The Institute of International Education in the U.S. said in a report released Thursday that though Vietnam still ranked sixth globally in the list of countries and territories sending students to U.S. higher education institutions, the number decreased for the first time in 18 years.
The number of Vietnamese students was down 2.5 percent to 23,777, the report which surveys over 2,900 accredited U.S. higher education institutions that host international students, said.
Of them, 69.8 percent were undergraduates and 15.3 percent were graduate students.
The data was reported as of fall 2019, meaning it does not factor in the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mainland China was the leading economy of origin followed by India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. The rest of the top 10 were Taiwan, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico.
Overall enrollment by international students was down 1.8 percent, the first decrease since 2005-2006.
American education officials did not directly address recent shortfalls, but the cost was cited as a factor, U.S. News & World Report said.
The Institute of International Education also forecast struggles for American universities looking to attract international students next fall due to the pandemic.
The U.S. is now the world’s biggest Covid-19 hotspot with over 12 million infections and 258,333 deaths.
There are also worries over immigration and visa status, according to organizations in the global education sector.
Vietnamese families spend as much as VND3-4 billion a year to send their children abroad to study, Minister of Education and Training Phung Xuan Nha said in 2018.
As of March around 190,000 Vietnamese were studying abroad at all levels, with the top five destinations being Australia, the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and China.
- Over 70% of high school graduates apply for universities
- Vietnamese education lures over US$4 billion foreign investment capital
- Special program organized for ethnic minority female students
- Students at teacher training universities to be supported VND363m a month
- Three Vietnamese universities named among leading global institutions
- Students opt for university instead of vocational training centers
- Vietnamese university makes it into list of leading institutions worldwide
- A Hanoi university listed in QS world university rankings
- Improving Vietnam’s higher education