In June 2018, Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha reported before the National Assembly that Vietnam spends $3-4 billion a year to fund students’ studies overseas.

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Parents believe that education in developed countries such as the US, UK, Australia and Singapore will help their children have a better future.

VinUni has announced the enrolment of students for three majors – business administration, health science, technology and computing science.

The tuition, VND800 million a year, has become a hot topic of discussion as it is equal to the tuition of many prestigious schools in the world. Vietnam’s income per capita is much lower than developed countries.

Can Vietnamese students study in an international environment with the same amount of money?

Nguyen Sy Dung, former deputy chair of the National Assembly Office, said with the high tuition, it would be not easy for VinUni to enroll students, even though it has support from the two universities listed among top 20 schools worldwide – Cornell and Pennsylvania.

VinUni stunned the public when announcing the sky-high training costs of $35,000 a year for university education and $40,000 a year for post-graduate studies.

VinUni will have to compete with other prestigious schools, including the Vietnam-Japan University, Fulbright University, Vietnam-Germany University and Vietnam-France University.

Two Vietnamese universities have been named in the 2020 Best Global Universities Rankings released recently by the US News & World Report. The Hanoi National University is ranked 1,059th in the list, and the HCM City National University the 1,176th.

Truong Anh Ngoc, a journalist, commented that for the majority of Vietnamese, VND4 billion is a huge amount of money. And for those who have VND4 billion, there are many other choices other than VinUni.

According to Mai Trong Nhuan, former director of Hanoi National University, China and India are the home of many talented students but they still go to the US and the UK to receive education and conduct research. So, if students have the opportunity to go abroad, why not choose an overseas school to have more opportunities for international exchange?

What elite schools teach students has also been a hot topic of discussion. The schools must have good training programs, elite training methods and deep financial resources.

Experts said many talented students finishing overseas schools find it difficult to adapt to the social conditions in Vietnam. Therefore, the additional task for elite schools in Vietnam is preparing graduate to adapt to the conditions in Vietnam. 

Mai Lan

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