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Higher Education in Vietnam


Vietnam's higher education system is made up of universities, colleges, and junior colleges. It is estimated that the university student population is over one million. These institutions include those that are public, semi-public, people-founded and private. Most are the responsibility of the country's Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and provinces. MOET provides academic management of the institutions including admissions, the overall structure of curriculums, examinations, and granting of degrees. Getting into a university requires completion of a University Entrance Examination (UEE), which is very competitive. Recent estimates are that close to one million Vietnamese students took the UEE with approximately 20 percent succeeding. Types of DegreesStudies at Vietnam's universities are organized into three stages. The first stage, or undergraduate studies, has two levels. The first level is general higher education, which lasts three years and leads to a Certificate of Higher Education (Bang Tot Nghiep Cao Dang). The second level, specialized higher education, lasts between four and six years following completion of a student's secondary education. This level leads to the Diploma of Higher Education or Bachelor's Degree (Bang Tot Nghiep Dai Hoc). Graduates receive titles related to their specialties, such as Bachelor, Engineer, which is a five year program, Medical Doctor, a six year program), Dentist), Pharmacist, or Lawyer. A second stage of university education is Master's Degree, or Thac si. This is typically awarded after two years study beyond the first stage and after a defence of a thesis. Entrance into master's programs requires completion of a competitive examination and sometimes previous professional experience. The third stage, or Doctorate, involves studies of two to three years beyond a master's program or four years following a first degree. Doctorate studies include at least two years of research leading to a dissertation, which is defended in front of a committee selected by the MOET. During the second year of the PhD program and before being allowed to defend a dissertation students must pass a test named 'minimum knowledge'. International StudentsAbout 3000 foreign students studied in Vietnam in 2007, with almost all coming from East Asian and Pacific countries. Some schools such as the Ho Chi Minh International University and the RMIT International University strive to attract international students. There are many programs taught in English so students from non-English speaking countries may need to pass an English language exam. Degrees earned in Vietnam may not be recognized outside of the country although degrees earned at universities run by foreign universities or that have partnerships with foreign universities are likely to be recognized elsewhere. Various language and culture programs are also available to international students who want to study there. About VietnamVietnam is located south of China on the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. Its population of over 85 million people speak Vietnamese as a first language and are increasingly speaking English as a second language. Starting in 1986, the economy has been transitioning from a state-run, planned ecomony to a market economy with the result that it has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world in recent years. Manufacturing, information technology and high-tech industries are playing an important role in the economy's growth. While poverty is declining, it remains a relatively poor country overall.
Resources Ministry of Education and Training
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism