Nguyen Van That from Nam Dinh province received a 23.3 score for three A-group subjects (math, physics and chemistry) from the national high-school finals.
With the scores, That believed he could enroll in the Hanoi University of Technology or other schools in Hanoi.
However, That finally decided to go to the Hanoi College for Electro-Mechanics, a vocational school instead of a university. There are several reasons: shorter training time; three-year study instead of four-year; and better job opportunities.
He read in newspapers that workers with good skills can easily find jobs, while hundreds of thousands of university graduates remain jobless.
While universities struggle to search for students for the new academic year, prestigious vocational schools have nearly fulfilled their enrollment plans.
Nai estimates that with tuition of VND250,000 a month, the dormitory fee of VND150,000 and hundreds of thousands of dong in expenses, he would spend VND30 million for two years of study in Hanoi. If he goes to a university, he would have to spend VND100 million.
Many other students think the same way as Nhat and Nai. More and more students are choosing to go to vocational schools instead of universities after finishing general school.
Some vocational schools reported that they have fulfilled 70 percent of the enrollment plans for this year, though it is still not the high enrollment season.
Of the students applying for the schools, 30 percent got 18 score or higher on the national high-school finals, or three scores higher than the floor set by the Ministry of Education and Training.
Under current regulations, students who get 15 score or higher from the finals are eligible to apply for universities.
Ho Van Dam, vice rector of the Vietnam-Korea Vocational College, confirmed that it has enrolled 600 students, or 70 percent of the number it plans to enroll this year.
Dam said the applicants include students who got very high scores, 18-23, from the national high-school finals.
Nguyen Hong Minh, general director of the Vocational Training General Directorate, said that the enrollment was better this year. Some vocational schools have committed to train students to have regional standard skills and ensure that students can find jobs after graduation.