Educating Changemakers

Bauer and City of Houston Leadership Travel to Vietnam for Forum on Future of Higher Education

This October, the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston in collaboration with Houston Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Affairs (MOTIA), led a mission to Vietnam.

During this trip, Bauer College participated in a forum on “The Future of Higher Education in a Digital and Green Economy” with Vietnam National University-University of Economics and Business (VNU-UEB), and MOTIA.

Held in Hanoi, Vietnam on Oct. 26, the forum opened with a welcome video by Bauer College Dean and Cullen Distinguished Chair Paul A. Pavlou, who previously visited the university in March 2023 in preparation for this event.

Presentations included Associate Dean for Undergraduate Business Programs Frank Kelley, Associate Professor, Nguyen Truc Le of VNU, Jessica G.K. Ngo, Chief of Protocol for City of Houston, Mazda Denon, Deputy Director of Mayor’s Office of Trade and International Affairs, Assistant Dean of Bauer Global Initiatives Nikhil Celly and representatives from the United States Agency for International Development.  Greg Bean, Director of the Gutierrez Energy Management Institute at Bauer College, gave a video presentation on the energy transition.

While in Vietnam, Bauer College and City of Houston delegation met with U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, T. H. Marc Knapper.  The engagement took place just a month after the U.S. announced elevating relationship with Vietnam to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Education plays an important role as part of this Partnership, highlighting an initiative to uplift and internationalize Vietnam’s higher education sector as part of a larger effort to boost trade and business opportunities.

“At Bauer, our goal is to develop leaders who are able to take their vision and transform it into action.”
Frank Kelley, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Business Programs

Both Bauer College and the City of Houston have longstanding ties with Vietnam. Bauer College has partnered with International University -Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City for more than a decade. The new collaboration with VNU-UEB aligns well with Bauer’s emphasis on increasing global educational opportunities while training students for the workforce of the future, Pavlou said in his video statement.

“Any students, whether online or in person at Bauer, benefit from our strong focus on experiential education. We also work closely with industry to develop curriculum and prepare graduates so that they are job-ready. We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship for years to come,” Pavlou added.

Kelley stressed the importance of all students attaining intercultural competence and embracing the transformative era in which they will be living and working.

“The acceleration of technology is rapidly changing not only how we educate, but also removing all barriers to growth,” he said, referencing online education options that have expanded since the pandemic. “At Bauer, the emphasis is on critical thinking, not just rote learning. Experiential learning and a global mindset are also very important. Students are not just learning theory, or training to be employees. Our goal is to develop leaders who are able to take their vision and transform it into action.”

VNU’s Le said the school’s partnership with Bauer is timely. “The future relies on harnessing technology, Le said. “Our purpose is to nurture and educate the next generation of youth and changemakers. This partnership will enable us to develop complementary capabilities with the University of Houston. We look forward to working together on research collaborations and student and faculty exchanges.”

City of Houston’s Jessica Ngo also emphasized the significant role of education in the global arena, “In Houston, we are proud of the relationship we share with Vietnam. As important as trade and business opportunities, education is a strong and dynamic area for potential collaborations between countries. As one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., the direct engagements we had with students and faculties [during this trip] have allowed us to talk about Houston from our unique perspectives, and how our great City welcomes people from all backgrounds to succeed academically and professionally.”