietnam’s best gifted and talented high schools that are “off the beaten track” of most U.S. recruiters. Engage with Vietnam’s top students who are prime candidates for U.S. institutions looking to diversity their pool of full scholarship recipients.

PARTICIPANTS: Accredited degree granting U.S. institutions providing full scholarships (tuition, room, board) to top international students. *Capacity is limited to 8 reps.

COST: *No registration fees

  • Total estimated cost for hotels and meals for the week is $1300
  • In-country transport, accompanying advisers/guides, and lodging reservations provided by U.S. Embassy Hanoi

DATES & SCHEDULE: Five provinces in northern Vietnam will be visited from September 28 to October 3 (Sunday to Friday). Following is the schedule for the tour:

Sunday, September 28: Morning departure from Hanoi to Lao Cai

Monday, September 29: Lào Cai Province

  • Morning: Visit Lao Cai High School for Gifted Students
  • Afternoon: Leave Lao Cai for Yen Bai

Tuesday, September 30: Yên Bái Province

  • Morning: Visit Nguyen Tat Thanh High School for Gifted Students
  • Afternoon: Leave Yen Bai for Nam Dinh

Wednesday, October 1: Nam Định Province

  • Morning: Visit Le Hong Phong High School for Gifted Students
  • Afternoon: Leave Nam Dinh for Thanh Hoa

Thursday, October 2: Thanh Hóa Province

  • Morning: Visit Lam Son High School for Gifted Students
  • Afternoon: Leave Thanh Hoa for Nghe An

Friday, October 3: Nghệ An Province

  • Morning: Visit Phan Boi Chau High School for Gifted Students
  • Afternoon: Leave Nghe An for evening arrival in Hanoi

*All transportation is by van provided by U.S. Embassy

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

  • EducationUSA reserves the right to refuse registration of any institution
  • Deadline for registration is August 15th
  • Capacity limited to 8 reps

QUESTIONS? Email HanoiEducationUSA[AT]gmail.com

Fall 2014 StudyUSA Higher Education Fairs in Vietnam

Posted 03/09/2014 by maavn
Categories: Announcement, Events

Tags: , , , ,

cover-facebook-final

Breaking News!  Over 30 universities and colleges from 15 states representing every region of the United States are coming to Vietnam in late September to participate in the StudyUSA Higher Education Fairs in Haiphong, Hanoi, Danang, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and Vung Tau.  Four-year institutions, including intensive English, undergraduate and graduate/professional programs, and community colleges are almost evenly divided, which means that students and parents will have lots of choices.  See you at the fairs!

Full disclosure:  I’m a proud employee of the fair organizer, Capstone Vietnam.

MAA

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VTV1 Interview About Higher Education Admission Reform in Vietnam

Posted 27/08/2014 by maavn
Categories: Interview

Tags: , , , ,

VTV1 - 1

I was recently interviewed at Vietnam National University-Hanoi by Ms. Kim Hai, VTV1 reporter, about a range of issues related to Vietnam’s higher education admission reform efforts, led by VNU-Hanoi – in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Training.  I mentioned and expanded upon a number of the points I touched on in this essay, entitled Higher Education Admission Reform in Vietnam: The Next Generation.  (Vietnamese version:  ĐHQGHN đi đầu trong đổi mới căn bản và sâu sắc hệ thống tuyển sinh ĐH của Việt Nam)

The interview included some of the following questions:

  • What do you think about higher education admission reform as part of the comprehensive reform of Vietnam’s educational system?
  • What do you think about the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) plan to abolish the high school completion exam and replace it with a unified exam that is also used for higher education admission?
  • How does the US evaluate and assess student learning outcomes for high school graduates and university admission?
  • One can see that MoET and Vietnam’s universities are struggling to find a way to improve the quality of the higher education system in Vietnam.  What are some of the key factors?  What roles does the university entrance exam play?

An excerpt from this interview appeared on the VTV1 evening news on 15 August and again on the 18th in a four-minute report.  VTV1 is producing a show devoted to this  important topic, which will air in the near future.

VTV1 - 2

If you understand Vietnamese, follow this link to view the report in its entirety:  Các phương án cho tốt nghiệp phổ thông và tuyển sinh đại học (Plans for High School Graduation and University Admission)

MAA

 

Vietnam Education Dialogue: Higher Education Reforms

Posted 21/08/2014 by maavn
Categories: Conferences

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cg hcmcOn July 31st and August 1st, US Consul General, Rena Bitter, hosted a conference on Vietnamese higher education.  The star-studded list of guests included Dr. Ngo Bao Chau, the first Vietnamese to receive the prestigious Fields Medal, known as the Nobel Prize of Mathematics, Dr. Nguyen Quan, Minister of Science and Technology, and Professor Bui Van Ga, Vice Minister, Ministry of Education and Training.   About 150 people attended the conference.  You can find the agenda here, along with a number of presentations in the form of PDF downloads.

The 1.5 day conference, entitled “Vietnam Education Dialogue: Higher Education Reforms” and organized by the Education Dialogue Group and Dr. Chau, “brought together senior government officials, educators, college and university representatives, and businesspeople to discuss strategies and recommend reforms to Vietnam’s higher education system,” according to a US Consulate General press release.  “The Vietnam Education Dialogue is part of the U.S. government’s commitment to this joint goal, based on enhancing educational, cultural, and people-to-people ties between the United States and Vietnam,” the statement added.

My two cents:

  • Soft Power:  Given the fact that education looms large in the US government’s exercise of soft power in Vietnam and other countries, I view these events primarily as political exercises, something to write about and showcase in a press release, media report, and post-conference diplomatic cable.   They are part of an ongoing charm offensive that began in earnest during “Education Ambassador” Michael Michalak’s tenure. 
  • Impact:  I wonder about the impact of these types of events, short- or long-term.  Aside from the fleeting PR value, you can’t claim that they’re networking opportunities on this scale – in contrast to the annual education conferences of AMB Michalak.
  • Authority:  A couple of sources told me that while the academic presenters who hold positions overseas may be experts in their fields, they wonder A) how up-to-date all of these experts are vis-à-vis Vietnamese higher education; and B) why they think that what works in another country will work in Vietnam.
  • More Inclusive?  I know this is asking a lot of what is essentially a very conservative entity with its own narrow agenda but… why not expand the circle and include other voices?  This is about dialogue, after all.

MAA

Vietnam (Still) Ranks 8th Among All Sending Countries

Posted 11/08/2014 by maavn
Categories: Updates

Tags: , , , , ,

USDHSICE_News_Release

SEVP releases quarterly report on international students studying in US

WASHINGTON – “SEVIS by the Numbers,” a quarterly report of international students studying in the United States, was released Tuesday by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The report is based on data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a Web-based system that includes information on international students, exchange visitors and their dependents while they are in the United States.

As of July 8, 966,333 international students were enrolled in nearly 9,000 U.S. schools using an F (academic) or M (vocational) visa. This marks a nearly five percent decrease from April, primarily due to graduation rates, but an eight percent increase when compared to July 2013. Seventy-five percent of all international students were from Asia, with 28 percent from China.  South Korea and Vietnam had the greatest percentage decrease in students studying in the United States at eight and seven percent, respectively, when compared to April statistics. The top 10 countries of citizenship for international students included: China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam (19,279 students), Mexico and Brazil. The University of Southern California, Purdue University, the University of Illinois, New York University and Columbia University rank one through five among U.S. schools with the most international students.

Nearly 350,000 international students pursued STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) coursework in July. Sixty-nine percent of international students studying STEM fields were male. Eighty-five percent of international students studying STEM coursework are from Asia. Seventy percent of international students studying engineering are from China and India. More international students study engineering than any other STEM field of study.

The July report included a special section that focuses on China. As of July 8, there were 270,596 international students from China studying in the United States. The majority of these students studied in California, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Illinois.

Other key points from the report include: 79 percent of SEVP-certified schools had between zero and 50 international students; 72 percent of international students were enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral programs; and California, New York and Florida had the most SEVP-certified schools. A school must be SEVP-certified before it can enroll international students.

The full report can be viewed here (PDF download).  Report data was extracted from SEVIS July 8. It provides a point in time snapshot of data related to international students studying in the United States. Data for the previous “SEVIS by the Numbers” was extracted from SEVIS April 1.

SEVP monitors approximately one million international students pursuing academic or vocational studies (F and M visa holders) in the United States and their dependents. It also certifies schools and programs that enroll these students. The U.S. Department of State monitors exchange visitors (J visa holders) and their dependents, and oversees exchange visitor programs.

NOTE:  There are always decreases in the number of international students in the US in the July quarterly update because of May/June graduation.  For example, South Korea, China, and Vietnam numbers decreased by 8%, 7% and 7%, respectively.  MAA

 


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