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$3 billion going overseas for education

Released at: 16:01, 02/12/2015

$3 billion going overseas for education

VBF's Education and Training Working Group calls for changes to limits on Vietnamese students at international schools given the amount spent on overseas education.

by Minh Tuyet

If the government does not permit Vietnamese students to attend international schools in Vietnam they will head overseas, the Education and Training Working Group told the Vietnam Business Forum 2015 on December 2.

“The limitations on Vietnamese students allowed to attend international schools, at 10 to 20 per cent, as provided for in Article 24 of Decree No.73, are extremely unreasonable,” the Group said.

Demand among Vietnamese students to go to international schools is increasing. “The number of students going overseas to study is increasing every year and now stands at more than 110,000 students in 47 countries, paying tuition fees from $30,000 to $40,000 annually,” the Group’s report said. Vietnam is therefore sending about $3 billion overseas every year for education.

With the limitations now in place, foreign investment in education is closed in Vietnam’s second-tier cities. “If foreign-invested institutions have no foreign students then no Vietnamese students can enroll,” the Group said.

Some in authority are concerned that a large number of Vietnamese students at international schools would lead to the loss of Vietnam’s cultural identity, the Group noted. “This seems to be a conservative opinion, however, because if these students are not allowed to enroll at international schools in Vietnam they will go abroad,” the Group believes. Maintaining Vietnam’s cultural identity would then be even difficult.

The Group recommended certain changes be made to Decree 73, such as licensing-related issues, transitional provisions, conditions for approving educational activities, facilities and equipment, the extension of the operation term of educational institutions, and the minimum qualifications of instructors.

Vietnam’s economy is growing and bringing many benefits to its citizens. With the TPP and the AEC, Vietnam has a major opportunity to grow its economy and become an even more prosperous nation. To achieve this requires a highly competent workforce with the knowledge and skills to drive economic growth, the Group concluded.

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