Wednesday, 24 Jul 2019
HEALTH & EDUCATION

Foreign-trained Vietnamese graduates unable to return investment when coming back

Updated at Friday, 28 Jun 2019, 10:19
The Hanoitimes - A foreign degree holder earns around US$12,000 per year while tuition eats up US$40,000 excluding living costs.
A large number of Vietnamese graduates are unable to repay parents' investment when they return to their home country from studying abroad. 
 
Illustrative photo
Illustrative photo
Although overseas-acquired qualifications boost earnings in Vietnam, the payoff does not cover the investment, the SI News quoted Sydney educational sociologist Lien Pham as saying. 

Although foreign firms offer higher than average salaries in Vietnam, it is far from repaying the cost of their overseas degree, Pham said, taking an example that a foreign degree holder at an multinational company may earn around US$1,000 per month or US$12,000 a year while a foreign degree costs an average of US$40,000 for tuition. With living costs, it’s around US$100,000 or more.

“This means it will take about 10 years to recover the cost of investment, assuming no opportunity costs,” Pham said in an interview with the SI News. 

Moreover, as they can’t develop the technical or technological knowledge gained abroad, it becomes a missed opportunity to develop themselves and the country, she added.

Vietnamese people spend billions of dollars on studying abroad each year, mostly in the developed countries such as the US, Australia, the UK, and Japan.

Up to 90% of Vietnamese students abroad pay full-fee for their studies even in the world’s most expensive countries aforementioned.
As of 2017, the money which Vietnamese students paid for tuition in the US was more than US$1 billion, followed by Japan with US$990 million, US$914 million in Australia, and US$400 million in the UK, data of the nonprofit organization Institute of International Education (IIE) shows. 

In the US, the number of Vietnamese students amounted to 31,389 as of end-2017. Annual average expenses for a student in the US are around US$36,564, according to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). 

In Japan, Vietnam ranks second in terms of overseas students with 61,671 in 2017, up 14.6% on year, the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) said. 

Meanwhile, 23,000 Vietnamese students studying in Australia contributed 4.7% of total money that this country reaped from overseas students in 2017. 

Last but not least, the UK remains one of the countries attracting a large number of Vietnamese students with 11,000 as of end-2017, according to the World University Ranking. 

Thanks to better income, Vietnamese parents tend to send their children abroad for education while foreign-invested private schools in the homeland attract more students. 

Many experts have raised voice about brain drain as many students choose not to return to Vietnam after graduation and urged the Vietnamese government to invest more in education sector. However, some others blame the poor educational programs for schools’ weak competition although spending on education makes up 20% of state budget every year.  
Linh Pham
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