Welcoming speech from Provost
delivered on January 15th, 2020 during VunUni campus opening ceremony
Good Morning, Namaste, and Xin Chao,
Thank you very much for your participation and support. Today, we are witnessing an historic and transformative event – the opening of the campus of a new university. I am honored to speak in the presence of so many distinguished guests, colleagues and friends from the government, industry, and academic community.
Let me begin with a story … once upon a time, about 150 years ago, in a small-town called Ithaca, New York – a self-made entrepreneur had an audacious idea. That he will partner with the government, the industry, and the academic community to create a university that was different from any other … where any person could study anything she or he wanted. His name was Ezra Cornell, and his vision became Cornell University. Cornell, which is now a premier institution of higher learning and research, and highly respected around the world, remains true to its founders’ vision to this day.
And today, faculty from Cornell and their Ivy league “elder sister” University of Pennsylvania, are joining hands with another self-made entrepreneur … VinGroup’s Chairman Mr. Vượng … to realize his audacious vision, to found an institution in Hanoi, based on the highest international standards, striving for excellence in research and teaching, serving as the magnet for the most talented students and faculty from around the world, and making a real impact in improving the human conditions in Vietnam and across the world.
What an amazing opportunity for us all!
Thanks to the transformative gift of this beautiful and state-of-the art university campus, and generous financial support for scholarships and operating expenses, we are well on our way towards success. With help from Cornell and Penn colleagues, we have developed an innovative and flexible curriculum, based on active learning pedagogy, experiential and multi-disciplinary approaches, emphasizing service learning, an entrepreneurial mindset, and with real-world relevance.
All this is well and good, but a university can only be as good as its students and faculty. On that front, I am pleased to announce, that we have already received admissions applications from the most outstanding students from high schools from all over Vietnam. We have also received over 3000 of applications for faculty positions from highly accomplished PhDs from well-respected universities around the world. My colleagues and I are honored and excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to welcome the 1st batch of students to our campus.
We now have the responsibility to make a profound difference…a profound difference for our students….a profound difference for Vietnam…and a profound difference for the south-east Asian region and the world. On behalf of the faculty of VinUni, I commit ourselves to creating the University of Excellence, developing the talents for the future of Vietnam and beyond.
As we are about start the new cycle of time with the Year of the Rat, we look for the good qualities of the Rat: smart, nimble, full of vitality and enterprising spirit.
Vietnam is taking the leadership role as the President of ASEAN and as a member of the United Nations Security Council during this new cycle of time. This is also the year when Vietnam is poised to win a major football championship – maybe Olympic gold @ Tokyo … why not!
And here, now, with the opening of this campus, we are ready and eager to work with Vietnamese and international universities, partnering organizations, and corporations to leapfrog Vietnam’s renewed presence and leadership in the field of higher education.
Thank you Vingroup and Chairman Vượng; thank you Ministry of Education and Mr. Minister; and thank you Mr. Deputy Prime Minister for your support and confidence in our abilities.
Looking forward to the bright future.