Below is a response I received from Molly Stephenson, Counselor for Public Affairs, US Embassy, and Matthew Wall, Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate General, in response to an “open letter” I wrote last December to Vietnamese parents and students who may be concerned about the outcome of the US presidential election. Reprinted with permission.
This takes on added importance in light of Trump’s immigration ban that targets seven (7) predominantly Muslim countries. My article was written for Vietnamese parents and students with an interest in study in the USA but my sentiments apply to all current and prospective US-bound international students.
Dear Dr. Ashwill,
The U.S. Ambassador and the U.S. Consul General asked us to respond on their behalf.
We appreciate your efforts to reassure Vietnamese families that the doors to U.S. higher education remain wide open. This is an important message, and your post compliments and amplifies U.S. Mission Vietnam’s messaging on this topic. We also note that the specific themes you raise in your University World News posting echo the views of the many American university leaders who have met with us since our presidential election.
We sincerely hope that the Open Doors data from Vietnam continues to climb. We agree, as you state, that U.S. higher education institutions “strive to create and maintain an inclusive, nurturing and diverse environment in which international and U.S. students can learn, work and play together with lasting mutual benefits.”
Thanks again for your contribution to deepening people-to-people ties between Vietnam and the United States — one student at a time.
Molly L. Stephenson
Counselor for Public Affairs
U.S. Embassy Hanoi
Matthew E. Wall
Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Consulate General, Ho Chi Minh City