The Vietnam Studies Center at Fulbright University Vietnam organized its first international conference around the Tonkin Free School and its legacy in the liberal arts education model at Fulbright.

The Tonkin Free School was radical because it was the first institution to open education to all, men and women, adults and children. With lectures in the crowded streets of Hang Dao in Hanoi, it coalesced ideas behind the Keio Gijuku, founded by Fukuzawa Yugichi, who believed that education would mitigate social disparities and the self-strengthening rhetorics of Liang Qichao and Kang Youwei, which claimed that in order to strengthen a nation, one had to first begin with the self.

If you’re interested in learning more, Nam Phong Dialogues will be releasing an episode on this very topic within the next few weeks! Stay tuned (: !

Panel 1: Cultural exchanges between Vietnam and East Asian countries from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries
Panel 2: Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc, Vietnamese literati and “Western-learning” intelligentsia, with a focus on Phan Boi Chau and Phan Chau Trinh
Panel 3: The liberal spirit of Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc
Panel 4: Lessons from Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc for Contemporary Vietnamese (higher) education

Student exhibition on the Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc and its legacies.