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14 June 2016

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A former Crawford student who is now the president of the National Economics University (NEU) in Vietnam, has signed a landmark articulation agreement with Crawford School.

Professor Tran Tho Dat studied a Master of Economics of Development in 1995 and a PhD in Economics in 2000.

He was one of the first group of students from Vietnam to study economics at The Australian National University.

He said that ANU and Crawford School were prestigious names in Vietnam and have helped him succeed in his chosen career path.

“ANU is a top university in my country. There are now many ANU alumni in Vietnam and these people are very successful and there are a lot of lecturers at NEU that have degrees from ANU,” he said.

“This tells me that a degree from ANU is a key factor in getting a good job in Vietnam.”

The articulation agreement, signed on 16 May, will allow students at NEU to undertake one year of graduate studies at NEU and one year at Crawford School.

Professor Dat said the agreement would open doors for students in Vietnam who would not normally be able to afford to study at an international university.

“It is cost-effective so more students in Vietnam can study here and go on to become more successful,” he said.

At this stage, the agreement includes the Master of Environmental and Resource Economics and the Master of International and Development Economics but Professor Dat is confident this is only the beginning of the path.

“Hopefully, there will be a continuing agreement after the initial five-year period, and there may be other majors and other agreements in the future,” he said.

As a student at Crawford, Professor Dat said he valued the way the University took care of its international students and it is with this in mind he knew ANU was the right choice for his NEU students.

“The University has had a huge impact on my life and has allowed my work, my research and my career to blossom,” he said.

“The way the international students are taken care of is great, they always provide support, and there were so many chances to interact with different cultures – I learnt a lot from this.”

“My University values the degrees I got from ANU, and they see me as an asset and a resource because of my education. I can now help other students achieve this.”

The agreement has already gained considerable interest in Vietnam, with students keen to jump on board.

Dr Dat said the next stage is to seek government funding for scholarships, to give more students the opportunities that Crawford gave him.

“We hope to get funds from the Vietnamese government to help students with tuition fees and this agreement will be key in securing this funding.”

By Kelly Hayward

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