Universities’ reliance on fees impedes access – Expert

Tuition fees make up most of Vietnamese universities’ total income, a stark contrast from other universities in the world, where state budgets play the largest role, reports Duong Tam for VNExpress.

Vietnam is among the group of countries with the lowest state budget for higher education. According to the Ministry of Finance, Vietnam's state budget for higher education in 2020 was less than VND17 trillion (US$709 million), accounting for 0.27% of the GDP. However, the actual spending was only about 0.18% of GDP, Hoang Minh Son, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Vietnam, said last year.

Governmental budget for higher education is very limited, said Tran Xuan Nhi, vice-president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Vietnam, and former Deputy Minister of Education and Training. “Universities have to charge higher tuition fees to survive, despite knowing their mismatch with people’s living standards,” said Nhi, adding that higher tuition fees cause inequality in education, making it difficult for low-income people to access higher education, thereby affecting the educational quality and hindering economic development.
Full report on the VNExpress site