Vietnamese families splurge $4 billion per year on education abroad

By Staff reporters   June 6, 2018 | 07:25 pm PT
Vietnamese families splurge $4 billion per year on education abroad
Vietnamese students attend an overseas study fair in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress
Japan, U.S. Australia, China and U.K. are top destinations, parliament hears.

Vietnamese families are spending as much as $3-4 billion each year on sending their children abroad to study, education minister Phung Xuan Nha said Wednesday.

While Vietnam is spending significantly on improving education at home, it is a fact that more and more Vietnamese are opting for international education, he said.

Nhan told the ongoing National Assembly session in Hanoi that Vietnam allocates 20 percent of its state budget for education, and the sector also gets considerable contributions from private companies and society in general.

Vietnam collected VND1,300 trillion ($57 billion) for its state budget last year, up 18.8 percent against 2016 and while people's average income was $2,385.

Last year, there were around 130,000 Vietnamese studying abroad at all levels, and their top five destinations were Japan, the U.S., Australia, China and the U.K., according to government data.

In a report released last June, HSBC said Vietnamese parents place great importance on their child’s education, with spending on education accounting for 47 percent of the total household expenditure.

And more and more parents are considering sending their children abroad, the London-based lender said. It also found that the countries with the highest number of Vietnamese students were Japan, Australia, the US, China and the U.K.

“As an emerging economy, Vietnam has been increasingly integrating into the global market, resulting in an evolving need for high quality labor resource. Investing in education, therefore, is considered as the key to building that resource, as well as enhancing the competiveness of individuals. I observe that Vietnamese parents realize the fact,” Sabbir Ahmed, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, HSBC Vietnam, was quoted in the report as saying.

The education ministry said in a report to the parliament that tertiary education was not of desired quality, resulting in a large number of people with degrees but without jobs.

As of last year, around 200,000 people of working age with a college degree, 3-4.5 percent of the total, were unemployed.

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