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Poor English skills challenge Vietnamese students

VietNamNet Bridge - Universities complain that it is difficult to find students with good English skills, while employers complain about graduates poor English-language ability.
VietNamNet Bridge - Universities complain that it is difficult to find students with good English skills, while employers complain about graduates poor English-language ability.


In the last three years, the University of Science & Technology of Hanoi (USTH) and the Vietnam-France University could only enroll 150 students but it wanted 450 students every year.

Professor Patrick Boiron, Rector of USTH, said on An Ninh Thu Do that it is very difficult to find students with good English skills.

Vietnamese parents, especially in urban areas, enroll their children to English classes at very early ages. The professor said that the money and time Vietnamese people spend on learning English was even higher than many French families.

However, the number of high school graduates who can satisfy the requirements of the school is modest. 

The school had to reject many Vietnamese students who had good professional knowledge, but bad English skills, because the students could not understand or express their opinions in English at interviews. 

The rector understands that it is impossible to require students to have proficient English skills in their training majors when they enter school. But they must have potential. 

He said he is not sure that bad English skills are the biggest obstacle that prevents Vietnamese students from approaching international high-quality training, especially at Vietnam-France University which focuses on science and technology, which is not the major choice of the majority of students. 

Universities complain that it is difficult to find students with good English skills, while employers complain about graduates poor English-language ability.
Ha Noi Moi newspaper cited a survey on a job website as reporting that only 5 percent of university graduates are confident about their English skills, while 27 percent admitted their level of English was poor. 

This has been cited as an important factor that makes Vietnamese workers less competitive in the international labor market.

According to Gaku Echizenya, managing director of VietnamWorks, a job network, a survey on 2,500 Vietnamese workers about Vietnam’s advantages and disadvantages of joinIng the ASEAN Economic Community showed that some of them Vietnamese lacked confidence because of limited foreign language skills and lack of negotiation skills with employers.

Nearly 70 percent of surveyed workers think that Vietnamese are not competitive with foreign workers. 

Vietnam ranks 29th among the world's 70 largest countries by English skills, or an increase of four levels, according to a report released by Education First (EF) Vietnam in late 2015. In the EF EPI list, Vietnam scored an average of 53.8 per cent out of 100 on a standardised test given across the world. 



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