Allo' Expat Vietnam - Connecting Expats in Vietnam
Main Homepage
Allo' Expat Vietnam Logo

Subscribe to Allo' Expat Newsletter

   Information Center Vietnam
Vietnam General Information
History of Vietnam
Vietnam Culture
Vietnam Cuisine
Vietnam Geography
Vietnam Population
Vietnam Government
Vietnam Economy
Vietnam Communications
Vietnam Transportations
Vietnam Military
Vietnam Transnational Issues
Vietnam People, Languages & Religions
Vietnam Education
Vietnam Environment Issues
Vietnam Flora & Fauna
Vietnam Healthcare
Vietnam Expatriates Handbook
Vietnam and Foreign Government
Vietnam General Listings
Vietnam Useful Tips
Vietnam Education & Medical
Vietnam Travel & Tourism Info
Vietnam Lifestyle & Leisure
Vietnam Business Matters
  Sponsored Links

Check our Rates

Education in Vietnam


Education in Vietnam is divided into five levels:

• preschool;
• primary school;
• secondary school;
• high school;
• higher education.

Formal education consists of 12 years of basic education. Basic education consists of five years of primary education, four years of intermediate education, and three years of secondary education. The majority of basic education students are enrolled on a half-day basis.

The main educational goal in Vietnam is improving people’s general knowledge, training quality human resources and nurturing and fostering talent. With one of the highest GDP growth rates in Asia, Vietnam is currently trying to overhaul its education system, with a view to preparing students for the increasing role of English as the language of business, and the importance of internationalising the education system to maintain the rapid economic growth of the last two decades.

Types of Schools

There are four types of schools:

• public education establishments: established and monitored by the State; the State also nominates their administrators and decides staff quota; the State invests in infrastructure and allocates funding for their regular spending tasks;
• semi-public educational establishments: set up by the State on the basis of mobilising organisations and individuals in the society to jointly invest in infrastructure;
• people-founded educational establishments: social or economic organisations apply for permission from the State to set up an institution with non-State budget capital;
• private educational establishments: individuals or groups of individuals apply for permission from the State to set up and invest in the institution by themselves.

The semi-public, people-founded and private educational establishments are referred collectively to as non-public educational establishments.

Pre Primary Education

Public kindergartens usually admit children ranging from 18 months to five years of age. Sometimes, four- or five-year-old children are taught the alphabet and basic arithmetic. This level of education is not compulsory and tends to be popular in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Can Tho and Vung Tau.

Primary Education

Children normally start primary education at the age of six. Education at this level lasts for five years and is compulsory for all children. The country's literacy rate is over 90%. The renovated primary education curriculum in Vietnam is divided into two phases as follows:

• Phase 1 includes Grades 1, 2 and 3 with six subjects: Vietnamese Language, Mathematics, Morality, Nature and Society, Arts and Physical Education;
• Phase 2 includes Grades 4 and 5 with nine subjects: Vietnamese Language, Mathematics, Morality, Science, History, Geography, Basic Techniques, Music, Arts and Physical Education.

Secondary Education

Lower secondary school includes Grades 6 to 9. Until its abolition in 2006, students had to pass the Intermediate Graduation Examination (IGE) presented by the local Department of Education and Training to graduate. This educational level is homogeneous throughout most of the country, except in very remote provinces, which expect to popularise and standardise middle education within the next few years. Intermediate education is not compulsory in Vietnam.

The Lower Secondary Education’s weekly schedule includes the following subjects and activities: Vietnamese Language, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, History, Geography, Civics, Foreign Language, Physical Education, Technology, Art, Music, Optional Subjects, Class Activities and School Activities, Vocational-oriented activities (three periods per month in Grade 9) and Extra-curricular activities (four periods per month in all grades).

Higher secondary education consists of Grades 10 to 12. The IGE is a prerequisite entrance examination for secondary schooling. The IGE score determines the schools at which students are able to enrol. The higher the score, the more prestigious the school. All subjects are compulsory for students.

At the start of higher secondary school, students can enrol in Specialist Classes if they pass the class entrance exam, which usually consists of a Mathematics exam, a Literature exam, and an exam of the subject that the student wants to specialise in. Students enrolled in these programs have a heavier workload than regular secondary school students. The workload varies from school to school, but Grade 11 students are generally expected to study Grade 12 courses concurrently. Other courses include university-level courses. Some schools go as far as requiring their students to finish secondary school by the end of Grade 10. Only prestigious schools offer these classes, and they have yet to be standardised.

All students in Vietnam are required to take the national Leaving Examination at the end of Grade 12 to get a diploma. The Leaving Examination is administered by the Ministry of Education & Training. Students still have to pass their regular end-of-term examinations, along with passing the Leaving Examination.

Higher Education

University entrance is based on the scores achieved in the entrance examination. High school graduates need high scores to be admitted to universities. Securing a place in a public university is considered a major step towards a successful career, especially for those from rural areas or disadvantaged families. The pressure on the candidates therefore remains very high, despite the measures taken to reduce the importance of these exams.

There are three types of higher education institutions:

• "Đại học" (University), which is a multidisciplinary institution offering various fields of study and which has research capacities – five major multidisciplinary universities in Vietnam are Vietnam National University, Hanoi; Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City; Huế University; University of Da Nang; and Thai Nguyen University;
• "Trường Đại học" (Senior college), which is more narrowly focused in its curriculum, sometimes on a single study area;
• "Học viện" (Institute), which is also narrowly focused in terms of study area, but which may also have a specialised research capacity.

In addition, there are junior college or community colleges, professional secondary schools, and vocational schools which offer degrees or certificates, after courses lasting from a few months to two years.

The presence of foreign universities is increasing. Universities such as RMIT and University of Hawaii offer degrees in fields such as business, English as a Second Language and Information Technology. Running a foreign education system in Vietnam is challenging. Quality control and affordability are key issues, as well as red tape.





copyrights ©
2019 | Policy