California State University, Long Beach
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CSULB’s Collaboration With Vietnam’s NEU Continues

Published: May 15, 2012

Roughly five years ago, CSULB’s Department of Finance in the College of Business Administration (CBA) began working with National Economics University (NEU), a leading higher education institution in the field of economics, management and business located in Hanoi, Vietnam. The project is what the Vietnam government refers to as part of its advanced education program.

“They are trying to change and adapt their curriculum to mirror some of the United States institutions’ curriculums,” said Jeet Joshee, associate vice president for International Education and Global Engagement and dean of the College of Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE), who facilitates this partnership. “They have identified institutions from overseas they wanted to work with and selected our finance program here at CSULB. They also have partners in many other countries, including Australia and France.”

Joshee’s office oversees all international education and partnerships programs, including international student admissions, study-abroad, exchange programs, visa process and signing agreements with international partners.

The government of Vietnam has sponsored approximately 35 advanced programs in various disciplines through its universities all across the country. NEU is one of their top institutions offering bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees. In January 2011, NEU graduated its first cohort of students based on CSULB’s curriculum. The advanced program is taught entirely in English at the university. A second cohort graduated this past winter.

“Our faculty members from the CBA Finance Department are working with faculty at NEU,” said Joshee. “Our professors go there normally during the semester break time, either during winter or summer for four to six weeks and either teach or work on the curriculum development with their faculty, so it’s a benefit to our faculty as well. And NEU faculty come to CSULB and observe our classes and our curriculum. They have courses that are practically identical to ours and are all taught in English. That is one of the features of the advanced programs, you have to teach in English. Through the advanced program, they are really are trying to elevate the standards and quality of their program. The students in this program are high-achieving. They are all Vietnamese but speak English and their GPA is higher than most other students at the university.”

CSULB is a well-known academic institution in Vietnam and with the help of some faculty members who had personal relationships previously established, the collaboration seemed like a good fit.

“Our Finance Department chair Steven Le is originally from Vietnam so they knew us and began to work with us,” said Joshee, who noted that each summer 15-20 CSULB students visit Vietnam and take courses at NEU. “They waive the tuition for our students. It’s kind of a study abroad program in Hanoi. They have been very generous to our students, providing free housing, some meals and free tuition.”

NEU President and Jeet Joshee
PHOTO BY VICTORIA SANCHEZ
National Economics University President Nguyen Van Nam (l) with Jeet Joshee, CSULB Associate Vice President and Dean, at a recognition event on campus earlier this year.

In the finance major, all of the courses from CSULB have been converted to a similar course at NEU. It began with two, then grew to four, and now there are 48 credits as part of the advanced program that looks like CSULB finance courses. Even the same textbooks are used.

“It’s still their degree from their university; it’s not a CSULB degree,” said Joshee, “but we are helping them design the curriculum for their department. What they are getting is a higher-quality education that opens the door for them to do further studies overseas or come here and do an MBA. In a way it’s easier to transfer from this program because we already know the quality of the curriculum.”

As part of the exchange, a group of four to five professors from NEU visit CSULB, usually for four to six weeks during the fall semester. They are given office space in the College of Business and observe classes and work with faculty members.

“Their intention during their visit here is to continue to develop the curriculum and then go back and teach it, so they are here to learn,” said Joshee. “Over the past four or five years we’ve probably had about 15 professors visit us and it has all worked out well and we’re hoping to expand the program.”

–Shayne Schroeder