Education System in Vietnam

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Category: Study Destinations
Posted on September 28, 2019
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In Vietnam, the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) is responsible for the education sector. The main aim of education in Vietnam is to improve knowledge of the people, to train quality human resources, and to promote and to develop talent. 

Article 44 of Vietnam’s Education Law mentions four types of educational establishments in the country. These are:

· Public Education

These establishments are founded and supervised by the State. The State decides its administrators and chooses the staff quota. The State looks after the infrastructure and the funds for these establishments.

· Semi-public Education 

These establishments are established by the State based on mobilizing organizations and individuals in the society to invest in infrastructure jointly.

· People-founded Education 

In this, the social or economic organizations look for permission from the State to establish an institution with non-State budget capital.

· Private Education

 Individuals or groups of individuals apply for approval from the State to set up and invest in the institution by themselves.

· Semi-public education 

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

The education system in Vietnam has different levels. These are:

· Pre-school

· Primary Schools

· Secondary Schools

· High Schools

· Higher Education

Let’s talk about these levels in details

 Pre- School

Pre-schools in the country are not compulsory. They admit children ranging from the age of 18 months to 5 years. The children who are 4-5 year children learn the alphabets and some basic arithmetic. The pre-school can be broadly divided in to:

· Nursery (3 months- 3 years)

These are the childcare centers.

· Kindergarten (3-5 years)

Here kids are taught how to sing, dance, draw and do some simple activities by themselves. Here students learn letters and simple math. English is also part of their curriculum. The kids also learn about colors, shapes, numbers, etc.

· General training (6 years)

It is the official beginning of education for the children. A classroom for general training consists of around 30-40 students, with a class monitor, 2-3 sub monitors and a teacher.

Primary School/ trường mầm non (6-11 years)

Education at this level lasts for five years and is compulsory for all children in Vietnam. It has two phases based on the curriculum:

· Phase I: this includes grades from 1st- 3rd, and there are six subjects. These subjects are language (Vietnamese), Math, Morality, Nature and Society, Arts, and Physical Education.

· Phase II: This phase includes grade 4 and 5 and has nine subjects. These subjects are language (Vietnamese), math, morality, science, history, geography, basic techniques, music, arts, and physical education. 

Secondary Schools

 Lower secondary school (trung học cơ sở) 

It comprises of 6th to 9th grade. This level is standardized throughout the country, except in some of the remote provinces, where they want to popularize and standardize middle education within the next few years. Intermediate Education is not compulsory in Vietnam. The subject to be studied during this level includes:

  • Language (Vietnamese)
  • Math
  • Biology
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • History
  • Geography
  • Civics
  • Foreign languages (English or French)
  • Physical Education
  • Technology (Home economics, agriculture/forestry, aquaculture, Industry, etc.)
  • Art and music

At the end of secondary school, students go through the exams that access the proficiency of the students. It is, in a way an entrance exam for the High School.

High Schools

It lasts for three years, i.e., 10th to 12th grade. During this level, the focus is on the subjects which they major in and more toward their career. The subject during this level includes:

· Math

· Literature

· Foreign language (English/ French/ German/ Chinese/ Japanese/ Russian)

· Natural Sciences (physics, chemistry, and biology)

· Social Sciences (history, geography, and civics) 

The first three papers are mandatory for the students. Apart from these three papers, students have to choose the fourth paper between natural science and social sciences. 

All the students must give the National High School Graduation Examination (Kỳ thi Trung học phổ thông quốc gia).  This exam is organized by the Ministry of Education and Training, at the end of 12th grade to get the High School Graduation Certificate (Bằng tốt nghiệp Trung học phổ thông). But before this, the students have to give the regular exams at the end of the term.

Higher Education

The higher education in Vietnam last from four to six years. The first two years, it is a general program curriculum. Then one begins to study the specialized subjects. After graduation, students get a degree of bachelor in engineering, architect or medicine. No matter what the majority is, students should take part in the subject related to the national defense and security. Recently, the number of international students in Vietnam have increased. Most of the students come from countries like Canada, Australia, Korea, and France. These international students generally opt for the training programs held jointly by the Vietnamese universities and international universities. These training programs have not only modern infrastructure but also high-quality teachers. 

Some of the top universities in Vietnam education system are:

  • Can Tho University (former Can Tho Institute)
  • The University of Agriculture and Forestry, Ho Chi Minh city 
  • Hanoi University of Agriculture
  •  Le Qui Don Technical University/ Military University of Science and Technology (Mi-tech) in Hanoi
  •  Hanoi Open University
  •  Hue University
  • Thai Nguyen University
  • University of Da Nang
  • Vietnam National University, Hanoi
  • Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh city

Besides these, there are several international universities, such as:

  • British University Vietnam (Hanoi)
  •  Eastern International University
  •  PSB College (Ho Chi Minh City)
  •  Vietnam – German University
  •  Universite Sciences Et Des Technologies De Hanoi- USTH
  •  FPT-Greenwich (Hanoi)

School Timings

In Vietnam, school timing is from 7 am to 5 pm, from Monday to Friday. The session starts in September and ends in May.

School Fees

Public Schools

At the primary level, there are no tuition fees for the students. It is to encourage children to go to school. The students at other levels have to pay a fee monthly, that includes the lunch services also. The monthly fee structure at different levels:

  • Nursery: VND 200,000
  • Kindergarten: VND 160,000
  • Secondary: VND 100,000
  • High School: 120,000
  • Higher Education: ranges from VND 5,000,000 to VND 51,000,000 per year.

The tuition fee in private schools varies for each school. Students studying in private schools pay more than public schools.

Education has always been a crucial and is the basis for the successful future. Vietnam has arranged many innovations to update and upgrade the educational quality.

I hope this was informative enough and will guide you to opt for the excellent opportunities available in the country.

All the best.


Saumya Gusain
Saumya Gusain

A history student with postgraduate in archaeology and heritage management, gave me a good experience in field of research and writing. Avid reader, loves to explore new places. Baking cakes and breads are my hobby. Mother of four year old who takes most of my time..

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