Professor Shinya Echigo and Visiting Professor Shigeo Fujii (Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University) of GSGES, Kyoto University visited nine universities and four institutions in four cities in Vietnam from March 2 to 10, 2023. (Part1 : Ho Chi Minh City, Hue)

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The Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (GSGES), Kyoto University (KU) has been conducting various educational and research activities in Vietnam with several universities and organizations there. Professor Shigeo Fujii, who had played a central role in these activities, retired in March, 2021, and Professor Shinya Echigo took over his roles. Then, as a team, they visited various places in Vietnam to greet his replacement, introduce his successor, and discuss future development of educational and research collaboration, although their visits were delayed almost two years due to COVID-19.   The trip started on March 2 (Thursday).  

On March 2 (Thu.), the team left Kansai Airport via Hanoi for Ho Chi Minh City, the first destination.

On March 3 (Fri.), the team went to Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology in the morning and Van Lang University in the afternoon, guided by Dr. Huynh Tan Loi, a lecturer at Van Lang University (PhD (Eng., KU) , September 2020). The team visited the Department of Water Science and Engineering, Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources (Photo 1), where they discussed student exchange and research cooperation in the field of environmental engineering with Department Chair Bui Xuan Thanh, and observed various experimental equipment in the laboratory (Photo 2).

[Photo 1] Group photo at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (March 3)
From left to right: Huynh Tan Loi, Shinya Echigo, Shigeo Fujii, Bui Xuan Thanh, Nguyen Phuong Thao.
[Photo 2] Explanation of water treatment unit by Dr. Bui Xuan Thanh

Van Lang University is the first and largest private university in Vietnam (Photo 3) and attracts students by equipping lecture rooms with air conditioners, elevators, and other facilities. After first being welcomed by a huge display (Photo 4), the team met with Vice-President Ngo Quang Trung, Dean of Faculty of Environment Le Thị Kim Oanh, and Dr. HT Loi. They explained the respective activities of the two universities and discussed collaboration in education and research. After an exchange of gifts and a commemorative photo (Photo 5), the team toured the facilities and environmental engineering laboratories of Van Lan University.

On the following day, March 4 (Sat.), Dr. HT Loi again guided the team to the high-tech park in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh City to visit the Center for Environmental Technology & Management, headed by Dr. Huynh Ngoc Phuong Mai, a former Van Lan University lecturer (Photo 6). The Center works with Van Lan University to conduct experimental analysis and projects, and also undertakes training for its students. At the Center, they introduced their activities and discussed the possibility of implementing internship training, followed by a tour of the experimental facilities.

In the afternoon, the team traveled from Ho Chi Minh City to Hue by air. At the Hue airport, the team were welcomed by a car from University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University (HUAF) and arrived at their hotel. The former HUAF rector, Dr. Le Van An, invited the team to dinner with Dr. Vu Tuan Minh, a HUAF lecturer, who completed his PhD in September 2015 at GSGES, KU. Dr. LV An was the director of Office for International Cooperation, Hue University when Prof. S. Fujii first visited Hue in 2007, and was promoted to HUAF Vice-rector, and then to HUAF Rector. He has provided a great help to GSGES’s activities in Hue.

[Photo 3] Van Lang University (March 3)
[Photo 4] Welcome by a huge display in Van Lang University (March 3)
[Photo 5] Photo after gift exchange (March 3)
From left to right: Shigeo Fujii, Shinya Echigo, Ngo Quang Trung. Le Thị Kim Oanh, Huynh Tan Loi.
[Photo 6] In front of Center for Environment Technology & Management, Hi-Tech Park (March 4) 
From left to right: Huynh Tan Loi, Shinya Echigo, Shigeo Fujii, Huynh Ngoc Phuong Mai.

In the afternoon of March 5 (Sun.), under the driving of Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Tung, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, University of Science, Hue University (HUSC), the team were guided to Khai Dinh Royal Tomb and Thien Mu Pagoda, Hue World Heritage sites, together with Dr. Tran Thanh Duc, Reactor of HUAF. Both Dr. NN Tung and Dr. TT Duc are GSGES graduates, and obtained their PhDs in September 2012, and March 2012, respectively. After the tour, they moved to a HUAF’s car and went to a restaurant by the Tam Giang Lagoon, which is the largest lagoon in Southeast Asia, with seven KU graduates to join an alumni reunion (Photo 7).

[Photo 7] Kyoto University mini-alumni dinner in Hue (March 5)
From left to right in back row: Trung Hoang Phuong, Nguyen Ngoc Tung, Tran Nam Ha, Le Thai Hung.
From left to right in front row: Shinya Echigo, Shigeo Fujii, Vu Tuan Minh, Ngo Tung Duc, Tran Thanh Duc.

On Monday, March 6, the team visited HUAF in the morning and HUSC in the afternoon. HUAF is the first place of GSGES activities in Vietnam through the Asia Platform (a research and education project funded by GSGES self-budget: FY 2005-2009) and JICA grassroots projects (September 2006 – August 2009, October 2010 – September 2013). At HUAF, the team met with Rector TT Duc, Vice-rector Le Dinh Phung, former Rector LV An, and 10 others to discuss the significance of various projects implemented by GSGES, including doctoral scholarship programs, special audit students, acceptance of short-term exchange students, and dispatch of GSGES students for internship training. In particular, the Seeds Fund Program, which provides research funding to young researchers, was highly evaluated. After the meeting, gifts were exchanged (Photo 8) and a group photo was taken (Photo 9).

HUSC, together with HUAF, is a university affiliated with Hue University, and the Faculty of Architecture and the Faculty of Environmental Science are active in sending and receiving students and in joint researches with GSGES. After receiving a signboard welcome at HUSC (Photo 10), the team had a discussion with 10 members of HUSC, including Rector Vo Thanh Tung, Dr. Hoang Cong Tin, Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Science, Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Tung, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, and Dr. Pham Khac Lieu, Director of the Department of Science, Technology and International Relations at Hue University, on the activities of each university and future cooperation. After exchanging gifts and taking commemorative photo (Photo 11), the team moved to the Faculty of Environmental Sciences to discuss more specific education and research cooperation, and visited its laboratories.

[Photo 8] Gifts to Tran Thanh Duc Rector (left) and Le Dinh Phung Vice-rector (right) (March 6)
[Photo 9] Group photo in meeting at University of Agriculture and Forestry, Hue University (March 6)
From left to right in front row: Le Dinh Phung, Tran Thanh Duc, Shinya Echigo, Shigeo Fujii, Le Van An, Ty Pham Huu.
[Photo 10] Commemorative photo up to the welcome signboard of HUSC (March 6)
From left to right: Le Van Tuan, Tuan, Hoang Cong Ti, Shigeo Fujii, Shinya Echigo, Pham Khac Lieu.
[Photo 11] Group photo at University of Sciences, Hue University (March 6)
From left to right: Le Van Tuan, Nguyen Phong Canh, Truong Hoang Phuong, Nguyen Van Hop, Pham Khac Lieu, Shigeo Fujii, Shinya Echigo, Vo Thanh Tung, Hoang Cong Tin, Nguyen Ngoc Tung, Le Ngoc Van Anh, Nguyen Truong Tho.

Table 1: Schedule of Prof. Shinya Echigo and Visiting Prof. Shigeo Fujii’s visit to Vietnam

Date Destination/event: Person to meet Remarks
March 2 Kansai Airport → (via Hanoi) → Ho Chi Minh City (by air)
March 3 Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology: Dr. BX Thanh. Laboratory tour
Van Lang University: Vice-president NQ Trung, Dean LTK Oanh, Dr. HT Loi. Facilities tour
March 4 Center for Environmental Technology & Management: Director HNP Mai. Laboratory tour
Ho Chi Minh City → Hue (by air)
March 5 Hue Alumni Association Reunion: 6 members including Rector TT Duc. Dinner
March 6 HUAF: 13 members including Rector TT Duc, former Rector LV An, Vice-rector LD Phung.
HUSC: 10 members including Rector VT Tung, Dean NN Tung, Dean HC Tin. Laboratory tour
March 7 Hue → Danang (car)
(Hotel) Meeting with graduates: TNQ Anh, HH Dac.
University of Danang: 6 members including Vice-president LQ Son, Dr. H Hai. Courtesy visit
DUT: 6 members including Rector NH Hieu, former Dean TV Quang. Laboratory tour
March 8 Danang → Hanoi (by air)
JICA Vietnam Office: Mr. S Tsuchimoto, Ms. M Nakamura, Mr. TT Thanh Thu.
JASSO Vietnam Office: Director T Hagiwara.
March 9 HUST: 5 members including President HQ Thang, Prof. HT Hai, Dr. PL Huong. Courtesy visit
INEST, HUST: 20 members including Dean NTA Tuyet, former Dean NT Dung, Vice-dean DX Hien, Vice-dean ND Quang. Laboratory tour
Hanoi Alumni Association: 23 members including Dean NTA Tuyet, Dr. NPH Lien, Dr. DQ Hung. Dinner
March 10 Embassy of Japan in Vietnam: Ms. N Okamoto.
VJU: 6 members including Rector M Furuta, Dr. NTA Hang.
HUCE: Director NT Dung, Professor Emeritus NTK Thai.
Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, HUCE: Director N Viet-Anh. Laboratory tour
March 11 Hanoi → Kansai Airport (by air)

Visit Report  Part 2

Visit Report  Part 3