Vietnam dreams of exporting education services
  • | VOV, VietNamNet | June 01, 2015 08:30 PM
Education exports are a “multi-billion dollar industry”. Why doesn’t Vietnam think of exporting its education services?

Dr. Dam Quang Minh, the youngest university rector in Vietnam, who was appointed the rector of the FPT University in 2014 at the age of 35, noted that now is the right time for Vietnam to think of exporting its education services.

“In the past, Vietnam was an importing country. But it has turned into a big exporter since it began to integrate more deeply into the world,” he noted. “Why don’t we think of turning from a country that sought ‘educational asylum’ into an ‘education exporter’.” 

Minh said what FPT University wants to do is to gradually increase the number of foreign students to study at the school.

There are about 100 foreign students studying fulltime at FPT University and 300 others following short-term training courses. Minh said FPT is trying to attract more foreign students.

FPT University has also set up an education establishment in Yangon, Myanmar. The move, says Professor Pham Tat Dong, a renowned education expert, now deputy chair of the Vietnam Society for Study Encouragement, is “good news”.

“I can see that the number of foreign students at Vietnamese schools is on the rise. And I hope I can visit Russia or France one day and see Vietnamese-invested schools there,” he said.

However, Dong said that there were still many things that needed to be done for Vietnam to be able to export its education services. 

“FPT has set up one education establishment in Myanmar. But this does not mean that it can also set up other education establishments in Thailand, The Republic of Korea, and Japan,” he commented.

Meanwhile, some analysts, when asked about the education export idea, said it is not feasible.

“Other countries can export education because they have strong education brands. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese education brand is nothing,” an analyst commented, adding that the curricula designed by Vietnamese and the degrees granted by Vietnamese schools are not recognized in the world.

Though Vietnam has become an official member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the exchange of experts between Vietnam and other countries remains modest, he said.

Dong said very few Vietnamese professors can give lectures at foreign schools because of their poor foreign language skills.

“The limitation in foreign language skills, I think, is the biggest problem that needs to be fixed,” he noted.

“Some Vietnamese schools have begun teaching some science subjects in foreign languages. This needs to be encouraged,” he said.

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