Universities offer assistance to students as tuition fees increase

Universities have developed a variety of assistance programmes to help students access higher education, including loans, scholarships, housing and food aid.
Universities offer assistance to students as tuition fees increase ảnh 1Hong Bang International University presents scholarships to students. (Photo Courtesy of the university)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Universities have developed a variety of assistance programmes to help students access higher education, including loans, scholarships, housing and food aid.

Hong Bang International University in HCM City, for instance, is cooperating with Sacombank to provide preferential loans for its students.

The loan term for four years of study is 10 years. Parents and students can apply for the loan at any Sacombank branch in the country.

Students can also use the bank’s credit card to pay tuition fees at Hong Bang International University. They can pay in installments at the interest of zero percent within a 24 month period.

Dr Ho Thanh Phong, rector of Hong Bang International University, said: “The assistance programme is expected to help students in financial difficulties, especially those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We expect Vietnam’s young generation to have chances to study and improve their knowledge and skills, and access international learning environment because they are the country’s future intellectuals contributing to development,” Phong added.

He said the university is also providing many full scholarships worth a total of 20 billion VND (861,824 USD) this year.

New students with high scores on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or who have won prizes in national and international contests are eligible to receive these scholarships.

The university’s new students in the 2020-2021 academic year will receive a 20 percent reduction of the first semester’s tuition fees if they confirm their intention to attend the school at an early date.

Students selected to study in the university’s preschool education faculty will receive a scholarship worth hundreds of millions of VND for their four-year course if they pledge to work at international kindergartens of the Nguyen Hoang Group within five years after graduating. The university is a member of the Nguyen Hoang Group.

Van Hien University in the city will provide 30 billion VND (1.3million USD) scholarships for its new students from the Hung Hau Heart Fund. New students will receive a 40 percent discount on tuition for the first semester.

If they face financial difficulties, they can pay 3 million VND in advance and start their studies at the university.         

The university this year offers tuition of 99 million VND for a four-year course in its all faculties. It pledges not to increase tuition during the four-year course.

University students who face financial difficulties can borrow money at the interest rate of zero percent to pay tuition fees.

The university will also provide money for meals and accommodation for its new students in the first academic year.  

Nguyen Dang Quang, deputy head of the division for student affairs at International University-Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City, said: “The university has sought many different sources of scholarships to provide its students.”  
“It has taken efforts to take care of the physical and mental life for students. It also provides services relating to accommodation, health insurance, security and safety,” Quang said.

It is cooperating with the Dormitory Management Centre to prepare enough accommodations for its students, Quang said.

In the 2020-2021 academic year, demand for accommodations is nearly 1,600, including 500 spaces for new students.

The university also has homestays with more than 100 accommodations in the city centre for students who prefer to live there.

HCM City Open University said it would provide scholarships for new students at a total 9 billion VND. It will continue to provide scholarships for students with financial difficulties who have good or outstanding results, and those who win prizes in contests.

The Government has provided loans for students since 2007. The current loan is 2.5 million VND per month for each student. Poor students receive an allowance of 100,00-140,000 VND per month.

According to the Ministry of Education and Training, the country has 236 universities with 1.7 million students. Of these, 171 universities are public.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc said the expenditures allocated for the education sector are low, only around 0.5 percent of gross domestic product.

Tuition fees

In the 2020-2021 academic year, the tuition fees of public universities that have not been granted autonomy will increase, unlike previous years.

These universities will have a ceiling on tuition fees of majors in social sciences, economics, laws, agriculture-agro-fisheries at 9.8 million VND per year; 11.7 million VND per year for majors of natural sciences, techniques, technologies, sports, arts, hotels, and tourism; and 14.3 million VND per year for majors in medicine and pharmacy.

These fees increased by 900,000 VND to 1.3 million VND compared to the previous academic year.

At public universities that have been granted autonomy, the ceiling on tuition fees are 20.5 million VND per year for majors in social sciences, economics, laws, and agriculture-agro-fisheries; 24 million VND per year for majors in natural sciences, techniques, technologies, sports, arts, hotels, and tourism; and 50.5 million VND per year for majors in medicine and pharmacy. These fees have increased by 2 million VND to 4.5 million VND compared to last year.

The country has 23 universities that have been granted autonomy in training, international co-operation, and finance.

Many universities have had to invest in their facilities and reform their training programmes toward higher quality, which has led to tuition increases./.

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