Studying abroad points out flaws in Vietnamese education

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Báo Dân Trí English - 32 month(s) ago 12 readings

Studying abroad points out flaws in Vietnamese education

Harvard is the dream for many Vietnamese students


Harvard is the dream for many Vietnamese students


Since Vietnam joined the WTO five years ago, an increasing number of students choose to study in other countries at younger ages, posing challenges for the education system in Vietnam.

Pham Tam Anh, a 10th grader from one of the gifted high schools, run under Hanoi National University, said that, although she loves her school, she is looking forward to continuing her studies in the US in July.

“From what i hear, the American education system will help me to fully develop my skills,” Anh said. “In Vietnam we have to study 12 or 13 subjects, but in the US it's more like five to seven. Also, there students are encouraged to study on their own and take on more extracurricular and social activities.”

Ambition and privilege

Tam Anh is just one among the nearly 20,000 students going to study in the US this year. According to the US Embassy in Hanoi, the number of Vietnamese students in the US’s schools has increased sharply in recent years. The number in 2007 was only 5,000, which increased by 150% to 13,000 students in 2009. It is expected to reach 26,000 by 2014.

According to Nguyen An Quyen, Director of Ivy Prep, an educational consulting company, Vietnamese students are going abroad to study at earlier ages. “After joining the WTO, Vietnam is in need of a more skilled workforce. Both high schools and universities do not meet the requirements to achieve this. In addition, the internet has provided ambitious students with more information about studying abroad."

Quyen added that foreign schools are offering more scholarships and other incentives to study abroad.

“During a visit to Vietnam last year, Francisco Sanchez, the US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, said that the US is planning to double number of Vietnamese students in the next five years,” Quyen said. He added that education will be one of the key components in co-operation between the two countries.

According to companies and agencies who send students to foreign schools, most of the students come from big cities. One of their surveys on 100 students at Vinh Phuc High School in northern Vinh Phuc Province showed that only 2% of them plan to seek for scholarships to study at a foreign university abroad.

Meanwhile, a survey involving three separate groups of 100 students high schools in Hanoi, showed that nearly 90% students plan to go abroad to continue their study.

Weaknesses in Vietnamese system

According to Professor Vu Thanh Tung, former head of the Administration Department at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, most of students who go abroad for their studies come from wealthy families.

“What we need to do is improve the quality of education at home so that both parents and students are satisfied with the quality of schools in Vietnam. This is not just the task for individual schools, or even the education sector, but for all of Vietnamese society," Tung said.

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