Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) grew out of the Fulbright Economics Teaching Program, a Harvard University-affiliated program that was founded in Ho Chi Minh City in 1994. The teaching program has been highly successful, having trained more than 40% of the current Vietnamese National Assembly members.
Given this success, the Vietnamese government approved the creation of a full university in 2014 —the first private, liberal arts university in Vietnam. Vietnamese officials turned to BCG to help design the university’s curriculum, learning approach, business model, and long-term growth strategy.
BCG directed an intensive stakeholder engagement program, conducting interviews with students, parents, and companies on their expectations for FUV. BCG then developed the business and operating model for FUV and helped the university’s leadership make key decisions, including the target student body size, tuition level, scholarship strategy, faculty size, delivery model, and IT investments.
FUV was keen to develop a liberal arts curriculum that emphasized small classes, seminars, and independent research. This would be tailored to Vietnamese students, combining foundational disciplines common to all liberal arts programs, with a special focus on STEM fields that are in particularly high demand by Vietnamese students and families.
FUV wanted to retain face-to-face interaction between students and teachers while judiciously using technology to enhance the learning experience. BCG helped design a comprehensive learning strategy for FUV that included:
- Smart use of massive open online courses (MOOCs) to expand offerings without diluting the FUV value proposition
- Blended learning classes that combine adaptive online content with FUV faculty-led classes
- A unifying vision for the use of technology in the learning experience to help guide the choice of systems and providers
BCG drew up a four-year plan that set specific goals for four design choices: curriculum structure, areas of study, learning format, and technology.