VietNamNet Bridge – Students who pass entrance exams at universities or vocational training schools, but lack the funds to pursue their studies, will receive more support under a newly-issued directive by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
The Prime Minister has required universities, colleges and vocational training schools nation-wide to work with the Education and Training Ministry and People's Committee chairmen in provinces and cities to make detailed reports on numbers of disadvantaged students in their area.
Students at the Ha Noi Sciene and Technology University. A new Government directive aims to better support poor students in pursuing their studies at universities and vocational training schools. (Photo: VNS)
The director of the Student Affairs Department under the Ministry of Education and Training, Ngu Duy Anh, said schools were also required to propose suitable solutions to help disadvantaged students continue their studies.
"Disadvantaged students may be able to receive financial support from the schools' budgets or through donations from local businesses, or they may be able to borrow money from the preferential credit programme run by the Viet Nam Bank for Social Policy," said Anh.
"The move by the PM aims to ensure that no disadvantaged student misses out on an opportunity to study due to a lack of money."
The Viet Nam Bank for Social Policy's latest statistics show that by March more than 2.3 million students from around 1.9 million disadvantaged households gained benefits since the preferential credit programme began in October 2007.
It is estimated that total programme support has reached around VND34 trillion (US$1.6 billion).
Students nationwide now can access monthly loans of VND1 million ($48) each at a fixed preferential interest rate of 0.65 per cent per month under a Government decision that took effect in August last year.
Previously, the maximum monthly loan was VND900,000 ($43) with an interest rate of 0.5 per cent per month.
Nguyen Van Ly, Deputy General Director of Viet Nam Bank for Social Policy, said the preferential credit programme for students dealt with low-risk loans and invested in developing the country's human resources.
"We now collect a debt of VND150 billion ($7.2 billion) each month from borrowers and payments are going smoothly," Ly said.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News