Vietnam leads Southeast Asia in number of students in US

By VnExpress   November 15, 2016 | 12:55 am PT
Vietnam leads Southeast Asia in number of students in US
Vietnamese students from local high schools meet with a U.S. college representative during the first U.S. Higher Education Fair in Hanoi on January 30, 2015. Photo by AFP
The country ranked 6th globally with more than 21,000 students enrolling in American colleges and universities last year.

More than 21,000 Vietnamese students enrolled in colleges and universities in the U.S. in 2015, up 14.3 percent from the previous year, new data shows.

According to the annual Open Doors Report on International Exchange, published by the Institute of International Education, Vietnam ranked sixth globally among the leading sources of foreign students studying at U.S. higher education institutions. The top five last year was China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Canada.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam came out on top, sending more than twice the number of students to the U.S. compared to Indonesia, the second largest source of students for the U.S. in the region.

The number of international students enrolled in U.S. universities in 2015 exceeded 1 million for the first time last year.

The U.S., followed by Australia and the U.K, is by far the favorite destination for Vietnamese students.

Vietnamese students spent nearly $1 billion for studying at U.S. colleges and universities last year, according to latest data from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Statistics showed there were only 800 Vietnamese students at U.S. colleges and universities in 1995. Over the past 15 years, Vietnam has remained one of the top sending countries.

U.S. colleges are increasingly seeking international students to bolster enrollment and their budgets. The Open Doors Report pointed out that roughly 75 percent of all international students pay their tuition and fees from personal and family sources as well as assistance from their home country governments or universities.

“The strong increase in Vietnamese student enrollment shows the continued conviction by students and parents that a U.S. degree is a sound investment in their future careers,” according to a statement released by the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training reported that about 125,000 Vietnamese students went abroad in the 2013-14 academic year, a 15 percent increase from the previous year. The total spending on overseas education amounted to about 1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2013.

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