Fall 2017 EducationUSA Community College Fairs

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This fall, EducationUSA, i.e., US Mission-Viet Nam through its Embassy in Hanoi and Consulate in HCMC, is organizing a community college fair series in three cities in southern and central Viet Nam.  According to the official description,

The series will offer opportunities to meet students in three major cities where demand for this sector of U.S. higher education is growing. Vietnam is now the 2nd leading country of origin for students at community colleges in the United States and the 6th leading country of origin for international students overall. Registration is open now to all accredited U.S. community colleges.

(As of June 2017, Viet Nam ranks 5th among all sending countries, having displaced Canada in March.  Read this 25 June 2017 VNExpress International article and this 7 July 2017 University World News article for up-to-date information.)

The cities and dates are as follows:

  • HCMC on 3 October
  • Can Tho on 4 October
  • Hue on 6 October

While it has been decreasing in recent years, demand for community colleges (CC) as a pathway to four-year institutions and a Bachelor’s degree remains strong among Vietnamese parents and students, especially in these regions of the country.  According to the latest (June 2017) SEVIS by the Numbers update, 30% of all Vietnamese students in the US are enrolled in a CC while 29.7% are studying at a four-year college or university.  (In 2009/10, 90% of all Vietnamese undergrads started out at a CC.)

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June 2017 SEVIS by the Numbers Update

Clearly, the most promising location among the three is HCMC, which is where the majority of CC students are coming from.  There are far fewer students coming from the other two cities because of less ability to pay and a higher visa denial rate.  This fair series is an example of a probable mismatch between US State Department and US community college goals.  The former are focused on outreach as a manifestation of the exercise of soft power while the latter are here to recruit students for their institutions.

MAA 

 

 

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New Rector of the VNU-Hanoi University of Education

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Prof. Thanh with Prof. Nguyễn Kim Sơn, President of Vietnam National University-Hanoi (Photo courtesy of VNU-Hanoi)

Congratulations to Professor Nguyễn Quý Thanh on his appointment as rector of the VNU-Hanoi University of Education, one of Viet Nam’s most important institutions of higher education.  It was my pleasure and honor to be a guest at this ceremony last week.  Dr. Thanh, who previously served as director of the VNU Institute for Quality Assurance (INFEQA) in Hanoi, is an excellent choice, in my opinion.

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Photo courtesy of VNU-Hanoi

MAA

Riding the Wave: An Update on Student Recruitment in Vietnam

Below is an announcement about an unofficial pre-NAFSA 2017 annual conference seminar that I’ll be leading in Los Angeles. 

MAA


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Riding the Wave: An Update on Student Recruitment in Vietnam

A Pre-NAFSA Annual Conference Seminar

Co-Sponsored by Cal State, Long Beach, Cal State, Los Angeles, & Study in the USA

Date:  Monday, May 29, 2017                                                      Time: 10 a.m.- 12 noon

Seminar Leader:  Dr. Mark Ashwill, Managing Director, Capstone Vietnam

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Content:  A comprehensive overview of current market conditions, recruitment tools and techniques and different types of recruitment strategies.

Location:  California State University, Los Angeles, Downtown Center (Address will be provided to participants.)  Refreshments will be served.

Free of charge

Follow this link for online registration

Eligibility:  Only regionally accredited institutions may participate, in accordance with Capstone’s policy.

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Latest Executive Order Undermines America’s Safety & Values (NAFSA)

To the students, scholars, doctors, refugees, family members and others who wonder if the United States has lost its commitment to its core values as a nation of freedom, opportunity and welcome, let me unequivocally state that American citizens will not tolerate policies such as these that undermine our values and endanger our safety. We understand that America is part of the global community, and we will raise our voices with Congress, with the White House, with the media and in our communities to continue to adhere to the principles that have always made us strongest.

nafsaI was very pleased and heartened to see this statement from Esther Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, about Donald Trump’s executive order banning US entry of “thoroughly-vetted refugees and citizens of seven nations in the Middle East and Africa, undermining the nation’s long-held values and making America less safe.”

In the past, NAFSA’s leadership has been hesitant to voice criticism of US government (USG) policies or actions not because the organization receives any funding from the USG but because of “relationship,” according to a reliable source.  This reflected the previous executive director’s/CEO’s management style.

For example, I don’t recall hearing an official peep from NAFSA after the US invaded and occupied Iraq based on the WMD lie.  In fact, NAFSA invited a senior State Department political appointee aka neocon to speak at its 2003 annual conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The gist of his speech was the one can no longer claim “to hate this government’s policies but love the country,” as if government and country were one.  I wrote a related radio commentary entitled Patriotism in Troubled Times that aired later that summer.  (It occurs to me that this applies to the current regime.  Just substitute government with president and administration.)

Follow this link to read the 30 January 2017 NAFSA press release in its entirety. Thanks to Esther Brimmer for speaking truth to power and saying what needs to be said in a forceful and eloquent manner.  The profession and the country need more people like her.

MAA

In Memoriam – Dennis Berg

Dennis F. Berg, professor emeritus of sociology whose international travels helped Cal State Fullerton establish global connections in Vietnam and China, died Jan. 19.
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Dennis Berg Facebook Profile Photo

This is a sad time indeed for those of us who knew Dennis Berg, who divided his time between Ho Chi Minh City/Saigon and southern California.  I was shocked to learn of Den’s tragic death via a Facebook post by one of his sons, Jeff:

Yesterday the world lost a great man, my Father, Dennis Berg. With great joy he helped so many, including myself, become the best version of themselves that they could become. He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad!

Follow this link to read the California State University, Fullerton announcement in its entirety.

It was my privilege to know Den as a friend and a colleague.  He was a kind, warm-hearted, and gentle man who cared deeply about both countries and who touched generations of students and colleagues through his teaching, research, training, and mentorship. I, along with many others here and around the world, will miss him.

Here’s part of an email signature he once used, which tells you something about Dennis Berg and how he lived his life:

“Dance as if no one’s watching,
sing as if no one’s listening,
and live every day as if it were your last.”
—— Irish proverb.
“and tell those you love and care about
that you do every chance you get.”
——- Dennis proverb.

My heartfelt condolences to his wife, Hong Hoa, his sons, Jeff and Jason, and the entire Berg family in Viet Nam and the US.

MAA

The key question to keep asking is, ‘Are you spending your time on the right things?’ Because time is all you have.  (Randy Pausch, 1960-2008)