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

Capital:  Hanoi

Population:  102.8 million (July 2021 est.)

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):  $798.21 billion (2020 est., in 2017 dollars)

Currency:  Dong (VND)

Language:  Vietnamese (official)

 

UNESCO Student Mobility Number

Vietnam has 126,059 students studying abroad according to UNESCO.

CIA World Factbook

37.83% of Vietnam’s population is under 25 years old.

 

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, 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 costs, and the possibility of post-graduate employment.  However, as mentioned, international schools are facing stiff competition from Vietnam’s local institutions as well.  According to the 2019-2020 academic year report of the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam, there are currently 237 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 pubic 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 during the 2019-2020 academic year, 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 educational opportunities.

Educational exchange is a cornerstone of the U.S. bilateral relationship with Vietnam and a top prospect opportunity for U.S. education institutions.  Educational exchange between the two countries 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.

Despite the global pandemic, Vietnam is still in the top 10 countries, in terms of citizenship, with the largest number of international students in the United States, with 32,507 students studying at all education levels in calendar year 2020, according to data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In addition, Vietnam remains the sixth leading country of origin for all international higher education students in the United States, with 21,631 students studying at U.S. institutions of higher education in the academic year 2020-2021.  Among community college enrollment, Vietnamese students continue to constitute the second largest group of foreign students, accounting for almost 11 percent of all international enrollments, according to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) annual Open Doors Report.

Of the 21,631 Vietnamese students enrolled in higher education in the United States, 70.6 percent are undergraduates, 15.6 percent focus on graduate level study, 12.1 percent are enrolled in Optional Practical Training (OPT), and the remaining 1.6 percent are pursuing non-degree programs.

 

SUB-SECTORS

Four-Year University/Graduate Degree:  The majority of Vietnamese students are interested in four-year undergraduate programs at U.S. universities, though many also extend their studies in the U.S. 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.  In the academic year 2020-2021, the percentage of Vietnamese students pursuing STEM and business/management majors were 46% and 26.9%, respectively.

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 providing a safe and comfortable environment for their children 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 transition to a U.S. institution smoothly and seamlessly.

 

OPPORTUNITIES

Education remains a cornerstone of the United States-Vietnam bilateral relationship.  The U.S. Commercial Service stands ready to assist education institutions to learn about market opportunities and challenges and introduce 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 most well-attended events of their kind in Vietnam.  For more information, please visit: https://educationusa.state.gov.

 

RESOURCES

 

U.S. COMMERCIAL SERVICE CONTACTS

Ms. Ngan Thai, Commercial Assistant

U.S. Commercial Service – Hanoi, Vietnam

Phone:  +84-24-3580-5199

Email:  Ngan.Thai@trade.gov

 

Ms. Huong Nguyen, Commercial Assistant

U.S. Commercial Service – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Phone:  +84-28-3520-4680

Email:  Huong.Nguyen@trade.gov