Tzu Chi University Delegation Visits Partner Institutions in Vietnam


On October 9, 2023, just a day before the Republic of China’s National Day, a delegation from Tzu Chi University landed in Hanoi, Vietnam to commence their visit. Their first destination was the distinguished high school affiliated with Hanoi University of Sciences. The school’s vice-principal, Dr. Nguyen Cong Toan, who also heads the university’s physics department, graciously welcomed the delegation. This marked their first high school visit on the trip.

The conversation began with how these two schools were founded, followed by an introduction to class attributes and the focal points of school development, setting stage for the opening exchange. The High School Affiliated with the Hanoi University of Sciences is pivotal in nurturing natural sciences, physics, mathematics, and biochemistry talents. The high school reception area proudly displays a list of accolades and recognitions students have garnered annually in international contests.

Apart from Hualien Tzu Chi High School and Tainan Tzu Chi High School in Taiwan, Tzu Chi Foundation has also established high schools in Indonesia and Thailand. These institutions provide a comprehensive educational journey from elementary through high school. Moreover, the Hualien, Tainan, and Indonesian Tzu Chi schools provide kindergarten education.

Tzu Chi University, inspired by Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s vision for education, has forged a distinctive path in its three-decade-long journey. Committed to education, we’ve partnered with Tzu Chi affiliates across the globe in domains like charity, healthcare, education, and humanistic culture, garnering significant educational accolades. Despite its relatively young age, Tzu Chi University has demonstrated remarkable achievements in teaching, research, and social services.

Our students have consistently outperformed in international arenas, and many faculty members have been recognized with numerous international awards for their groundbreaking work. Such accomplishments have positioned Tzu Chi University amongst the top 200-400 in THE Impact Rankings. Notably, we’ve also achieved global rankings between 10th to 50th for specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 4, and 17.

Our visit cemented deep respect and understanding between the two institutions. Looking ahead, we’re eager to broaden our collaborative horizons. We plan to initiate significant exchange programs and formalize our partnership through an MOU.

We then visited the High School Affiliated with the University of Social Sciences and Humanities at Hanoi National University, a renowned institution. We extend our appreciation to its principal, Dr. Nguyen Quang Lieu and secretary, Ms. Mai Mai, for their insightful introduction and warm hospitality. Interestingly, our visit coincided with the school’s fourth anniversary, adding a touch of luck and significance to our experience.

After a thorough exchange of educational goals and a review of both schools’ curricula, the Tzu Chi University delegation found that their Colleges of Social Sciences and Humanities, as well as Education and Communication, offer a range of courses that align well with the academic preparation of high school graduates. This initial meeting sparked active discussions about potential collaborations and exchange programs tailored to each institution’s unique strengths and needs. Such dialogues pave the way for future meaningful interactions between the two schools.

The primary objective of our journey was to finalize an MOU with the King Tran Nhan Tong Institute, the pinnacle of Buddhist studies in Vietnam, affiliated with Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to its dean, Dr. Nguyen Tien Vinh, for his warm hospitality. He led the reception with Vice Dean Ms. Yang Qiuhe and eleven other team members. This marked the third gracious invitation Tzu Chi University has received to visit the Institute. Over time and through several interactions, both institutions have achieved a shared vision for collaboration. We are optimistic about forging stronger ties in the future, enhancing the spread and understanding of Buddhism between Taiwan and Vietnam, delving deeper into Buddhist scriptures and culture, and pursuing comprehensive research on Buddhist philosophies.

Dr. Elise Anne DeVido, the Dean of International Affairs at Tzu Chi University, represented Tzu Chi University in signing this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Given Dean DeVido’s renowned expertise and recent research on Vietnamese Buddhism, the Institute invited her for potential collaborative research projects and to deliver lectures on pertinent subjects. The MOU marks just the inception of their partnership. Both institutions are exploring avenues for joint student recruitment, co-offering Buddhist studies and healing courses, organizing faculty exchange programs, and fostering graduate student exchanges. Additionally, they have identified several subjects for joint academic and research pursuits, including studies on Buddhism and its cultural impact, Tzu Chi studies, and research into Buddhist scriptures and their linguistic nuances.

Around noon, the delegation visited Luong Van Can High School, a partner institution for an admissions presentation. The bond between Tzu Chi University and Luong Van Can High School runs deep. Not only does the High School regularly recommend its distinguished alumni to Tzu Chi University, but the two institutions also frequently participate in mutual visits and exchanges. Apart from showcasing Tzu Chi University’s educational milestones in this visit, we pledged to organize two summer camps for their students in 2024: “Medical Exploration Camp” and “Chinese Language Adventure Camp.” This announcement was met with great enthusiasm from the students. Some inquired if they could reside in the University’s student housing after attending the summer camps, assuming they have secured admission to Tzu Chi University later.

By the end of our visit, even though it was after school hours, we found it hard to stop interactions with the students. Ultimately, the school administration has decided to host a grand event for high school students, teachers, and parents, and they will invite faculty and staff from Tzu Chi University to share information about admissions.