The Scholarship Fund
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why not fund more Scholarships from the budget and include the cost in the tuition fee?
- How much of our tuition fees already pays for Scholarships?
- How much would every family need to give to complete the funding for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship this year?
- How do other schools fund their scholarship programmes?
- Why is a scholarship programme important for UNIS Hanoi? Why expand the programme beyond six scholarships?
- How can we guarantee that the UNIS Hanoi scholars will make a difference in Vietnam in the future?
- Who are the Scholarship students and how are they chosen/selected?
- Will UNIS Hanoi be asking companies and foundations to fund Scholarships?
- What happens to the Scholars when they graduate from UNIS Hanoi?
- Will this Scholarship fundraising campaign impact negatively on the charitable fundraising that the students do?
- How much would it cost to fund one four-year Scholarship if I made a gift today?
- Why is the Scholarship programme only geared towards Vietnamese students?
- Have you considered giving partial Scholarships rather than full Scholarships?
- This seems like a lot of money to spend on one student. Have you considered supporting education more broadly to impact more students?
The Board has made a commitment to increase tuition only as inflation and its core business requires. The Scholarship Programme is certainly central to our Vision and our ambitions for education, but is not considered essential to the delivery of our programmes. We are confident that the community shares the School’s Vision and will be inspired to support the expansion of this programme through direct giving.
The current Scholarship Programme represents less than 1% (0.8%) of the school’s annual expenditure.
The portion of each UNIS Hanoi student tuition that pays for the current programme of 6 scholars in 17-18 will be $186 USD.
3. How much would every family need to give to complete the funding for the Dr Charles Barder Scholarship this year?
This year's campaign goal is $350,00 USD, but thanks to the support of three families, we have already received gifts and pledges totaling 240,000 USD. So the community needs to get together to raise S110,000 USD. If every family were to give $191 USD we would reach our target, but don't forget, this campaign includes staff and faculty and all our global alumni who have always given significant support for The Scholarship Fund.
There are a multitude of models, usually combining budget commitment from the school and fundraising with the community. Many international schools around the world with mature programmes commit as much as 3% of tuition fees to the funding of Scholarships.
At UNIS that would be an additional cost per student tuition of more than $400 USD.
5. Why is a scholarship programme important for UNIS Hanoi? Why expand the programme beyond six Scholarships?
We are proud of our scholars; the inspirational impact that they have within our student body and the hope for change and capacity building that they represent for Vietnam.
The programme’s impact is too young to be measured by any meaningful metrics, we can only share the words of others. The Ministry of Education and Training has recognized the value of the UNIS Hanoi Scholarship Programme for the “investment in the future of our country that the programme represents.” (UN Day, 2014). We are confident that the Scholarship Programme is a powerful way in which “our learning community will be an inspirational role model for a better world.”
And our teachers see daily the enrichment the scholars bring to our own students. HS Math Teacher Neil Fairbairn shares, “There is a never a conversation about Maths in High School that Nam’s name is not mentioned. And not only because he is a gifted student, but because he is a generous and gifted teacher who takes time to help his peers.”
Expanding the Scholarship Programme will improve the diversity of our student body, provide increased opportunities for our existing students for enrichment and continue to honour our founding principle and hopes for the development of Vietnam.
There are no guarantees. The Ministry of Education and Training has recognized the value of the UNIS Hanoi Scholarship Programme for the “investment in the future of our country that the programme represents” and we are confident that our Scholars will contribute positively to the future of their country but this will be something that can only be observed with a long term view. However, pride in our scholars as they develop in an international setting and the positive reflection on Vietnam that they bring, has already been voiced by members of the Vietnamese community who have been involved.
Our Scholarship Students are all talented local Hanoi students from low income families who apply to the Programme. We currently have one Scholar in Grade 12, three in Grade 11, one in Grade 10, two in Grade 9 and two in Grade 8. There is one boy and seven girls in the current cohort group.
Six are funded through the School budget and three are fully funded through The Scholarship Fund; two from our community fundraising campaigns and one awarded The Bitexco Founders Scholarship.
They were all selected through the completion of an extensive process including the application form, written and online non-verbal aptitude testing, school report and reference checks and interviews with a panel. The process is coordinated by the Scholarship Officer in the Advancement Office. It starts in October and closes 6 months later and also included rigorous background checks, official and ‘surprise’ home visits and meetings with the family. A Scholarship Selection Advisory Committee which consists of teachers, counsellors and administrators advises the Head of School.
UNIS Hanoi will be seeking gifts and support from all its community members and partners including corporate partners and foundations. We welcome introductions to companies and foundations interested in investing in our Scholarship Programme and we will be actively seeking connections through our community.
The Bitexco Founders Scholarship is a three year scholarship fully funded by a UNIS Hanoi family.
Our first Scholar graduated from UNIS Hanoi in June 2015 and is currently studying at Williams College in the USA on a full scholarship for four years. Our second Scholar graduated in June 2016 and is currently studying at Lafayette College, USA on a full scholarship for four years. Our two graduates in the Class of 2017 have both been offered full scholarships in UAE (NYU Abu Dhabi) and Japan.
Our college guidance counsellor works with our Scholarship Students to help find the best solution for them for onward study and since last year we have been able to support options both at home and abroad.
The IB Diploma is not currently recognized as an entry qualification for Vietnamese Universities, however in 2016-2017 UNIS Hanoi signed an MOU with Vietnam National University in Hanoi for our Scholars to be admitted to the university with the same criteria as international students. Most of our scholars have ambitions to study abroad and seek further scholarships. Interest in our Scholars has been high from the scores of visiting Universities from Australia, US and Europe and there are also international universities based in Hanoi who are also interested in attracting our scholars.
All families are informed very clearly of this uncertainty surrounding University acceptance In Vietnam and availability of onward scholarships when the UNIS Hanoi Scholarship is awarded, and in all cases the families believe the benefits to their children in attending UNIS Hanoi until graduation outweigh concerns about their future studies.
10. Will this Scholarship fundraising campaign impact negatively on the charitable fundraising that the students do?
There is no evidence from any schools with mature institutional fundraising programmes that student campaigns suffer when major School campaigns are undertaken. Often the reverse is true, as philanthropic expectations are raised in a community, and fundraising skills are developed and shared, all fundraising initiatives benefit including those by students and parent groups.
A gift equivalent to $150,000 USD today would provide one full scholarship for four years starting in 2018-2019.
In our founding memorandum of understanding UNIS Hanoi was established to assist in the development of Vietnam. In honour of our founding principles, the first recipients of UNIS Hanoi scholarship are talented local students who would most benefit from accessing an international education. The Board may choose to extend the Scholarships in the future, but the current programme eligibility criteria restrict the programme to Vietnamese students, resident within one hour’s travel from the School campus.
Given the current eligibility criteria approved by the Board in 2011, a partial scholarship would be impractical as the family income band would not be able to afford UNIS Hanoi without full scholarship tuition waiver. The Board may choose to reconsider the structure of the programme in the future.
14. This seems like a lot of money to spend on one student. Have you considered supporting education more broadly to impact more students?
Through our Service Learning programmes, our students and faculty are already working in partnership with local schools and those in more remote areas of Vietnam, including grade level projects during the Middle School and High School "Week Without Walls".
In addition we have been running a programme of professional development for local Kindergarten teachers to train for several weeks with our specialist teachers for more than 15 years, helping to improve early childhood education systematically with the Ministry of Education and Training.
More recently our commitment to impacting education in Vietnam expanded through the Vietnam Tech Conference, designed to bring international educators and local teachers together to explore technology in education and share affordable and open source ideas.
The Scholarship Programme is a natural evolution of the School's longstanding commitment to improving education, but goes further, investing in extraordinary individuals and empowering them, so that in time, truly transformative individuals might impact political or business leadership, scientific and social advances, art and education evolutions!
And finally it must never be forgotten the impact of the Scholars on our own students, every day, as they role model resilience, commitment and excellence.
Investing in scholars, is one piece of our deep-seated commitment to a broad ranging commitment to education, as a power for good and our chance to help create a better world.