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K-State Today Student Edition

February 28, 2012

Increasing international relations: University opening Vietnam office

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University is expanding its international outreach to welcome students from Vietnam.

Administrators at the office of international programs recently announced a partnership agreement with Capstone Vietnam and its managing director, Mark Ashwill. Capstone and Ashwill will represent the university in Vietnam, effectively establishing a recruitment office in the country.

"As a leading academic resource development organization in Vietnam, Capstone is in a position to capture a share of the developing student market quickly and effectively," said Jim Lewis, the university's director of international admissions and recruiting. "Mark is dynamic and well-versed about academic connections and U.S.-Vietnam relations. This partnership will give us a full-time representative in Vietnam."

"The Capstone Vietnam office staff background and knowledge of international education both in the U. S. and in Vietnam will be a great asset to Kansas State University's international operations," said April Mason, university Provost and senior vice president. "Mark brings to our university years of experience in structuring and establishing mutually beneficial academic partnerships. This ties in nicely with one of the university's Vision 2025 goals to further internationalize the campus by continuing to diversify its international student population."

Marcelo Sabates, interim associate provost for international programs, said establishing an office in Vietnam was an exciting opportunity to maximize the university's reach into an emerging market and a country that places a high value on higher education.

"Vietnam holds promise for U.S. academic engagement because of its population of more than 90 million people, being the 14th largest country in the world and the rise of English as the second most popular language in its territory," Sabates said. "More importantly, the quality of Vietnamese students, both undergraduate and graduate, is promisingly high."

The number of Vietnamese students in the U.S. has grown by more than six times in a decade.

Vietnam will be the third international office established by Kansas State University. An office in China was opened in 2006 and an office in India began in 2008.

"In Vietnam, Capstone will elevate the profile that, in the context of Vision 2025, Kansas State University wants to achieve in terms of collaborative research, faculty-led study abroad opportunities and development of partnerships throughout the country," Sabates said.

Ashwill previously served as country director of the Institute of International Education in Vietnam. Prior to moving to Vietnam, he was director of the World Languages Institute, adjunct lecturer and Fulbright program adviser at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In 2003, he became the first American to be awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialists Grant to Vietnam.

Ashwill will be on campus Feb. 28-29 to meet with Mason, Sabates, Lewis and other university faculty and staff to gain a greater understanding of university programs and initiatives.