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Vietnamese students contribute nearly $1bn to US economy

Released at: 14:27, 19/11/2019

Vietnamese students contribute nearly $1bn to US economy

Photo: Viet Tuan

Student numbers continue to increase, according to "Open Doors" report from Institute of International Education(IIE).

by Nghi Do

The number of Vietnamese higher education students in the US has increased again over the past year, marking 18 consecutive years of growth, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s annual “Open Doors” report released on November 18 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The report for the 2018-2019 academic year (AY) shows that Vietnam remains the sixth leading country of origin for all international higher education students in the US, with 24,392 students studying at US institutions of higher education, a 0.3 per cent increase from AY 2017-2018. Vietnamese students contribute nearly $1 billion to the US economy.

Of the 24,392 Vietnamese higher education students in the US, 69.9 per cent were undergraduates, 15.2 per cent were graduate students, 10.2 per cent were enrolled in Optional Practical Training (OPT), and the remaining 4.6 per cent were pursuing non-degree programs.

The data also revealed that Vietnam is becoming a more popular destination for American students. The number of American students studying in the country increased 7.1 per cent, from 1,147 in AY 2016-17 to 1,228 in AY 2017-18.

According to the report, 1,095,299 international students were studying at US higher education institutions during AY 2018-2019, a .05 per cent increase over AY 2017-2018.

The US remains the leading host of international higher education students globally, with 21 per cent of the total and double the number as the nearest competitor.

Engineering, Math and Computer Science, and Business and Management remained the top fields of study for international students at US higher education institutions in AY 2018-19.

Agriculture was the fastest-growing field of study, with an increase of 10.3 per cent from AY 2017-18, followed by Math and Computer Science with 9.4 per cent. The top 10 states for international higher education students remain California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.

The Open Doors report is released annually during International Education Week (IEW), a joint initiative of the US Department of State and the US Department of Education to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

The US Mission to Vietnam is celebrating IEW 2019 by holding training workshops for university and high school guidance counselors in Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City and information sessions in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to promote studies in the US and provide information on US Government scholarship opportunities.

Consul General Marie Damour also opened the American Hangout at An Giang University, the second in Vietnam after Can Tho, on November 18, to increase access for students in the Mekong Delta region to learn about the US, English-language learning materials, and EducationUSA services.

On the event of the 25th Anniversary of US-Vietnam diplomatic relations, the Open Doors data is demonstrable proof that education remains a cornerstone of the bilateral relationship.

With a total of approximately 30,000 Vietnamese students pursuing studies at all levels in the US, the US Mission to Vietnam will continue to promote opportunities for Vietnamese students to study in the US through its EducationUSA services, American Centers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and American Hangouts in Can Tho and An Giang.

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