Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup officially opened its VinUni University (VinUni), a not-for-profit university in Hanoi, on Wednesday after 14 months of construction.
The construction of VinUni commenced in November 2018 and was completed on a total area of 23 hectares at the Vinhomes Ocean Park urban area in Gia Lam District.
Vingroup said it has invested total VND6.5 trillion (US$280.6 million) into the university, of which VND3.5 trillion ($151 million) was earmarked for infrastructure and another VND3 trillion ($129.5 million) for talent, scholarships, and operation over the first ten years.
VinUni’s Hanoi campus consists of nine buildings, including the main building, dormitories, a sports complex, a library, labs, and simulation buildings, with a capacity for 3,500 students.
In the first phase, VinUni will focus on three disciplines – business administration, health sciences and engineering and computer science, Vingroup announced at Wednesday’s opening ceremony.
The three majors aim to meet the current and future needs of Vietnam as well as global trends in eight specific fields of hotel management, business administration, real estate management, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer engineering, medicine, and nursing.
In April 2018, Vingroup also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with two of the top 20 universities in the world, U.S.-based Cornell and Pennsylvania (Penn).
|A view of the VinUni University campus in Gia Lam District, Hanoi. Photo: Vingroup|
Under the framework of the agreement, VinUni and Cornell will comprehensively work together in developing strategy and brand and building an overall university management system.
Cornell will help VinUni in various activities such as infrastructure assessment, human resource recruitment, and curriculum design.
The U.S. university will also support VinUni with research cooperation and the evaluation of its first graduates from business and technology education classes.
Meanwhile, Penn as a leading clinical hospital system in the United States will support VinUni in recruitment and developing the professional abilities of lecturers and students in the field of health sciences.
Penn will work directly with VinUni and Vinmec Medical System to develop training programs for physicians and clinical residents and will develop a bachelor of science in nursing programs following local and international requirements and standards.
It will also collaborate with Vinmec in developing and training clinical lecturers, improving the quality of and expanding health specialty services, and building a practical facility model for VinUni’s health faculty.
There have since been opinions that VinUni depends heavily on the reputation of the two partner universities while not actively building its own quality.
|Prof. Rohit Verma. Photo: Vingroup|
Speaking at Wednesday’s event, Dr. Le Mai Lan, vice-chairwoman of Vingroup and chairwoman of the VinUni project, said that the university has a clear roadmap to not only become an elite university, but also to go further into the top 50 young universities in the world.
“Working with the top two universities in the world will help us accelerate [improvement of] academic quality and achieve accreditation,” Lan said.
For the time being, Cornell has agreed to allow Prof. Rohit Verma, director of foreign affairs at Cornell SC Johnson Business School, to work as the president of VinUni.
In addition to the president, leading professors and program directors of some key subjects were also sent to work at VinUni by these two U.S. universities.
In the 2020-21 academic year, VinUni plans to enroll 300 students across the three programs.
The new university has posted its tuition fees at $35,000 per year on average for all majors.
VinUni said it will also provide needs-based financial support worth up to 80 percent of the tuition to students, while all students will enjoy a 35-percent tuition discount in the first five years after its opening.
Scholarships are available for high-performing students.