Your bookmarked countries have an update since your last login. View Bookmarks x

Jul 28, 2021

Vietnam high school graduation exam to be organised as planned, second phase ready

The Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) is scheduled to organise the high school graduation exam in two phases if the COVID-19 epidemic develops in a complicated manner, in which the first phase will take place on July 7-8 as planned while the second phase will be held for F0, F1, F2 candidates in isolated areas.

Learn more »

Jul 13, 2021

More than 30 Vietnam localities keep school closures, exams to be flexible

University and school students from more than 30 cities and provinces nationwide on May 10 entered the second week of online studying since their schools were shut on May 4 due to the serious ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.

Learn more »

May 31, 2021

500 foreign language centers in HCMC unlicensed

Ho Chi Minh City Education Department discovered violations following an order from the municipal People's Council in September last year to screen all language centers in the city. 253 have not been licensed to operate, while 241 have let their licenses expired.

Learn more »

Apr 29, 2021

Education adds to Japan's latest exports to developing nations

Seeing this as an opportunity to increase Tokyo's soft power, the Japanese government since 2016 has set aside around 70 million yen a year to boost exports of education services to developing nations, like Egypt and Vietnam, in an initiative dubbed "Edu-port Nippon."

Learn more »

Feb 12, 2021

Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training Adopts Blockchain Tech to Track Diplomas

Vietnam's education ministry announced a blockchain-based archive for issuing diplomas. Citing academic fraud and a lengthy, expensive verifying process, the new standardized process will ensure that all future diplomas will be accurate. The new initiative, National Qualifications Archive (NQA), is expected to roll out in 2021.

Learn more »

Oct 9, 2020

Students retake national exam in Vietnam because of supervisors’ errors

Students in Vietnamese provinces of Bac Nin, Dien Bien, and Binh Phuoc had to retake their national high school exams due to supervisors' errors.

Learn more »

Aug 21, 2020

High school graduation exam still on schedule despite COVID-19

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has instructed the Ministry of Education and Training to hold the high school graduation examination in all provinces and cities as previously scheduled, including in Da Nang where new COVID-19 cases have appeared. The examination date is two months later than in previous years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more »

ARCHIVED COUNTRY STUDY: (PDF)

There are 2 archived country studies available. Log in to view them.

Vietnam

Overview

As in other Asian societies influenced by Confucianism, Vietnam places a premium on education. The Temple of Literature in Hanoi, built in 1070 in honor of Confucius, is the site of Vietnam's first university. Under Confucianism, education was the gateway to the ruling class of generalist-administrators known as mandarins. During the French occupation, education was a prerequisite for employment in the colonial civil service.

After Vietnam declared independence from France in 1945, one of the first actions of the government was to carry out a campaign that ultimately resulted in a literacy rate of 93%, an astounding feat in the midst of war, poverty and social dislocation. Today, education is one of the top priorities of the government and, with Vietnam’s recent accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and an economic growth rate rivaling that of China (8.4% in 2005), public participation in educational policy discussion is prevalent in the media.

In spite of its achievements and positive trends, education in Vietnam suffers from a number of fundamental weaknesses. These include a lack of quality control, insufficient resources, low salaries, an emphasis on theory over practice, the prevalence of rote-learning, teacher-centered classrooms, curricula and materials that are often outdated, the "extra study industry," the separation of teaching from research, and petty corruption related to one or more of these issues. The consensus among employers, Vietnamese and foreign alike, is that most Vietnamese university graduates are unprepared for a knowledge-based economy and require additional training and retraining after they are hired. There is also an acute shortage of skilled workers in Vietnam and for export to other countries in the region.

Established in 1990, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) is responsible for all education and training at the national level. MOET is divided into many departments, the most important of which are those responsible for primary and secondary education, higher education, teacher education and adult education.

During the 2004 — 2005 school year, there were 17,246,299 students attending primary and secondary schools. Demand for higher education is strong, and as the government has acknowledged, the current system is unable to meet it. At the postsecondary level there were a total of 1,786,295 students, including 273,500 enrolled in three-year colleges, 1,046,291 in universities, and 466,504 in vocational training centers. The government forecasts that the percentage of university students will increase 5% per year until 2011 and then 4% until 2015. Vietnam spends about 17% of its GDP on education.

University Admission

In order to gain admission to a university, students must pass the university entrance examination, which tests in six subjects, including math, literature, foreign language, and three other subjects. Students must then take one of the eleven groupings of university admission examinations:

Examples:

  • Group A - tests knowledge of math, physics and chemistry (for students of engineering, computer science, physics, Chemistry, Economics, Finance and Banking, and Math)
  • Group B - tests knowledge of math, chemistry and biology (for students of medicine, environment studies, food sciences, and biology)
  • Group C - tests knowledge of literature, history and geography (for students of social sciences and humanities)
  • Group D - tests knowledge of literature, math and foreign language (for students of foreign trade, and foreign languages)
    • Language options include: English, Russian, French and Chinese

In 2006, nearly 1.7 million students applied to take the university entrance examination in order to study at one of Vietnam's higher education institutions. These include multidisciplinary national and regional universities and various types of private institutions. In an attempt to meet the demand, the latter are gaining in popularity and official support.

New Institutions

In November 2006, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) announced that the Prime Minister had agreed in principle with the establishment of 20 new universities, five public and 15 private.

At the same time, an additional 10 universities (4 of which are private), were in the process of seeking approval from the Prime Minister’s office. According to the MOET, 23 private universities enroll 119,464 students, or 11.7% of all students in postsecondary education. In early December 2006, the government encouraged the establishment of more private universities that would enroll 30-40% of students by 2020.

Finally, based on the December 2006 entrance examination results, 500 students were accepted to FTP University,* a new institution focusing on software engineering. FPT is Vietnam’s leading telecom corporation. They are committed to offering jobs to all graduates of FPT University. The FTP admission cut-off scores were set at a higher level than the common university entrance exam, which is given every July.

Types of Students

Vietnamese students enroll in one of the following categories:

  • Full-time: admitted through the examination process and granted the “chinh quy” degree. About 20% of the students receive scholarships ranging from 30%-50% tuition reduction to 100% tuition waiver plus small stipend; others pay full tuition.

  • Open: students who pay full tuition for the same teachers and coursework as the full-time students but receive the “mo rong” (open) degree. To date, this degree does not enjoy as high a status as the “chinh guy” (full-time) degree because the admission exam and entrance requirements for “mo rong” students are less rigorous than for “chinh qui” students.

  • Part-time: Students seeking admission to a part-time program must have a baccalaureate.

    • In service: students undertaking abbreviated course while employed and receive the degree “tai chuc”.

    • Specialized or re-training: students returning to university to upgrade their skills in the particular areas they may have previously studied (“chuyen tu”).

    • Short-term training students taking short courses to enhance their knowledge and skills.(“ngan han, or ham thu”).

Types of Programs

Undergraduate

  • Short Cycle (Cao đẳng): three-year programs at junior or community colleges which lead to the Certificate of Higher Education, Junior College Diploma or Associate degree.

  • Long Cycle (Đại học): approximately four to six year programs offered at universities. A Bachelor degree is granted.

Graduate

  • Master’s Degree: A two-year program of course work and thesis. Entrance examinations are competitive.

  • Doctoral Degree: Minimum program length is two years for those who have obtained master's degrees. Completion of a thesis or project is required. Students may sometimes be able to pursue an accelerated program right after obtaining a bachelor’s degree.


THE CONTRIBUTORS

BE A PART OF THE CONVERSATION. JOIN OUR LISTSERV. Subscribe

Upcoming AACRAO Events

On-Demand Learning

Self-Paced | Online

Self-paced courses aligned with our competency and proficiency framework, AACRAO's on-demand training will build your skills and enhance your resume. 

Courses in:

  • Compliance
  • FERPA
  • International
  • and more

Learn More

SEM_2020_1440x400 update

The International Institute

Rescheduled for Early October 2021 | Virtual Event

Replacing the Summer and Winter Institutes, the AACRAO International Institute covers promising practices for the evaluation of international credentials that combines AACRAO’s On-Demand International Series with five, two-hour, virtual instructor-led training sessions.

Learn More
240047_AACRAO_1440x400_LandingPg