Speech from Emeritus Professor David Beanland, Former Vice-Chancellor and President of RMIT University

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

1. I am honoured to be invited to speak at the Luong Van Can Scholarship Fund Launch. Thank you.
This is an occasion where we all share a deep-seated commitment to education and a belief in its importance for our community’s and country’s development.
2. Firstly let me congratulate all who have been involved in the creation of this Fund and for the vision which they have shown in the best interests of Vietnam.
3. It is a very important program that is being launched today. It is important for Vietnam’s future and important for the excellent students in Vietnam who are destined to become future leaders.
4. My connection to the Luong Van Can Fund is as the Chair of a Sister Organization in Australia.
5. It is called AVEPA: Australia-Vietnam Education Promotion Association.
6. It was the brainchild of Dr. Thu Nguyen, and it commenced with the team of 3 who were most responsible for the establishment of RMIT International University in Vietnam (David Wilmoth being the third person).
7. AVEPA is connected to the Luong Van Can Fund through Mr. Hoang’s membership of the AVEPA Board.
8. AVEPA is not only supportive of Luong Van Can Fund, but it has agreed to provide tangible support by:
• Facilitate the LVC Scholarship operations in any way that could be appropriate to the achievement of its educational objectives
• Promote LVC Fund’s profile in Australia via AVEPA’s websites and its network of contacts
• Assist by (1) providing information about Australian universities and their programs,
(2) advising the most appropriate options for consideration by scholarship students,
(3) facilitating communications with Australian universities, and
(4) providing advice to, and mentoring of, students, as they may require, during their progress through their courses of study in Australia.
9. Investment in the country’s youth is a great investment. Investing in their education is very wise. There can be no better investment than to invest in the future leaders who will need to address the complexity of the future on behalf of their community. They will then be prepared to be effective contributors to the future of Vietnam.
10. The importance of the scholarship awardees to participate in an international experience cannot be over stated. It generates contacts, provides challenges and experiences as they cope with a new environment and the opportunity to learn from others within the diverse student community. (Presently, 30,000 Vietnamese students studying in Australia).
11. The relation between our 2 countries is growing rapidly:
• Bilateral trade (Viet-Aus) 32m USD in 1990, 6 billion USD in 2014
• Vietnam is Australia’s fastest growing trade partner in the SEA (ASEAN)
• Australia’s divest investment in Vietnam in 2014 was 1.65 billion USD
12. I am confident that the program will be rewarding for the donors, beneficial for the fortunate scholarship recipients and make a significant contribution to the continuing development of Vietnam.
13. I believe that the international experience in Australia is important as it can bring important insights back to Vietnam as well as a clear understanding of international standards.
14. There are significant challenges facing the Vietnam universities sector as it moves into a future where international cooperation will require equivalence of professional standards to be achieved by countries in this region. A shared vision between universities and the Vietnam government for the development of universities is essential.
15. Congratulations to the LVC Fund Board and its donors for their action and best wishes for the outstanding success of this important and timely initiative.
16. AVEPA will be keen to stand alongside the LVC Fund as we journey along similar and compatible paths.


 (Speech from Emeritus Professor David Beanland)Emeritus Professor David Beanland)