Another Australian state stops admitting central Vietnam students

By Minh Nga   March 12, 2024 | 06:21 am PT
Another Australian state stops admitting central Vietnam students
A Vietnamese student exchanges with a representative of an Australian university at an education fair held in Hanoi, August 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Binh Minh
New South Wales has become the second Australian state to suspend its admittance of students from central Vietnam localities due to the disappearances of several students.

DE International, the international unit of the New South Wales (NSW)’s Department of Education, has informed their partners in Vietnam that the state will no longer receive applications from students from central provinces of Quang Binh, Nghe An, Ha Tinh and the northern province of Quang Ninh over "concerns related to students' non-compliance with regulations," according to Tuoi Tre newspaper.

According to content sent to some study abroad consulting centers in Vietnam, the Australian unit said it will refund the processing fees for applications already submitted by students from the four localities.

The organization's enrollment department will contact educational consulting firms in Vietnam to complete such procedures.

DE International has apologized to its partners and expressed hope for their understanding of this decision.

An educational consulting firm in Vietnam said the decision applies to students wishing to study from grades 1 to 12 in NSW.

For higher education levels, Mai Viet Thuy, Principal of the University Preparation College in NSW, told Tuoi Tre that the government has advised institutions to be cautious when reviewing applications from students from these regions.

Lu Thi Hong Nham, director of Duc Anh EduConnect, an overseas study consulting company which has received the notice from New South Wales Department of Education, told Thanh Nien newspaper said suspension was a "difficult decision," because it meant the department had to cut the number of their potential students.

As New South Wales is the Australian state with the largest number of Vietnamese students, Nham said, she hopes that the decision is just temporary and the department will quickly make adjustments.

NSW's decision followed one made by the Education Department of South Australia last month to halt the reception of applications from students in Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Quang Binh, after at least four students from these provinces went "missing" from December 2023, and evidence suggested that they were not in danger but have abandoned their studies.

A representative from South Australia's education department said the decision falls in line with the law on education services for foreign students, and aims to help preserve the integrity of the Australian visa system.

In recent years, students from central Vietnam have become known for failing to report and follow their student visa guidelines while in the country, and some have even disappeared, leading Australian authorities to suspect the localities of sending people there for reasons other than study.

By October 2023, there were over 31,600 Vietnamese students in Australia, ranking them in 6th place among the foreign student community in the country, behind China, India, Nepal, Colombia and the Philippines, according to the Australian Department of Education.

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