Monday, 24 Jun 2019

Foreign investment in Vietnam’s education on the rise

Updated at Thursday, 22 Nov 2018, 06:58
The Hanoitimes - Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) has made efforts to review and amend investment incentive policies and crafted a specific mechanism to encourage the operations of non-profit foreign-invested training units.
As a country with a high demand for education at international standard institutions, Vietnam has seen a steadiy increase in the number of foreign-invested projects in the education sector in recent years, local media reported.

Attracting foreign investment into the education and training sector has garnered special attention from the Vietnamese government over the past few of years.

Five years since the government’s Decree No.73/2012 came into force, regulating foreign investment in the field of education, the number of foreign investment projects in education has more than tripled from 111 in 2012 to 374 in 2017.

Currently, nearly 20,000 kids are enrolled at diverse foreign-invested education facilities from the preschool to the high school level, and about 8,000 students are enrolled at foreign-invested universities in Vietnam.

There are 28 preschool institutions, 29 schools teaching from preschool to high school, and five higher education institutions, besides about 300 schools training professional, informatics, and foreign language skills.
Foreign investment in Vietnam’s education is increasing. Photo: D.T
Foreign investment in Vietnam’s education is increasing. Photo: D.T
Foreign-invested schools have contributed to improving the foreign language and professional skills of Vietnamese students, laborers, and business people, creating a conducive learning environment for the offspring of foreigners working in Vietnam and overseas Vietnamese returning to their home country, and pushing up foreign investment flows in Vietnam.

Besides, foreign investment in education has also taken hold in the form of joint training between foreign and domestic schools. As of December 31, 2017 there were 340 co-operative and joint training programs in Vietnam between 85 domestic and as many as 258 foreign higher education institutions from 33 countries and territories.

Joint training programs have recruited a total 86,000 students, 48,000 of whom have finished study (including 18,000 trainees with higher education, 28,000 master’s degree holders, 60 doctorate degree holders, and 1,900 trainees of other levels).

Foreign investment in the joint training format has partly satisfied the learning requirements of the society, playing a hand in bettering human resources qualifications to serve the country’s industrialization and modernization cause, and helping to reduce the “brain drain” and “capital drain” as more Vietnamese students opt to stay in the country for study.

In light of the Vietnamese government’s Decree No.118/2015 dated November 12, 2015 detailing the implementation of the Law on Investment, investment projects in education are entitled to a number of tax and land incentives. 

The Vietnamese government has recently enacted Decree No.86/2018 dated June 6, 2018 to supersede Decree 73, featuring new, more open procedures to help the country attract more foreign investment in education.

Solutions for attracting foreign-funded projects

In this context, the recent enactment of Decree 86 to replace Decree 73 was considered a breakthrough helping to attract more robust investment into education as it contains more open procedures towards foreign investors.

Accordingly, for the first time, cooperation with foreign investors is permitted at all levels of education, including preliminary schools, secondary schools, and high schools. Decree 73, only permitted co-operation for university education.

Moreover, the MoET has also made efforts to review and amend investment incentive policies and the priority investment wish-list in education as well as crafted a specific mechanism to encourage the operations of non-profit foreign-invested training units.

The MoET also committed to better the investment and business climate, expediting policy dialogues with investors and companies through the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) platform and being resolute in removing investment conditions and procedures that no longer fit the current situation.

Thanks to the application of these measures, and high commitment from all stakeholders, the MoET said that there will be strong leaps ahead in foreign investment attraction in education in the forthcoming years, propelling the development of Vietnamese education.
Anh Kiet
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