Classes began on Oct. 3 for 720 first-year students at the 100 million USD Eastern International University in Binh Duong southern province.

EIU, built by the State-owned Becamex IDC Corporation, has the mission of churning out high-quality human resources to meet the country's pressing need, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan told the inauguration ceremony.

He hailed the school's modern application-oriented programmes that are designed to meet international standards set out by the global Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and US-based Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

With assistance from Becamex, students will spend 40 percent of their time as interns at some of the thousands of Vietnamese and foreign companies in the province to get practical exposure.

Until 2015 the university will mainly focus on three areas: business administration, engineering and technology, and health science.

Dr Nguyen Van Phuc, its president, said the Centre of Foreign Languages under the guidance of the British Council would enable all students to achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 in English before graduation.

Twelve buildings with a combined space of nearly 70,000sq.m and 24 international standard laboratories have been opened in the first phase.

It has 120 lecturers, including 25 foreigners.

On the occasion of the inauguration, Becamex gave away scholarships worth 20 billion USD (952,000 USD), including four full scholarships to students who topped the entrance examinations./.