VEF signs Statement of Principles for Cooperation with ACV
October 28, 2003--The VEF Board of Directors signed a Statement of Principles for Cooperation (SPC) with its Vietnamese counterpart, the Vietnamese Advisory Council (VAC). Chairman of the VEF Board of Directors, Herb Allison, Jr., signed on behalf of VEF. The Minister of Education, Nguyen Minh Hien, signed for the Vietnamese Advisory Council.
VEFis an independentU.S. Federal Agency established to promote closer relations between the U.S. and Vietnam through educational exchanges in science and technology. Its Board of Directors includes three Cabinet Secretaries, four Members of Congress, and six Presidential appointees from the U.S. private sector. VEF's two core program activities are the selection of Vietnamese nationals for advanced studies at top U.S. graduate programs and the strengthening of Vietnamese teaching and research institutions in which VEF Fellowship recipients may return to work and contribute.
The Vietnamese Advisory Council is a Vietnamese inter-agency body that includes several leading Vietnamese educators and officials from the National Assembly; the Office of the Government; the Ministries of Education and Training; Foreign Affairs; Science and Technology; the National Universities; the National Center for Science and Technology and other prestigious institutions.
"This framework agreement is an important milestone. It defines the role and responsibilities of each party in our shared effort to build educational excellence in science and technology for Vietnam," said VEF Chairman Herbert Allison Jr. He continued, "we are enthusiastic about this mission and the prospect of having many more Vietnamese in top U.S. graduate programs and leading American scientists teaching in Vietnamese education and research institutions."
VEFhas won the support of the U.S. National Academies to mobilize the American scientific community to help Vietnam further develop its human capital and institutional strengths in science and technology. For 2003, VEF offered fellowship awards to 19 Vietnamese nationals who had gained school admission on their own and were reviewed by a panel of American scientists. For 2004 and beyond, applicants can become candidates for VEF Fellowships via three avenues:
1. They gain admission to a leading U.S. graduate program on their personal initiative. Their graduate admission will be reviewed by a panel of American scientists who make selection recommendations to VEF; or
2. They go through a nationwide competitive process conducted by VEF with the support of American and Vietnamese scientists. This process will involve a screening exam and an interview with leading American scientists who would then recommend the chosen candidates to top U.S. graduate programs; or
3. They are recommended by a visiting American professor who is funded by VEF to teach at the candidate's university in Vietnam. This American professor would recommend the candidate to his/her U.S. institution or to another top U.S. institution in the field.
VEF Executive Director Kien Pham explained, "the key factor for winning a VEF Fellowship is a letter of acceptance from a top U.S. graduate program. We intend to maintain a high standard. Our application and selection process will be open, fair and transparent."
Interested parties can learn more about VEF and its programs at firstname.lastname@example.org