Portland State mentioned in White House announcement
Author: John Kirkland
Posted: June 3, 2016

The White House gave a shoutout to Portland State University in a recent news release about US-Vietnam education cooperation, following President Obama's visit to Vietnam in May. PSU is involved in a program called "BUILT-IT," which is explained in the release. The full release, shown below, has been edited for brevity.

Fact Sheet: United States-Vietnam Education Cooperation

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                  

May 25, 2016

The United States is committed to supporting Vietnam’s efforts to develop a 21st century higher education system to produce trained, job-ready graduates with the skills necessary to compete in an increasingly global market. Our collaboration on education pre-dates the reestablishment of diplomatic relations in 1995, has been growing annually, and increasingly features innovative partnerships with higher education institutions and companies.

Through U.S. assistance, our shared work has already impacted 30,000 university students through curriculum support, training, and capacity building at the faculty and administrative levels in the engineering and social work education sectors. We have expanded this support to the science, technology, engineering, math, and medical education fields. By leveraging expertise and funding from the private sector, our programs in higher education have far-reaching impact and are addressing the demands of a rapidly changing Vietnamese economy.

Higher education represents one of the best examples of the rapidly growing people-to-people ties between the United States and Vietnam. Examples of the more than twenty years of U.S. assistance in support of the development of Vietnam’s higher education system include:

Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance: USAID and Arizona State University will launch a new alliance with 14 industry partners. The BUILD-IT Alliance leverages government, industry, and academic partners in the U.S. and Vietnam to link science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction in Vietnamese universities with the needs and capabilities of industry partners. It aims to produce graduates who can lead inclusive, technology-based growth by engaging leadership in strengthening higher education policy; enabling university-private sector collaboration; developing curriculum partnerships, mentorships, and industry-sponsored practical opportunities to build students’ professional and technical competencies in preparation for STEM careers; and improving academic programs and outcomes as a whole.

  • Other BUILT-IT U.S. university partners: Catholic University of America, Portland State University 
  • Private sector partners: Autodesk, Siemens, Tektronix, Pearson, National Instruments, Microsoft, S.E.N Platform, mobifone, Viettel Group, eSilicon, Intel, Oracle, Everest Education

There are now 19,000 Vietnamese students attending U.S. universities. Enrollment grew by 13 percent in 2015 alone with the support of the Department of State EducationUSA advising program. Vietnam continues to be the leader in Southeast Asia in this field, and is currently the 9th largest source of foreign students to the United States worldwide. Given that Vietnamese identify education as a top priority, there is much room for continued growth in this sector.