Vietnam universities seek to lure American students

By Minh Nga   April 25, 2023 | 04:07 am PT
Vietnam universities seek to lure American students
Biological technology students study in a laboratory at Vietnam National University in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Manh Tung
Representatives of 32 Vietnamese universities attended a workshop in HCMC Tuesday to discuss solutions to attract students from the U.S., home to many of the world's top schools.

Dinh Kim Phung, deputy head of the External and Public Relations Office at the International University at Vietnam National University, HCMC, said the school has not been able to attract as many American students as their peers in Singapore and Thailand.

Do Huu Nguyen Loc, vice principal of HCMC University of Economics and Finance (UEF), said it is now a trend to "internationalize" campuses among Vietnamese schools and higher institutions to serve the demand of Vietnamese parents and students, and to build up the image of the schools themselves.

"Vietnamese educational institutions, either public or private, need to have foreign students, and if we can attract American students then it would be even better, because we all know that the U.S. provides one of the best educations in the world," Loc said at the workshop, held by the U.S. Consulate General in HCMC.

Loc said UEF often offers scholarship to foreign students to serve the internationalization goal, adding that the number of foreign students at a university also affects its score in international rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and Times Higher Education.

According to the 2022 Open Doors Annual Data Release by the Institute of International Education, before the pandemic, 347,099 American university students studied abroad, but the pandemic caused the figure to fall to 14,549 in the 2020-2021 academic year.

In Vietnam, the number of American students rose from 922 in the school year 2014-2015 to 1,235 in 2018-2019.

Mandy Brookins, director of programs and training of the Forum on Education Abroad, a non-profit association in the field of education abroad, said American students have been most interested in studying in Europe, especially Italy, Spain, the U.K. and France, but Vietnam can make a change in the future thanks to factors related to finance and safety.

"One challenge might be that American students are not necessarily exposed to Vietnam early enough in their education to have an understanding of the opportunities settled here," she said.

Graham Harlow, acting deputy consul general in HCMC, said after 10 years of Comprehensive Partnership with Vietnam, the United States looks forward to expanding the partnerships across various sectors in the years ahead, and "education has always been one of the top priorities."

There were 20,713 Vietnamese studying in the U.S. in 2021-2022, accounting for 2% of all international students and contributing $721 million to the U.S. economy, standing in the top five of all international students, according to an Open Doors report.

go to top