Academic Ambassador: Harvard's Senior Preceptor of Vietnamese Binh N. Ngo Lectures in Vietnam

January 25, 2018
Dr. Binh N. Ngo
Saigon School for Vietnamese Language Studies, January 11, 2018 (top)
VNU Faculty of Vietnamese Studies in Hanoi, December 21, 2017 (bottom)

In a sign of the increasingly normalized relations between the U.S. and Vietnam, Harvard’s Senior Preceptor of Vietnamese Dr. Binh N. Ngo returned recently from a lecture tour at various educational institutions in Vietnam, where he spoke to educators and students about higher education in the U.S. 

In his presentations Dr. Ngo fielded questions that ranged from the cost of attending Harvard to the subject of Vietnamese linguistics and pedagogy, drawing on Dr. Ngo’s 25 years of experience singlehandedly teaching all of Harvard’s Vietnamese language courses. 

Audiences were particularly impressed, according to Dr. Ngo, with Harvard’s need-blind admissions and financial aid. “Vietnam’s higher education was modeled on the European system, first of all the French and then the Russian one, and few Vietnamese have clear ideas about the US system of higher education” says Dr. Ngo, who before landing at Harvard taught linguistics and Vietnamese language at Moscow Lomonosov University.

Dr. Ngo’s speaking tour comes on the heels of recent notable visits by two Harvard-linked presidents: Drew Faust, who last March gave a well-received speech on the aftermath of war at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, and Barack Obama, who famously took time during his historic visit in May of 2016 to enjoy a traditional bún chả dinner in a Hanoi eatery. “Vietnamese love him very much”, says Dr. Ngo.

During that visit President Obama also formally announced the opening of the Fulbright University Vietnam, the first American university in the nation, founded with help from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Vietnam Program.