University of Economics and Law students at Viet Nam National University in Ho Chi Minh City. The school has partnered with King’s College University in London, Ont. Photo from King’s University College

King’s finds ‘soulmate’ in Vietnamese school

  • January 4, 2024

King’s University College is hoping the new five-year strategic partnership struck with a prominent Vietnamese university will create a stream of enriching academic opportunities for students and faculty.

Dr. David Malloy, the president of King’s, a Catholic liberal arts institute at Western University in London, Ont., said it became clear after constructive meetings earlier in 2023 that a collaborative relationship with the University of Economics and Law (UEL) at Viet Nam National University in Ho Chi Minh City made sense.

“They recognize the importance of humanities and social science — as do we,” said Malloy. “It seemed like we found almost like a Vietnamese soulmate because of our mutual belief that liberal arts education is extremely important. We (agree) that we have to push that liberal arts agenda as hard as the federal and provincial governments are pushing the STEM agenda.”

Malloy said Le Vu Nam, vice president of UEL, was “really excited” to learn about King’s Analytics and Decision Sciences program, which empowers students to explore the intersections between liberal arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). 

“I think what this program that we’re developing is going to demonstrate is how humanities and social sciences students can cross over into a quasi-STEM field of analytics and blend liberal arts with STEM topics,” said Malloy. 

Malloy developed a memorandum of understanding alongside Nam. Both leaders seek to provide students with many study-abroad initiatives. Specifically, both schools want to present undergraduate scholars with a 2+2 academic pathway (two years of study at King’s and two years at UEL).

Nam proclaimed the relationship with King’s “an important step that contributes to improving the quality of education and training for both institutions.”

“Our cooperation on student exchange, as well as the upcoming 2+2 degree program, is a great opportunity for our students to approach new knowledge, expand their horizons and integrate with the world education to develop their inherent qualities of intelligence, dynamism and diligence,” said Nam. “I also hope that the joint teaching and scientific research activities, as well as the exchange of faculty and staff between UEL and King’s, will bring positive results for our educational activities, leading to the cultural and social development in Vietnam and Canada.”

Malloy toured UEL’s “very beautiful campus” amid the negotiations. He hopes to return the favour by inviting his counterparts from Vietnam to visit London for a tour of King’s University College, potentially in the fall 2024 semester.

“We have made the invitation, and we hope they come and visit so they know of the wonderful environment their students will have when they come here.”

Currently, 13 Vietnamese nationals are completing their postsecondary education at King’s, and Malloy characterizes the experiences with these pupils “as extremely positive.”

Like many other Canadian colleges and universities, Malloy said King’s is “very good about importing international students but very bad at exporting our students to other countries.” Under this agreement, King’s hopes to significantly increase the number of exchanges, whether for a semester, a year or more.

King’s and UEL have bandied the further-down-the-road possibilities of establishing joint degrees and offering a 1+3 degree program.

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.