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New regulation adjusts limit on foreign investment in education

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Some limitations on foreign investment in education have been removed with the release of a new decree.

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Under the old decree No 73 issued in 2012, foreign invested education establishments can enroll Vietnamese students, but the number of primary and secondary school students must not be higher than 10 percent, and the number of high school students must not be higher than 20 percent of the total number of students. Vietnamese aged below 5 cannot follow foreign curricula.

As a result, Vietnamese students have to queue for their turn to enter some prestigious foreign-invested schools. Some schools have advised parents to apply for Cambodian citizenship for their children so as to be able to enroll in the schools soon.

Foreign investors complain about the complicated procedures they have to follow when setting up new education establishments, regardless of whether it is a branch of foreign language center or a large university.

There are three kinds of licenses they must obtain, an investment, establishment and operation license. It takes time because the licensing must be agreed to by many management agencies.

The awkward situation for foreign investors is that they have to satisfy all requirements in facilities and teaching staff to be able to get a license. However, if they hire teachers when they still don’t have an operation license, the costs will be a burden.

Decree 73 sets high requirements on the qualification of the teaching staff. For foreign language centers, it is difficult to find native speakers who have five years of experience.

New regulation

The Decree 86 which took effect in early August lifted the limit on the number of Vietnamese students in foreign-invested education establishments from 10-20 percent to 50 percent.

Regarding the procedures, they have been simplified, but only for establishments providing short-term training courses. The establishments have to experience two-step procedures – obtaining investment registration licenses and education operation licenses, while other establishments, from nursery schools to universities still have to follow three-step procedures.

The new decree maintains some regulations of the old decree, requiring foreign invested schools to provide compulsory lessons in Vietnam history, geography and Vietnamese language. 

However, the schools now can give lessons in a flexible way and integrate the knowledge into lessons rather than teach in separate subjects.

Universities now have to have 50 percent of total number of lecturers with a doctorate, instead of 35 percent.


Source: VietNamNet

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