Official statistics show that Vietnamese spend billions of US dollars a year to fund overseas training courses for their children.
Thoi bao Kinh te Vietnam has cited a report showing that the number of Vietnamese going abroad to study has been increasing steadily year after year. In 2010-2011, Vietnam had 98,536 overseas students while the figure jumped to 106,104 in the 2011-2012 academic year.
The latest report by the Ministry of Education and Training showed that about 60,000 Vietnamese are studying at overseas training establishments. More and more Vietnamese apply for studying at the schools in the US, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Singapore and China.
The movement of going to study abroad started in 1997-1998, when most Vietnamese enrolled in the schools in the UK, France and the US. However, the list of the destination countries for Vietnamese students has been expanded. Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland have also become the popular names for the students who plan to go studying abroad.
It is estimated that Vietnamese spend US$10,000-$15,000 a year on average on a seat at foreign schools. As such, Vietnamese have to remit at least $1-1.5 billion abroad every year to fund the training courses.
However, Giang emphasized that this is just the average spending level, while the actual spending would be higher.
A lot of students, especially the ones in big cities, cherish the dream of studying abroad right when they go to secondary or high schools. Some of them try to apply for scholarships to have better learning conditions overseas. Meanwhile, others would rather go abroad with their own money than studying at domestic schools.
Giang believes that Vietnamese tend to go studying abroad because they believe that they can receive higher education quality, the thing they would not receive in Vietnam.
Therefore, in order to attract students, Vietnamese schools have no other choice than improving their training quality.
According to Giang, Vietnam would retain Vietnamese students if its schools just can provide the training quality equal to that provided by regional schools. Around 35,900 out of the 106,000 students going abroad in 2011-2012 headed for Asian countries.
The increasingly high demand for high quality international university education has turned Vietnam into an attractive destination for foreign educators. However, to date, only several foreign universities have arrived in Vietnam, namely RMIT or the British International University.
In September 2012, the government promulgated the Decree No. 73 stipulating the requirements on foreign educators who plan to open universities in Vietnam.
Regarding the financial conditions, the decree stipulates that the minimum investment rate must be VND150 million ($7,000) per student, not including land use fees, while the total investment capital must not be lower than VND300 billion dong ($15 million).
The decree stipulates that the Prime Minister will release the decisions on the establishment of foreign invested universities, while the Minister of Education and Training will decide the establishment of foreign invested junior colleges, and the Minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs will decide the establishment of foreign invested vocational schools.
Compiled by Thu Uyen