A major educational institution, the Hòa Hảo University or Viện Đại Học Hòa Hảo, was launched in Long Xuyên in 1970. It was established mainly due to the active lobbying of one broad-minded Hòa Hảo follower, Lê Phước Sang. Following his studies at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, Lê Phước Sang came to believe that the Hòa Hảo community needed its own educational center. This center was supposed to contribute to the overall development of the western provinces of the Mekong Delta.
Classes of the university first academic year were inaugurated in 1970 in a temporary facility in An Giang province. Later the university was moved to a new campus near Bắc Vàm Cống Bridge in Long Xuyên province. The university had a variety of departments, including commerce and banking; management; international relations; agriculture; pedagogy; foreign languages and Oriental medicine. Professors from Saigon and Cần Thơ taught at the Hòa Hảo University.
The mission statement of the Hòa Hảo University stipulated that it aimed to train qualified personnel and managers to serve the development of the western provinces. The teaching was not only emphasized on patriotic values and doctrines of Hòa Hảo Buddhism, but also must be on foreign languages in order to give students an opportunity to “learn from the achievements of the Western civilization.”
In March 1975, the first holders of “Bachelor” degree, some 500 students, graduated from the Hòa Hảo University. It was the first large group of educated Hòa Hảo activists who were supposed to steer the community into the future.
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