Expanding the university’s global reach, Stony Brook’s School of Journalism has concluded a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding to support the development and spread of its News Literacy curriculum in Vietnam.
Under the agreement, the School’s Center for News Literacy (Center) will provide funding to Vietnam National University’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) in Ho Chi Minh City for four initiatives:
- Organizing, hosting and conducting annual News Literacy training courses for university-level academics from Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations;
- Further development of a pioneering effort to provide a grounding in News Literacy principles to all incoming Vietnam National University students at all of its Ho Chi Minh City campuses;
- Development of high school level news literacy curricula in collaboration with selected high schools in the region;
- The publication of a Manual for Smart Readers, a 100-page guide to the application of News Literacy concepts in daily life for average citizens.
Cooperation between the two universities began in 2012, when five USSH Journalism faculty members attended a workshop in Cambodia organized and conducted by the Center. Within a year, Vietnamese professors had launched an early version of a Manual for Smart Readers in conjunction with a series of 2-day workshops in 5 Vietnamese universities.
Over the past four years, more than a dozen Vietnamese faculty members have attended training sessions led by the Center. The USSH faculty and its leadership have aggressively pushed the spread of News Literacy throughout their university and beyond. In the fall of 2016, 8900 incoming Vietnam National University students attended 3-hour orientation lectures taught by USSH lecturers trained by the Center.
The MOU will accelerate and deepen existing initiatives and launch new ones through faculty exchanges and small but significant annual grants.
“It is hard to overstate the impact this MOU will have on the spread of News Literacy in Vietnam and Southeast Asia,” said Richard Hornik, Director of Overseas Partnership Programs for the Center for News Literacy. “By providing more resources to our colleagues in Ho Chi Minh City to localize our curriculum, they will be able to do even more to disseminate it throughout Vietnam and neighboring countries.”
“I am delighted to see this MOU get off the ground,” said Dr. Jun Liu, Stony Brook University Vice Provost of Global Affairs. “This will build momentum for one of our signature programs in Vietnam, a country in which Stony Brook is committed to developing additional initiatives and programs.”