Universities urged to attract more foreign students hinh anh 1A class at the Vietnam National University (VNU) Hanoi. It is the university with the largest number of foreign students in Vietnam. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Van Phuc has urged Vietnamese universities to improve quality of their programmes and beef up international cooperation to attract more foreign students.

He made the statement during a conference reviewing the training and management of foreign students in Vietnam from 2016 – 2021 and chalking out plans for the 2022 – 2030 period, held in Hanoi on August 19.

Over 45,000 foreign students from 102 countries and territories enrolled in 155 Vietnamese universities between 2016 and 2021, according to a report by the Ministry of Education and Training’s International Cooperation Department. Of the total student number, 26.6% were offered scholarships under agreements between the Government of Vietnam and foreign governments.

Annually, some 4,000 – 6,000 foreign students come to Vietnam to study. The highest number was reported in 2019 with the total reaching 6,300. The figure dropped to just around 3,000 in 2020 and 2021 due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A majority of the foreign students attended undergraduate and short-term courses, while very few studied post-graduate and PhD ones. Nearly 80% of the students were from Laos and Cambodia. But as a result of growing relations with the Republic of Korea, China, France and Japan, the number of students from these countries in Vietnam is on a rise.

The Vietnam National University (VNU) Hanoi attracted the largest foreign enrollment, with more than 1,000 from 74 countries and territories. It is followed by the VNU Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi University, Hue University, Thai Nguyen University, and Da Nang University.

Deputy Minister Phuc asked the Ministry of Education and Training to enhance regulatory framework on the training and management of foreign students in Vietnam. He also expected the ministry and Vietnamese universities to ramp up signing of international agreements on student exchange to welcome more foreigners to study in the country./.