Making his first visit to AIT since Vietnam joined the institute’s
governing Council as its eighth country member on 8 June 2012,
Ambassador Thang was welcomed to the campus by AIT President Prof. Said
Irandoust. The ambassador was accompanied by Vietnam Embassy
officials Ms. Le Mai Huong, First Secretary, and Mr. Vu Quoc Chinh,
Escorted by senior officials on a tour of the campus, Ambassador Thang
inspected some newly renovated buildings, visiting campus locations
such as the AIT Clinic, central Arcade, AIT Consulting, AIT Extension,
School of Environment, Resources and Development, and the Outreach
Later, he met with Vietnamese students, and other members of the
Vietnamese community at an open forum to listen to their
concerns, update them on his role as a representative of the AIT
Council, and to inform them of the latest embassy developments.
In his briefing to the ambassador, President Irandoust detailed aspects
of AIT rebuilding projects, such as restoration of ground floor areas
of 15 academic buildings as well as administration facilities. AIT’s
plan for an integrated dyke surrounding AIT, neighboring Thammasat
University and National Science and the Technology Development
Agency (NSTDA) was moving forward, the president reported, and
the AIT section of the protective flood barrier is scheduled to be
completed by mid-October.
He also explained plans to rebuild the current AIT Extension building
into a facility housing nearly all of AIT’s classrooms. The
president said the central campus building to be called the “Knowledge
Center” will be a “building dedicated to students” and is slated for
completion by the end of December or beginning of January 2013. A major
re-design of the AIT Library, which is to include 560 seats for
students and 17 new group study rooms, is another large project that
will begin soon, President Irandoust said.
In his remarks of thanks to Ambassador Thang, the AIT president
recounted the Institute’s deep connection with Vietnam, such as
the Institute receiving the 2006 Friendship Order from the Government
of Vietnam. He also spoke of future possibilities, such the
establishment of a full-fledged AIT branch campus in Vietnam. “In
principle, it could be even bigger than the main AIT campus in
Thailand,” President Irandoust said.
Currently, 554 Vietnamese students are enrolled at all AIT locations.
Vietnam nationals make up the second largest group of AIT alumni by
nationality with 3046.
Also attending the meeting with Ambassador Thang was Mr. Ahmed Amjad
Ali, Head, External Relations and Communications Office (ERCO); Dr.
Hoang Le Tien, In Charge, Alumni Affairs Office, and Associate
Head-Administration; Dr. Roland Amoussou-Guenou, Senior Legal Adviser,
AIT; Dr. Sun Sayamipuk, AIT Rebuilding Project Management Consultant
(Coordinator of Secretariat); Ms. Wannapa Pliansri, In Charge,
Government Relations Unit; and Ms.Tiamkare Thitithamtada, Senior
Program Officer, ERCO.
Vietnamese students interact with the
Ambassador of Vietnam H.E. Mr. Ngo Duc Thang.