As many as 30 per cent of high-school students have decided not to apply for colleges this year according to the Ministry of Education and Training.
Statistics from the ministry showed that over 886,000 students have registered for the national high school exam this year whose results will be used for high school graduation and university entrance consideration. Of the number, 279,001, or 27.8 per cent, did not register to apply for any colleges.
The northern mountainous province of Lai Chau saw over 70 per cent of students, the highest rate in the country express no intention of pursuing higher education.
Deputy director of the province's Department of Education and Training, Hoang Duc Minh, confirmed that 70.66 per cent of students in the area would only join the national exams to get the high-school graduation certificates.
"This is the highest figure recorded so far in our province," he said.
Some other neighbouring provinces including Ha Giang, Dien Bien, Lao Cai and Hoa Binh, which often see low rate of students admitted to universities, also reported high number of over 50 per cent of students who did not apply for tertiary education.
The Lao Cai Province's education department reported that only 40 per cent of students have registered for universities this year, while the remaining will opt for vocational schools or find a job.
The central province of Nghe An which is known for having the best qualified high-school students in the country has also reported over 13,000, or 41 per cent of students, the highest number so far, with no university intention this year. The rate is 41.1 per cent in the northern province of Bac Giang, and 53 per cent in Le Hong Phong High School in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
Explaining for the situation, principal of Le Hong Phong High School, Mai Xuan Dong, said that more students have realised the tough competition to top universities and chosen to register to lower-ranking universities which select students based on high-school reports.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Xuan Thanh, deputy director of General Secondary Education under Education and Training Ministry said that the situation showed a positive change in the mind of students and parents over career choice.
"More students and their parents have realised the shortage of skilled workers while too many professional experts being unemployed in the local market," he said.
The Lao Cai Province targets that by 2020 they will have only 20 per cent of students at universities while 70 per cent at vocational schools and 10 per cent following short training courses.