Students to design new Ho Chi Minh monument for Newhaven

Ho Chi Minh in Paris in 1921

Students in Sussex will compete to design a monument to Vietnam’s former leader Ho Chi Minh, who worked on the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry after the First World War.

The Vietnamese Ambassador is launching the contest this week during a visit to the University of Sussex, where he will also be discussing stronger links between the University and Vietnam.

Ambassador Nguyen Van Thao will challenge students at the University of Sussex and West Dean College, one of the University’s partner colleges, to design a monument celebrating the communist leader’s connection with Newhaven.

As a young man, Ho Chi Minh - who went on to lead Vietnam for more than three decades – worked as a pastry chef on the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry and made a number of trips to the East Sussex town over this period.

The winning design will be created in Vietnam and then displayed in the West Quay area of the port town later in 2015 – 125 years after Ho Chi Minh’s birth. And the successful student will win a trip to Vietnam, including a visit to the factory where the sculpture will be created.

Meanwhile, the University will announce a new Junior Research Associate scholarship for an undergraduate student at Sussex to explore Ho Chi Minh’s relationship with the county, as well as exploring the possibility of an exceptional Vietnamese student to join this project.

The University has increasingly strong ties with south-east Asia, welcoming hundreds of students and carrying out joint research with institutions from across the region every year. This year has seen a project on migration launched with Mahidol University Thailand and a new staff appointment in the international team.

There is already a memorial to Ho Chi Minh in Newhaven, donated by Vietnam in 2013; this new monument aims to celebrate those historical links and look to the future, using the University’s strong international standing to encourage Vietnam’s next generation to choose Sussex for their education.

By: James Hakner
Last updated: Wednesday, 1 April 2015