It is estimated that there are hundreds of study consultancy firms which act as brokers to help Vietnamese students attend Japanese schools.
The number of firms has skyrocketed in recent years because of high demand from Vietnamese.
The company has charts that show the expenses every student has to pay for one year of studying, estimated additional surcharges and costs for 3 months or 6 months in dormitories.
An analyst, after comparing the quoted fees and the real tuition & living costs, commented that with the charges, the consultancy firm will pocket VND30-50 million from each student.
However, he said the profit is small compared with what other firms can make – about VND100 million from each student.
Minh Thu, from Lai Chau province, and Thuy Dung, from Viet Tri City, both went to Japan to study after using a consultancy service provided by a firm in Viet Tri.
|Profits made by overseas study consultancy firms can be up to VND100 million if they enroll one Vietnamese student in a Japanese school.
Thu and Dung paid VND300 million each to the consultancy firm. The money was spent on documents, translation, one-year tuition and surcharges, room rent for six months, job brokerage fees and a one-way air ticket.
Study in Japan is not less costly than in markets such as Australia, the US, and Germany.
The program the two students expected to attend is, in fact, just a course in Japanese language at a training establishment which Japanese see as a foreign language center outside the official educational system.
Students there learn Japanese language for certificates before attending exams to enter colleges.
The training establishments try to attract as many students as possible, and in order to do that, they pay commission to Vietnamese companies who find students. The commission, as reporters have found, is about VND22 million on average.
However, consultancy firms still earn money from Vietnamese students as well by quoting costs higher than the real costs.
The analyst said that in Thu’s and Dung’s cases, the total cost must not be higher than VND200-210 million. This means that the consultancy firm has pocketed VND90 million from each of them.
The high profits explain why the number of Vietnamese students going to Japan has soared in the last 4-5 years, from 60,000 by 2013 to 150,000 by the end of 2015.