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McRobbie strengthens ties in Vietnam

McRobbie met with leaders of Vietnam’s National Assembly and of Vietnam National University-Hanoi, the oldest of the country’s two national universities.

According to a press release, McRobbie was accompanied by IU Vice President for International Affairs, David Zaret, and IU first lady Laurie McRobbie.

McRobbie spoke with Vietnamese government officials and met with the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, David Shear. Shear organized a reception for IU alumni, friends and senior Vietnamese officials at his home.

Among the primary purposes for McRobbie’s visit to Vietnam were to expand upon a partnership, established in 2009, between Vietnam National University and IU.

The IU president also sought to highlight the University’s top-ranked School of Public and Environmental Affairs and how it can offer its expertise in public policy and financial management to helping Vietnam’s government better serve its citizenry.

Joined by David Reingold and Anh Tran from SPEA, McRobbie met with Phùng Xuân Nha, VNU’s president.

Reingold, executive associate dean of SPEA, has helped forge partnerships between IU and VNU as well as with Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training.

A native of Vietnam and a professor at SPEA, Tran founded the Vietnam Young Leader Awards, a prestigious scholarship program that brings outstanding government officials from Vietnam to the U.S. for master’s and Ph.D. degrees.

McRobbie also explored new opportunities involving IU’s School of Global and International Studies.

IU is in the process of expanding its Southeast Asian language and cultural courses and preparing to establish a new center for Southeast Asian studies. Vietnamese language, culture and history and other topics related to Vietnam will increasingly be part of SGIS’ focus in the future.

The press release said the IU delegation met with members of the Vietnamese parliament’s Committee for Financial and Budgetary Affairs at the National Assembly, including its chairman, Phùng Quoc Hien.

They discussed IU’s specialized teaching and consulting abilities in a number of legal and policy areas. McRobbie and Hien agreed they could serve as the basis for strong collaborative activities between their respective institutions.

Members of the IU delegation also visited the National Academy of Public Administration, which provides undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate education in law, administration and government management for students and public servants in Vietnam.

NAPA and SPEA signed an official partnership agreement in 2012. Since then, they have initiated several faculty and student exchanges and collaborated on research projects.

McRobbie also met with Nguyen Xuan Vang, director general for Vietnam International Education Development in the Ministry of Education and Training, and with Ambassador Shear.

They discussed IU’s continued engagement in Vietnam through the Vietnam Young Leaders Awards and other initiatives that will better Vietnam’s government and society, while furthering IU’s profile as a leading international university.

IU has more than 300 living alumni in Vietnam, and about 45 Vietnamese students were enrolled this past academic year. Many of them, including nearly all of the graduates of the Vietnam Young Leaders Awards, attended a reception Wednesday at the U.S. Embassy.

Javonte Anderson

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