TROY – Troy University officials conducted three commencement ceremonies in Vietnam and cleared the way for expanded educational opportunities for Cambodians.
A record number of diplomas – 128 total -- were presented to graduates at three partner universities in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.
"We've dedicated ourselves at Troy University to not only being Alabama's international university, but I think in the not-too-distant future we can claim that Troy University is America's international university," said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Chancellor, who delivered addresses at all three commencements in Vietnam. "We are pleased with our growth in Vietnam as the class of 2011 is our largest ever."
At Hanoi University of Science and Technology, 22 students received undergraduate degrees in either business administration or computer science. At the University of Economics and Business - Vietnam National University in Hanoi, 17 students received baccalaureate degrees in business administration, 15 received the master's degree in business administration-finance and 20 received master's degrees in general business. At Saigon Technology University in Ho Chi Minh City, 54 students earned undergraduate degrees in either computer science or business administration.
TROY became the first U.S. institution to award bachelor's degrees in Vietnam in 2008, and began teaching there in 2004.
The commencements also set the backdrop for University officials to sign an agreement with Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC).
The agreement signed in Ho Chi Minh City creates a 2+2 transfer program for PUC students to complete a TROY degree at any of TROY's teaching locations in the United States or around the globe.
The development of formal educational relationships with the Southeast Asian nation began in 2007 when Senior Minister of Education Dr. Kol Pheng visited Troy seeking help in rebuilding the nation's education infrastructure following the years of war during the rule of Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
In 2008, TROY and PUC officials signed an agreement of cooperation to develop a transfer program. Under the 2+2 program, a common curriculum will allow PUC students to transfer to TROY after studying for two years at PUC. The first students are expected as early as Fall 2012.
"This is a historic step for the Kingdom of Cambodia," said Dr. Earl Ingram, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. "Not only does this agreement open the doors of TROY to students from Cambodia, but it opens the world to them by allowing them to study at any TROY teaching location."
In addition to its four Alabama campuses, the University operates teaching locations in 16 U.S states and seven nations outside the United States. None of the sites outside Alabama receive state appropriations.
Prior to the commencement exercises in Vietnam, TROY officials traveled to China for the third board meeting of the Confucius Institute. Troy University's Confucius Institute is part of a global network of more than 204 Confucius Institutes in 50 countries, and 56 Confucius Institutes currently in the United States, and currently serves the region from Tennessee to the Gulf Coast. Troy University Confucius Institute is dedicated to the promotion and development of Chinese language education, and cultural and business exchange with the People's Republic of China.