Passion has led people to do extraordinary things. It is more like a journey of building something unique that needs to be nurtured and cared for a lifetime, resulting in something amazing that amplifies the result and opens doors to innovation, inspiration and liberation. People are passionate about a lot of things, like coding or towards the game of chess.
However, passion related to one particular thing always seems fascinating. Still, when the passion is about inspiring and enhancing the lifestyles of others, it becomes pretty intriguing and often lasts a lifetime.
Did you know why the teacher’s profession is considered a noble one? It is because one dedicates their life to educating the younger generation. With the same passion for teaching infusing beautifully with an entrepreneurs’ approach, Dr. Binh Tran followed her passion for embarking on a lifelong project, providing educational opportunities to the young people in Vietnam. And that passion set the founding stone for the American University in Vietnam in Viet Nam.
Out of the dedication and a vision to meet students’ unique learning needs, the APU International School—a leading K-12 institution with campuses in Ho Chi Minh City—was established in 2003. Following the success of APU’s Ho Chi Minh City campus, the APU American International School was established in Da Nang City in 2014. In 2019, APU American International School launched the additional Bilingual Program to meet student’s unique learning needs and conditions, further expanding opportunities for students to enjoy the APU experience
The Beginning of the first American-style University in Vietnam
The journey of Dr. Binh Tran from setting up the first American International School to the first American style university in Vietnam has been quite commendable.
While Dr. Binh Tran was having a successful career in the United States, she frequently travelled to Vietnam on charity trips to assist the poor and disadvantaged in her home country. During these trips, she witnessed many miserable cases. Children under the age of ten were forced to work hard all day, wandering the streets to earn money to support their families. They were denied the chance to go to school and learn how to read or write. She also met students who had completed high school but were unable to attend universities. When she returned to the United States, she was still concerned and thinking about setting up a high-quality education in Vietnam.
It takes a lot of time and effort to be able to prepare and satisfy the requirements of the Vietnamese government and the strict standards of the American University. In 1999, she completed all the paperwork to apply to open the first American Standard University in Vietnam. After a long time of careful preparation, AUV was recognised as the first American-style university by the government in 2015, and the courses and degrees began embarking on its educational venture in 2016.
The latest venture for AUV is in process, as it aims to spread its wings in the south of Vietnam and create another campus, which will be called the American Education Village. This campus will be equipped with all the latest technology needed for effective course delivery for students and for research projects by faculty in Vietnam and partner institutions worldwide.
Vision: AUV aims to create a global community where the individuals are inspired to apply their educational learning in ways that will enhance the economic, social and lifestyle of their families and community.
Mission: AUV is on a mission of stimulating an intellectual community that prepares graduates for the challenges of life, work, and leadership in a diverse and rapidly changing world. The university will equip future professionals and leaders with value-based knowledge, instil lifelong skills and develop a sense of personal values to function effectively as local actors and global citizens.
That is the reason why the American University in Vietnam adopts the American culture of liberal education. The emphasis is given to analytical and creative thinking, rational and methodical reasoning and discovery of the diverse fields in arts and humanities, natural sciences, math, information and technology, social sciences, and financial and health literacy.
Prioritising Consistency in Quality and Liberal Education
Ensuring quality education is quite a tough task where the advancement in technology and continuous innovation make it difficult for educators to keep up with the industry requirements. For that reason alone, AUV has developed a curriculum where students, management and the faculty work together to keep the courses relevant to today’s industry requirements.
Moreover, in addition to course revision, faculty members have curated a personalised learning course in such a way that gives the students the liberty to choose and match their needs and interest.
Aid and Acceptance of Modern Facilities
The COVID-19 pandemic imposed many challenges on the education sector across the world. Even during those tough times, AUV provided up-to-date facilities for both offline and distance learning studies. With such soundproof, smart classes, high-tech workstations, project-based team-focused desks, seamless interactive hardware/software systems, and other Ed-Tech means.
Emphasising the adaption of modern facilities at the university, Dr. Binh Tran says, “We are also updating every classroom at AUV with networked instructional systems technology. Our newest smart distance learning studios will contain 25 tech stations for students, each consisting of a high-performance computer with fast Ethernet connection and direct access to university printers. Also, the upcoming multi-purpose stadium constructed on our green campus is one of its kind in Vietnam and will host other sports, entertainment, civic, cultural and commercial events.”
Engaging with Student Success Centers
To commit and improve the engagement of students, faculty and guests on the campus, AUV, with its Student Success Centers offers various studios, project lounges, and university success workshops.
Explaining the engagement model at the campus, Dr. Binh Tran says, “The Center for Career Development, for example, provides students opportunities to complete internships, externships, work-study, and service-learning experiences in their major fields of study. These opportunities give students the chance to get a head start on their professional careers while developing social and office skills. Collectively, these centers foster the rich tradition of liberal education and support student growth, as well as social and civic engagement.”
The Guiding Lamp of APU American International Schools and the American University Vietnam
Dr. Binh Tran has recognised that being a founder is just not enough when it comes to passion. Today, sitting in the seat of the founder of APU American International School, she is the guiding lamp for the education society going forward. For the American University of Vietnam, she chairs the Board of Trustees.
With the inception of this lifelong project, she aims to provide quality educational opportunities to students in Vietnam. Highlighting her influence on the growth of the school, AUV’s management says, “Dr. Binh Tran has been able to secure millions of dollars in scholarships during the past several years to allow talented students the chance to study at top-rated institutions in the United States. Every year, she renews her devotion to leveraging AUV’s relationships with our US partner universities to offer generous scholarships for high performing graduates. So far, Dr. Binh Tran has guided and mentored more than 5,000 students on their career paths in the US and other English-speaking countries around the world.”
Bridging Theory, Practice and Exposure with the Real World
The school faculty curated the educational curriculum so beautifully that it bridges theory and practice and exposes students to work and solve problems in the ‘real world’. During the whole learning process, the faculty ensures that students are groomed in the way the real world operates and equips students with all the necessary means to indulge and fit ideally in the system. Highlighting the learning outcome of AUV, Dr. Binh Tran says, “Upon graduation, students have first-hand leadership experience from co-op education, an internship with international companies, and transnational student exchanges!”
South Vietnam’s American Education Village
AUV has been continually growing its campuses, facilities, program, and course offering as an international university. With a vision to spread its wings across Vietnam, the next big thing in progress for the AUV is the construction of the American Education Village, a large campus in the south of Vietnam. The university aims to provide a world-class campus designed and instilled to create an ideal learning and working environment for students, lecturers, and staff through this project.