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Wrap up: Is US university education worth all the investment?

By Editorial   September 23, 2017 | 07:38 pm PT
The readers have spoken. It's time for a wrap up and... more debate.

Following a story on how, to Vietnamese, the U.S. continues to be a top overseas study destination, we've called for a debate on the value of U.S. education.

Is a U.S. university education worth the financial sacrifice? What's the true value of a U.S. education? Does it go beyond calculating return on investment?

(Dollar millionaires and those on a full scholarship don't count)

Estimating the value of an intangible asset like education is not an easy task. Where you choose to attend university could shape your future career, home, friends and even family. So while it is relatively straightforward to estimate the investment (let's forget all those years spent cramming to make the grades to simplify the math), one could well argue university education is useless, priceless or anywhere inbetween.

Our readers generally acknowledge that U.S. education is among the best you can get. As user Matt said: "Some US colleges offer truly outstanding education." Skylar, mentioned reputation: "Graduates from the U.S. are more favorable and more likely to receive better treatment for their U.S. title."

Mark Haskell went an extra mile to suggest that Vietnam could well bring U.S. education home by setting up a "super university" and make a profit along the way - suggesting it is perhaps worth all the investment... at least if it's on Vietnamese soil. 

But is this really the case? Thanh Nguyen was skeptical because assuming U.S. educated graduates return home, they can't "compete with their peers for the same position in a culture where nepotism and cronyism is rampant."

But that can't possibly be the last straw. The number of Vietnamese students in the U.S., 31 thousand, says it all, which brings us back to the key question: how much is a U.S. education worth not in general, but to Vietnamese?

Americans are more likely to take their education for granted. For citizens of a country which has failed to produce an English savvy workforce in a time of globalization; where schools just need students to memorize the material without questioning, a U.S. education could be liberating

Liberating doesn't have to simply mean better job prospects. It could be understood in a broader sense of living the American Dream.

Do you think U.S. university education could be somehow liberating for Vietnamese students? If so in what way? Does it mean such education is priceless?

At the same time, during this age of hyper-connectivity thanks to the internet and the rise of Asian universities, isn't sacrificing "everything" for a U.S. education just too much?

The debate is not (ever) over. Let us know yor thoughts in the comments section.

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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