VietNamNet Bridge - The cost of university education in Vietnam is becoming more costly as a series of state-owned universities said they are planning to raise tuition. 


MOET has submitted to the Prime Minister a draft plan on the new ceiling tuition levels to be applied from 2015-2016 to 2020-2021 academic years.

Under the draft plan, the ceiling tuition for state-owned schools funded by the State would be 10 percent higher than that of the 2014-2015 academic year. 

This means that the ceiling tuition levels would be between VND605,000 and VND880,000 a month from the 2015-2016 academic year. This means that every student would have to pay VND6-8.8 million for a 10-month academic year.

The ceiling tuition levels vary depending on the training majors. There are three main groups of training majors 1) social sciences, economics, law, forestry-fisheries-agriculture 2) natural sciences, technology, arts, hotelier, tourism, sports and 3) pharmacy and medical care.

As for the state-owned schools operating under the mode of financial self-determination, the new ceiling levels would be 11.5-16 million for the 2015-2016 academic year. Meanwhile, pharmacy and medical care would require the highest tuition levels of 45 million a year.

State-owned universities operating under self-determination are those that have the right to determine their issues and do not live on funding from the state. Therefore, the schools tend to set up tuition higher than other state-owned schools in order to cover expenses.

While announcing the plan to raise tuition, universities all promise to improve training quality. 

Hanoi University, for example, collected up to VND7.8 million in tuition in the 2014-2015 academic year, while it is planning to collect VND12 million this year and VND14 million next year.

It has committed to provide diverse training with international standards, while promising to upgrade the management services, e-library and student canteen.

The Foreign Trade University has raised tuition to VND14.5 million in 2015-2016 and VND16 million next year, and has also promised to improve the training quality by upgrading facilities and reducing the number of students in each class from 140 to 100 or 80.

A university lecturer said that raising tuition is inevitable as current tuition levels cannot  cover schools’ expenses. 

All schools take losses with full-time training, and have to use their profits from joint training programs with foreign schools to offset the losses.

However, former minister of education Tran Xuan Nhi warned that the principle ‘you get what you pay for’ is not always true - that training quality may not increase with higher tuition.

Tien Phong