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New President of Vietnam’s Fulbright University: Emphasis on Wisdom Instead of Knowledge

New President of Vietnam’s Fulbright University: Emphasis on Wisdom Instead of Knowledge

The first batch of students graduated from Fulbright University of Vietnam in June 2023 - Photo: FUV

The first batch of students graduated from Fulbright University of Vietnam in June 2023 – Photo: FUV

He said it was to “be able to open the door for the students to come in and chat.”

Professor Scott Fritzen

Professor Scott Fritzen

Talk to Tuoi Tre about your personal priorities and the University Fulbright In the years to come, Professor Scott Fritzen said:

“The priority in the coming years is to build a strong enough disciplinary system in many fields.

The courses will be closely linked. We will expand international connections, build exchange programs with universities in different countries so that students have more options.

Fulbright also soon launched a series of graduate programs in business, informatics, and public health.

Also, we will continue to be the bridge to bring many experts and scientists to Vietnam.”

5th and 6th job

* Working and studying in many countries like USA, Singapore, China, Japan, Germany, Zimbabwe, Vietnam…, how do you think higher education is changing in other countries?

– For the last hundred years, the university has been primarily a place for students to find a major and enter the job market. This may not be as accurate in the face of today’s challenges, when things are changing rapidly.

Typically, the world is being awakened by the power and potential of artificial intelligence (WHO). With AI, the experience that universities are training for students may not be available for the next 20 to 30 years. Many jobs will be removed by the AI, replaced by new jobs.

In the US, many universities are also having a hard time navigating this new challenge.

Some schools aim not to have to train students with the current work background, but to give them skills that can be continually updated, always taking advantage of new opportunities throughout life.

College is not just for students to study a single subject.

Instead, the university will prepare you for jobs 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Each job requires students to apply skills in many fields.

Therefore, universities should help students look in three directions: look ahead to always see new trends, look around to learn from each other, and look back to always remind themselves to be better every day.

You need “unsafe zones”

* How do you “help students see in three directions” as you say?

– The university will no longer simply give “knowledge” to students. Today, many tools such as AI can provide “knowledge” to learners. What these tools do not give is “wisdom”.

In the same way, “knowledge” tells you how, “wisdom” will help you answer deeper questions: Is it worth doing? Is it consistent with the standards?… Students will be able to think to make decisions based on “intelligence”.

* So what can universities do to give students that “smart”, sir?

– An instructor can only give students “knowledge”. To have “intelligence”, the coordination of many teachers in different modules will be required.

Only through the cooperation of teachers can we bring complex topics closer to students, open up many aspects and perspectives, thus forming “intellectual wisdom” ways of thinking and thinking.

In addition, students should be encouraged to get out of the classroom and participate in hands-on projects, internships, and research in the community.

This ensures that you are not only exposed to theory but also to practice. In particular, universities will always have to put students in “unsafe areas,” because if they feel safe, students won’t learn anything else.

“Conquer” the Vietnamese after a year

* When did your relationship with Vietnam begin?

– Summer of 1994, while studying for a doctorate in Princeton University (USA), I came to Vietnam on the OXFAM exchange program.

Right now, Vietnam is in the midst of a period of renewal, facing both opportunities and challenges as the US. normalization of relations with Vietnam (1995). I am very curious how Vietnam will go its own way. After three months of discussion, I asked permission to stay at Princeton University because I wanted to stay longer in Vietnam.

I worked with UNICEF, then carried out projects, researched and consulted for many international organizations that began to come to Vietnam more and more.

* His Vietnamese is very good. Since when did you learn?

– I learned Vietnamese as soon as I came to Vietnam. I learn from friends and I listen carefully. I noticed that the people around me were speaking, not passively waiting for the translation, just speaking and making mistakes.

Sometimes you will laugh at your own words, but that’s okay. I always find Vietnamese interesting, I use it every day and try to learn something new.

* How long did it take you to be able to communicate in Vietnamese?

– It took me a year. Vietnamese is not difficult for me. I hear accents (tone – PV), some people have a hard time hearing accents. I think the pronunciation is fine too.

Vietnamese grammar is quite logical. My biggest challenge with Vietnamese to date is hearing the accents of each region. Some central accents, if not familiar, are difficult to distinguish.

* There are hundreds of applications for the position of president Fulbright Vietnam of all the world. Many people must be curious about how it was selected…

– This process lasts for a full year, beginning when the school works with the recruiting company.

First, the school will have to sketch the next president: what qualities he will have and what tasks Fulbright will take on in the future. It takes a few months to come up with a full description.

Recruitment agencies start to open applications and actively search for candidates all over the world to collect as many suitable resumes as possible.

After thorough investigation, about 15 of the applicants will be called for an interview, which will last 1-2 hours or 1-2 times.

After that, 4 candidates organized directly at the school, meeting with each department group. These groups will give the recruiting agency feedback on each candidate. The recruiting unit will calculate the most suitable candidate, present it to the trust committee of the school for a vote to finalize the final candidate.

* I heard you sold your house in the US and just brought your wife and children to live in Vietnam sir.

– That’s right, I’m all-in. Doing this task well requires a lot of dedication. I can’t fly away, fly back to America. Especially with my dream job, there is a crossover between my three biggest passions: education, management, and Vietnam.

Professor Scott Fritzen when he was Vice Chancellor in charge of the Global Affiliate Program at the University of Oklahoma (USA) - Photo: OU DAILY

Professor Scott Fritzen when he was Vice Chancellor in charge of the Global Affiliate Program at the University of Oklahoma (USA) – Photo: OU DAILY

‘Terrible’ academic record

Professor Scott Fritzen has a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Michigan State University. At Princeton University, he completed a master’s degree in public administration, urban and regional planning; and then a doctorate in public administration and international relations.

In 1997-1998, he was the first US citizen to receive a Fulbright scholarship to study post-war Vietnam. He is also a consultant to the Southeast Asian governments and international organizations operating in the region.

Professor Scott Fritzen serves as Director of the David L. Boren School of International Studies, Vice Chancellor of the Global Links Program, and William J. Crow Distinguished Professor of Geopolitics at the University of California, University of Oklahoma (USA).

He served as a member of the leadership of educational innovation initiatives at New York University, Shanghai Campus, and at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, where he was Founding Professor and Vice President of Training…

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