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Training costs at state-owned schools no longer low

Low training costs are one of the reasons for many students to enroll in state-owned universities, but the tuition of the schools is increasing.

Tran Manh Hung, a 12th grader in Hanoi, said he has only four hours a day to sleep.

“I am busy preparing for the high school finals which will come in late July,” he said.



Students pay tuitions


However, Hung still doesn’t know which university he will apply for. “My parents told me to enroll in a state-owned school, at any cost,” he said.

Hung, like many other students, wants to study at a state-owned university rather than a private school. In Vietnamese people’s thoughts, state-owned schools provide better training service and lower tuition.

Low training costs are one of the reasons for many students to enroll in state-owned universities, but the tuition of the schools is increasing.

However, not all state-owned schools set low tuition. The tuition set by some schools operating under autonomy mode are higher than other schools.

Explaining this, these schools set tuition at the levels high enough to cover training expenses. The tuition set by other state-owned schools is lower because they receive funding from the state.

By 2017, when the implementation of the pilot project on renovating the operation mechanism ended, Vietnam had 23 state-owned universities operating under the self-determination mode.

In 2019, the government allowed autonomy for three schools – the HCM City Economics University, the Hanoi Economics University and the Hanoi University of Science and Technology.

The 23 self-determined state-owned schools all are prestigious schools.

‘Self-determination’ means that the schools have the right to make decisions in terms of training and scientific research, apparatus organization, personnel and financial resources.

In other words, the schools have the right to determine the enrolment scale, tuition and majors.

Under the Decree 86, the ceiling tuition for mass training programs of self-determined schools is VND18.5 million a year for social sciences, economics, law, agriculture, forestry and aquaculture until 2020 and VND20.05 million in 2021.

The tuition levels are higher, VND22 million and VND24 million, respectively, for natural sciences, technology, sports, arts, hospitality and tourism. Medical school students have to pay the highest tuition, VND46 million and VND50.05 million.

The tuition at other state-owned schools is much lower, just VND9.8 million, VND11.7 million and 14.3 million for majors in 2021.

A lecturer at a Hanoi-based university said low tuition won’t be a factor for students to consider when deciding which schools to enroll in.

“You get what you pay,” he said. “Students need to understand that the current low tuition of state-owned universities cannot cover training expenses."

He went on to say that in the future, the State will give more autonomy to schools. By that time, increasing tuition will be inevitable. 

Linh Ha

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