Feb. 20, 2012. BOONE — Appalachian State University has expanded its engagement with Vietnam by establishing a 2+2 articulation agreement with partner institution Duy Tan University (DTU).
Officially launched on Feb. 9, the 2+2 program will enable Vietnamese students to study for two years at DTU and then transfer to Appalachian for their last two years of education. The students will graduate with Appalachian and DTU degrees.
Dr. Jesse Lutabingwa, associate vice chancellor for international education and development represented Appalachian at the official launch of the program which took place in Da Nang, Vietnam.
“This is a win-win project for all involved,” Lutabingwa said. “The program will enable Appalachian to increase its international student population on campus at the junior and senior levels, helping the university to achieve one of its strategic plan goals. DTU will expand its offerings beyond what is already being offered in Da Nang. Lastly, the students will graduate with U.S. and Vietnamese degrees, thus making them more attractive to employers in Vietnam.”
This is the first international 2+2 articulation agreement for Appalachian. A second 2+2 articulation agreement is being developed with Burapha University International College in Thailand.
The Vietnamese students will pay Appalachian’s out-of-state tuition and fees. However, because they are transferring to Appalachian as juniors, they will receive their U.S. degrees at a very reasonable cost. Many students at DTU are excited about the opportunity to come and study at Appalachian, according to Lutabingwa.
“We anticipate that a small number of Vietnamese students under the 2+2 program will start arriving at Appalachian in the fall of 2014 with increased numbers expected after the fall of 2015,” he said. The Vietnamese students will pursue various majors at Appalachian, even though most of them are interested in business degree offerings, he said.
Beginning with fall 2013, DTU students will start to enroll in a special curriculum designed to meet Appalachian’s general education requirements. The Vietnamese students will take almost all of their general education courses at DTU.
DTU officials and faculty say they are excited about the expanded opportunities that the 2+2 program will provide to their students.
“Unlike other 2+2 programs in Vietnam, the 2+2 dual-degree program between Appalachian State University and Duy Tan University will open up the gate to Vietnamese students who wish to go for serious study in the United States,” said Mr. Bao Le Nguyen, vice provost and director of human resource at DTU. “This is especially true given that Appalachian is one of the three most well-known members of the prestigious University of North Carolina system. Vietnamese students will also save up to 40 percent of the total cost due to the low tuition fee at Duy Tan University for the first two years, which will undoubtedly prepare them well for later years at Appalachian.”
In November 2010, Appalachian signed a Memorandum of Agreement with DTU to exchange students and faculty and explore other academic collaboration. Currently, there are five Vietnamese students studying at Appalachian, three are degree-seeking students while the other two are exchange students from DTU who are studying for a semester. It is expected that Appalachian students will also go to study at DTU as exchange students.
Many experts have noted that Vietnam is the new economic hotspot with the same potential for economic growth and development that China has had. Vietnam has a population of more than 86 million, making it the 13th most populous country in the world. At its current growth rate, it may soon reach the top 10 spot. Moreover, the U.S. is Vietnam’s second largest trade partner overall, after China.
According to the Open Doors 2011 Report by the Institute of International Education, Vietnam is among the top eight countries in the world that send the highest number of degree-seeking students to the U.S.
Established in 1994 and located in Da Nang City, DTU is the first and largest private university in Central Vietnam and one of the first four private universities in the country with 20,000 students. The university has undergraduate and graduate majors in 15 colleges or departments. Located on the central coast, Da Nang is a major port city and the third-largest city in Vietnam with a population of 1 million. The city is famous for its natural environment and attractions including China Beach, the Marble Mountains, Hoi An and My Son.