Vietnam - Country Commercial Guide
Education and Training

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-09-15

Overview

Domestic Education

The domestic education market in Vietnam continues to strengthen due to the significant increase in per capita income over the past ten years, the expansion of both the manufacturing and services sectors, and the emphasis Vietnamese families traditionally place on ensuring a strong education for their children.  As a result, the domestic offerings continue to improve, but many affluent families look to education sources outside of Vietnam for the best opportunities.  The strongest competition to U.S. institutions is from Asia, including Australia and Japan.  These countries are able to promote proximity in what is a family-centric society, affordable cost, and the possibility of post-graduate employment.  However, as mentioned, international schools are facing stiff competition from Vietnam’s local institutions.  According to the 2018- 2019 academic year report by the Ministry of Education and Training in Vietnam, there are currently237 universities (172 public, 65 private); 188 colleges; 2,386 upper secondary schools (2,122 public and 264 private); 9,551 lower secondary schools (9,536 public and 15 private); and 13,970 primary schools (13,852 public and 118 private) operating in Vietnam.  Most Vietnamese students in higher education study at the undergraduate level.

Overseas Study

According to the data from the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), there were approximately 190,000 Vietnamese students studying abroad at the end of 2019, with a vast majority of students abroad focused on post-secondary school opportunities.  These numbers continue to grow as families increase their household income and look to send their children abroad to ensure they have access to the best education opportunities.

Educational exchange is a cornerstone of the U.S. bilateral relationship with Vietnam and Vietnam is a top prospect market for U.S. education institutions.  The mutual understanding between the two countries’ students will play a key role in the process of expanding our bilateral relations and consolidating our comprehensive cooperation, as these scholars become Vietnam’s future leaders.

Vietnam remains the sixth leading country of origin for all international higher education students in the United States in the 2019-2020 academic year (AY)after PRC, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Canada, according to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) annual Open Doors Report.  In addition, according to the data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the IIE Open Doors Report, respectively, the number of Vietnamese students studying in the United States in the 2019-2020 academic year across all education levels was approximately 26,000 students, contributing USD 827,000 to the U.S. economy.

Of the almost 26,000 Vietnamese students in the United States, 23,777 students are studying at U.S. higher education institutions, with 69.8 percent in undergraduate programs, 15.3 percent focused on graduate studies, 11.4 percent enrolled in Optional Practical Training (OPT), and the remaining 3.5 percent pursuing non-degree programs.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees

An increasing number of Vietnamese students are pursuing four-year programs at universities first and then continuing at the graduate level.  Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) remain the top selected fields of study by Vietnamese students, followed by business and management and physical/life sciences.

High Schools/Boarding Schools

There is growing interest among Vietnamese families in sending their children to the U.S. to enroll in high school/boarding schools to better prepare them for a U.S. college education.  It is important to note that Vietnamese parents cite their desire for providing a safe and comfortable environment for their kids as a primary criterion for selecting boarding schools.  Other factors that go into the family’s decision making are financial aid/scholarship packages and the relationships a school has with community colleges and universities, allowing their student to smoothly and seamlessly transition to a U.S. institution.

Opportunities

Education remains a cornerstone of the United States-Vietnam bilateral relationship and as such, the U.S. Commercial Service stands ready to assist education institutions in learning about market opportunities and challenges and introducing them to pre-qualified potential Vietnamese education consultancies/agencies.

Events

There are several education fairs in Vietnam annually, including events organized by EducationUSA. The EducationUSA fairs are some of the largest and best attended events of their kind in Vietnam.  For more information, please visit https://educationusa.state.gov.

Resources

  • Information about studying in the USA is available at the Education USA website, representing a global network of more than 400 advisory centers supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State: https://educationusa.state.gov
  • U.S. Commercial Service in Vietnam: https://trade.gov/vietnam
  • U.S. Commercial Service’s Global Education Team: https://trade.gov/education-industry
  • Industry and Analysis, Office of Supply Chain, Professional & Business Services: www.trade.gov/professional-and-business-services
  • Higher Engineering Education Alliances: www.heeap.org
  • Viet Abroader: www.vietabroader.org
  • Fulbright Vietnam: https://fulbright.edu.vn

For more information about this sector please contact:

  • Ms. Ngan Thai, Commercial Assistant

U.S. Commercial Service Hanoi – U.S. Embassy Hanoi

E-mail:  Ngan.Thai@trade.gov

  • Ms. Nguyen Huong, Commercial Assistant

U.S. Commercial Service Ho Chi Minh City – U.S. Consulate General in HCMC

E-mail: Huong.Nguyen@trade.gov