“On the economic point of view, studying abroad is also a kind of importing services, which has a great benefit is high quality labor resource. Therefore, we should not wonder the reason everybody lets their children go abroad, but the way to bring international studying environment to people who cannot afford for that.” – Dr. Tran Vinh Du – Education Expert shared his though in the Conference “Domestic studying – Why not?” hold by Tuoi Tre News on July 19th 2018.

Participants of the seminar included representatives of the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), national education experts and representatives of international schools and universities in Vietnam. Especially, representing for the education system of Nguyen Hoang Group (NHG), there was participant of the International School of North America (SNA) with Dr. David Burpee – Principal and Ms. Pham Thi Ai Van – parent of SNA pupil. The Conference was very interesting with 2 main contents: Assessments on current studying abroad status and How to develop domestic studying?

Participants included representatives of the MOET, education experts and representatives of international schools and universities.

Abroad or domestic studying?!

According to preliminary statistics, there are about 200 thousand students - Vietnamese students studying abroad, mostly in the United States, Australia, Canada. Meanwhile, the number of international schools in Vietnam is not scarce (about 35 schools and universities).

The question is why parents prefer to sacrifice and take risk to send their children abroad rather than to let them study in international school with the same quality?! Having insights of a mom who has one child studying abroad and another studying in domestic international school, Ms. Ai Van explained: “It’s like when we can buy only one cake from the bakery, but we have not tried any of them before, our decision will depend on which cake looking more tasty and attractive”. 

Ms. Pham Thi Ai Van – SNA parents joined to share her thought in the Conference.

Truly, when thinking of studying abroad, the first image pops up in their mind is that their children’s English will be better; their children will study in an international environment, achieve international certificates; and more importantly, their children will have global living and working skills.

However, almost no one mentions about the downside of this story: children may suffer depression and lose confidence when living in distance from family; children may not find a job when coming back due to the lack of understanding about domestic market and customer insights … So that, despite of a huge expense, time and effort, there is no guarantee for a bright future as they have expected.

After above analysis, domestic studying – get to know the international education; live closely with family, friends; have condition to apply the theory to practice – is really a comprehensive solution.

International schools need to create more attraction

Like the above “buying cake” story, schools and universities in Vietnam less focus on communications and building “brand image”. Parents – students do not know clearly the academic model and curriculum of schools to consider the options. Even the achievements of talented students who have been very successful and win prestigious awards of international schools in Vietnam are not well known.

Therefore, besides providing international studying environment, educators still need to push up communications activities to demonstrate training quality and constantly build trust with parents – students. 

Truong Hoang Thao Nhi, Hoang Khanh Vi and Tran Nguyen Bao Phuong (from left to right) is working on a project in Art class at SNA.

Agree with this point, Mr. Pham Quang Hung – Director of the International Cooperation Department, MOET shared some strategy and activities of the Ministry to verify the quality of international schools in Vietnam and give autonomy in all aspects from admissions, communications to decisions of training majors.

By that way, schools must be more active in their activities: strengthening international cooperation; level up professional knowledge to achieve international-standard certificates and accreditation. When doing these things, domestic education environment will attract not only Vietnamese students, but also regional and international students.

“Studying in international schools in the country is not only a solid platform for students to pursue knowledge in prestigious universities in the world, but also a good condition for students to develop language skills, independent living skills and global thinking. Acquiring these things, no matter graduating from domestic universities, students still have knowledge and ability to look for career opportunities anywhere in the world.” – Dr. David Burpee – SNA Principal emphasized.

Dr. David Burpee – SNA Principal spoke in the Conference.

Closing the Conference, Mr. Pham Quang Hung affirmed that the highest priority of parents when choosing school for children is the great education experience. Studying abroad or in the country has its pros and cons, hence, the point is what children can learn and do in the future.


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