Members from Vietnam’s Thai Nguyen University of Technology (TNUT) visited the College of Staten Island campus on October 23 through 26 as part of an effort to discuss English language training, two-plus-two programs, joint research, and other possibilities for cooperation.
The TNUT contingent, led by Professor Dr. Nguyen Dang Binh, former Rector of TNUT and Assistant Professor Dr. Phan Quang, current Rector of TNUT, met with several members of the CSI staff and faculty including Dr.William Fritz, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and the official host of event, and Dr. Deborah Vess, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Academic Programs.
The purpose of the TNUT visit was many-fold. This was one in a series of visits between members of the two campuses meant to solidify the relationship between the two schools. “This was a very effective visit,” said Dr. Vess, one of the many CSI staff members who are heading the TNUT-CSI collaboration. Vess, who will soon be meeting with TNUT officials inVietnam, believed there was “a clear interest on their part” in further collaborations and establishing a formal partnership to offer a two-plus-two program in engineering and possibly other disciplines.
CSI, which is already collaborating with the Post and Telecommunications Institute of Technology (PTIT) inVietnam, is constantly seeking to extend its already impressive global reach. “We want more students to go abroad,” said Vess. Currently, 130 CSI students are studying abroad, but Vess wants to one day double that number. “We (CSI) want to create more opportunities for our students and faculty,” she said, “…to expose more students to a global, multicultural environment.” Similarly, the institution also wants to attract more international students, to enrich the diversity of the campus to expose our students to members of other cultures.
The benefit for TNUT is that their students gain access to CSI’s approach to general education. In their first few years of undergraduate study, “Vietnamese students focus on a narrower area of expertise then we do,” Vess said. “At CSI, we offer a world-class general education foundation as well as excellent resources for practical applications. There are some great fundamental skills to be learned through a Liberal Arts education.” The TNUT students who enroll at CSI will also have access to New York City, a powerful intellectual and cultural draw.
If the meetings are completed on schedule, and by all indications they will be, the collaborative program will begin in the Fall 2012 semester with a two-plus-two student exchange, a faculty exchange, and English training programs for both Vietnamese students and faculty.
As soon as the final meetings are completed, CSI will begin preparation for the transferring Vietnamese students by offering them English training through CSI’s English Language Institute as well as advising them through the CSI admission process. At TNUT, they will be preparing their facilities for visiting CSI professors who will be using this opportunity to pursue research interests in Asia.
This collaboration is in line with CSI’s pursuit of cultural and intellectual enrichment by offering students and faculty an opportunity to expand their cultural horizons. The world is getting smaller and “CSI is committed to contributing to a greater understanding of diverse cultures and their people,” said Vess. The chance for members of the CSI community to travel to Asia is one few universities provide. Factoring that with TNUT’s desire to send students to our campus can only strengthen CSI’s standing in the global conversation.