Vietnamese students spend $881 million on US education in 2017

By Nguyen Quy   November 14, 2018 | 06:45 pm PT
Vietnamese students spend $881 million on US education in 2017
Vietnamese students attend a U.S. education fair in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Consulate in HCMC
Despite the administration’s hardline immigration policies, the U.S. remains a popular overseas study destination for Vietnamese students.

The number of Vietnamese students in the U.S. has grown for the 17th year in a row with 24,325 attending American colleges and universities in the 2017-2018 academic year, a 8.4 percent pickup from the previous year, new data shows.

Of this, 69.6 percent were undergraduates, 15.2 percent graduate students, 8.6 percent enrolled in Optional Practical Training, and the remaining 6.6 percent were pursuing non-degree programs, according to a Wednesday report from the U.S.-based Institute of International Education.

Vietnamese students spent nearly $881 million on studying in U.S. colleges and universities last year, the annual report said.

Vietnam ranked sixth globally in the list of countries and territories sending students to study at U.S. higher education institutions in the last school year.

China topped the list, followed by India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada. The rest of top 10 comprised Taiwan, Japan, Mexico and Brazil.

However, the number of international students entering U.S. colleges and universities has fallen for the second year in a row, amid efforts by the Trump administration to tighten restrictions on foreigners studying in the U.S., Reuters reported.

New enrollments for the 2017-18 school year slumped 6.6 percent compared with the previous year, according to an annual survey released by the Institute of International Education, which also said visa and immigration policy changes by the Trump administration have deterred some international students from enrolling.

Some immigration policy experts and college administrators have noted that the foreign students are discouraged by the Trump administration’s drive to restrict immigration and an overall sense of the U.S. political climate being hostile to immigrants and foreigners.

Vietnamese families are spending as much as $3-4 billion each year on sending their children abroad to study, Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha told the National Assembly session in Hanoi last June.

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.

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