The Monsanto-Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) scholarship programme has significantly contributed to the training of the next generation of Vietnamese agri-biotech experts.
Today, VNUA and Monsanto celebrated two years of the Monsanto-VNUA scholarship programme by giving out scholarships to five students for the 2016-2017 school year.
Through the programme, Monsanto will distribute $75,000 in scholarships to VNUA students over five years. Two types of scholarships are available, one rewarding academic excellence with VND42.5 million ($2,000) per student, and a research scholarship worth VND100 million ($5,000) per year for three to five research projects.
After two years, the programme has provided financial assistance to nine research projects conducted by 36 students. One example is the research led by lecturer Nguyen Quoc Trung, the results of which were presented at the second national conference on Research and Teaching of Biology in May 2016.
Nguyen Duc Bach, head of VNUA’s biotech department, said that the programme had positive effects on students’ academic performance.
“Specifically, the ratio of seniors with excellent results in the 2015-2016 academic year was five times that in 2013-2014, when the programme did not exist,” he said.
Do Quang Son, a junior studying Biotechnology at VNUA who has just received the 2016-2017 scholarship for academic excellence, said that he found out about the scholarship in his sophomore year. “Since then I have been trying really hard to get the scholarship. This year I am so happy to have finally made it. VND42.5 million ($2,000) is a big amount. I will use it to buy books and a computer, and pay for my tuition. I will continue working hard to get the scholarship again. The scholarship encourages all the students in the Biotech department to work harder than ever,” he said.
Aruna Rachakonda, general manager of Dekalb Vietnam, the Vietnamese subsidiary of Monsanto, said the group is very proud of the fruitful cooperation with VNUA in the past three years in training agri-biotech talents.
“We are very happy to see the positive effects of the cooperation programme. I hope it will continue being a source of motivation and encouragement for students in their studies and research in the next years, and contribute to the training of the local biotechnology talent pool,” she said.
Besides the Monsanto-VNUA scholarship, the Biotech department and Dekalb Vietnam also organised trips and internships for students. 200 students and teachers participated in three field trips to study genetically modified corn cultivation in Phu Tho and Moc Chau in 2015 and 2016. Six students interned at Dekalb Vietnam in the same years.