Fall 2017 EducationUSA Community College Fairs

EdUSA CC fair 2017.png

This fall, EducationUSA, i.e., US Mission-Viet Nam through its Embassy in Hanoi and Consulate in HCMC, is organizing a community college fair series in three cities in southern and central Viet Nam.  According to the official description,

The series will offer opportunities to meet students in three major cities where demand for this sector of U.S. higher education is growing. Vietnam is now the 2nd leading country of origin for students at community colleges in the United States and the 6th leading country of origin for international students overall. Registration is open now to all accredited U.S. community colleges.

(As of June 2017, Viet Nam ranks 5th among all sending countries, having displaced Canada in March.  Read this 25 June 2017 VNExpress International article and this 7 July 2017 University World News article for up-to-date information.)

The cities and dates are as follows:

  • HCMC on 3 October
  • Can Tho on 4 October
  • Hue on 6 October

While it has been decreasing in recent years, demand for community colleges (CC) as a pathway to four-year institutions and a Bachelor’s degree remains strong among Vietnamese parents and students, especially in these regions of the country.  According to the latest (June 2017) SEVIS by the Numbers update, 30% of all Vietnamese students in the US are enrolled in a CC while 29.7% are studying at a four-year college or university.  (In 2009/10, 90% of all Vietnamese undergrads started out at a CC.)

may 2017 ed level breakdown VN
June 2017 SEVIS by the Numbers Update

Clearly, the most promising location among the three is HCMC, which is where the majority of CC students are coming from.  There are far fewer students coming from the other two cities because of less ability to pay and a higher visa denial rate.  This fair series is an example of a probable mismatch between US State Department and US community college goals.  The former are focused on outreach as a manifestation of the exercise of soft power while the latter are here to recruit students for their institutions.

MAA 

 

 

Trump is not deterring Vietnamese from studying in US

Here are the introduction and conclusion to my latest (7.7.17) University World News article about the possible impact of political changes in the US, in particular, on young Vietnamese studying overseas.  It includes links to recent articles.  If these excerpts whet your appetite for more, follow this link to read the article in its entirety. 

MAA

INTRODUCTION

photo_4856Vietnam remains a hot country for United States colleges, universities, boarding and day schools interested in international student recruitment. Just as its economy has managed to weather the global storm of the past few years, Vietnamese young people continue to study abroad in large numbers, undeterred by Brexit, the 2016 US presidential election and other cataclysmic, potentially game-changing socio-political events.

In fact, the US is the world’s second-leading host of Vietnamese students – after Japan – with over 30,000 at all levels, mainly in higher education, according to the latest (June 2017) SEVIS by the Numbers quarterly update. However, Japan and the US are an apples and oranges comparison since the latter offers mostly short-term, vocational programmes.

Vietnam displaced Canada as the fifth-leading sending country to the US in March 2017, a position it continues to hold in the latest update.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

Vietnam is defying the odds, as it has in so many respects in the recent past and throughout its long, tumultuous and inspirational history.

The articles above show why US institutions should make Vietnam a priority country for international student recruitment and why they should develop or fine-tune an ethical recruitment strategy in what has become a fiercely competitive market, not only among US institutions but with those coming from countries that have recently discovered Vietnam as a potentially promising recruitment market.

While the recruiting wave will eventually break because of demographic and development-related factors, such as aging of the population and an improvement in the quality of the domestic higher education system for example, demand for overseas study will continue to gain momentum for now, barring unforeseen political and economic factors.

Myanmar: a new frontier for international student recruitment

Since political and economic liberalization, the advent of a multiparty democratic system, and the lifting of economic sanctions, the country has been opening up to the world in grand fashion.

Flag_of_Myanmar_svgThe above quote is from a 7.7.17 PIE News blog post that I co-authored with Deepak Neopane, the founder of City College Yangon and managing director of Academics International, an educational consulting company based in Yangon.

Follow this link to read the post in its entirety.

MAA

Foreigner attacked after traffic incident

anh-tay-bi-danh-2-1498318774213

The video of this incident, which occurred on 23 June in Hanoi, went viral with 2 million views.  Below is a summary from DanTri International.  (Here’s a better version of the video that is linked in the article.)

Some witnesses said that the fight on Tran Khat Chan Street started when the man drove his car over the foreigner’s foot. The foreigner told the driver to stop the car so that he could take his shoe, but the driver did not do. So, the foreigner hit the car mirror. 

The driver then got out of his car and attacked the foreigner.

The two Vietnamese men and the foreigner went to the local police station where police made them apologise to each other. 

Only minor injuries, a heavy dose of adrenaline, and wounded male egos.  All’s well that ends well? 

This is an object lesson in what not to do in this situation.  Here are the dynamics of the scenario in question, which helped to fuel the fires of aggression and violence.  It involved a foreigner and the foreigner’s girlfriend was Vietnamese, who did her level best to keep him out of the fray.  (There is a lot to say about the cultural dynamics of this situation, including masculine identity and perceptions of foreigners, but it transcends the scope of one blog post.  Suffice it to say that a video of two Vietnamese men fighting would probably not have gone viral.)

Here’s the bottom line:  There are no rules to street fights and, chances are, you are not going to win, if you define winning as teaching the other guy a lesson by giving him a good “whupping”, and walking away unscathed.  Chances are good, in fact, that you could end up in the hospital or worse. And while it’s happening, chances are no one is going to help you because they’re afraid, among other reasons.

This incident started with one man, the driver of the car, and the foreigner on the motorbike.  The former started to throw punches.  He was joined by a friend, which means it quickly became two against one.  It could have been a posse against one.  The driver, in addition to throwing punches, including one that landed on the woman’s face, later picked up a brick, after trying to hit the foreigner with his helmet.  It could have been a knife.  No rules, no “fighting fair,” just unrelenting attempts to dominate one’s opponent. 

Fortunately, the police were on hand to ensure a peaceful resolution.  Without their involvement you can let your imagination run wild as to what might have happened.

Advice to foreigners, i.e., foreign men:  Avoid conflict, or if conflicts finds you, walk away.  Be the better man.  Take the high road.  Go home in one piece.  

A US colleague recently asked me whether Viet Nam was a safe country.  The answer, of course, is a resounding yes.  There is very little violent crime.  Most are crimes are those against property, e.g., petty theft that includes drive-by purse and bag snatchings, especially in HCMC.  (Injury can occur but it’s incidental.)

PostscriptVietnamese men arrested for attacking American in Hanoi (27.6.17, VNExpress International)  The plot thickens.  The police obviously had a change of heart.

MAA

NAFSA 2017: Riding the Wave

group pic2
With my co-presenters, Diana Sampson and Stephanie Sieggreen (to my right), after our general session.

It was another rewarding and enjoyable NAFSA annual conference with nearly 10,000 attendees.  My week was filled with meetings with colleagues from the US and many other countries that have targeted Viet Nam as a priority country.  While most are interested in recruiting (more) Vietnamese students, some have other project ideas.  

Riding the Wave

I kicked off conference week with a Viet Nam student recruitment seminar entitled Riding the Wave.  I first organized this free, unofficial, pre-conference seminar last year in Denver because there were no Viet Nam-related workshops or general sessions offered. 

The title is reference to current societal and market conditions, i.e., the interest in overseas study among Vietnamese parents and students that is the result of several factors, including the young median age of the population (30.1), rapid economic development and the concomitant growing ability to pay, and the substandard quality of much of the domestic higher education system, among other reasons. 

The wave will break at some point due to demographic factors, improvements in the quality of Vietnamese higher education, and trends that are difficult to predict for those of us who don’t have a crystal ball.  

I was joined by Phúc (Théodore) Phan, Co-Founder and Instructional Designer, College Scout (CS), who talked about the exciting and cutting-edge work that CS, a Hanoi-based ed-tech startup, is doing to help prepare students for success. 

Keys to Successful Non-Commission-Based Recruitment in Vietnam

room 502AI wrapped up a very busy week by chairing a general session about how to recruit students in Viet Nam without using an education agent.  (Ideally, institutions do both in highly competitive markets like Viet Nam.) 

This session was well-attended in spite of the fact that it was scheduled in the last time slot on the final day of the conference.  Many more would have attended had they not been on their way home.  My only wish is that we had had more time. 

NOTE:  If you’re interested in obtaining a PDF copy of our presentation, you can download it from the conference site or app until mid-August (must be logged in), or contact me.

app session overviewFinally, thanks to my distinguished colleagues, Diana Sampson (Shoreline Community College, WA) and Stephanie Sieggreen (Western Kentucky University) for their outstanding contributions.  It was a pleasure and an honor to work with both of them. 

MAA

In Viet Nam, Good Parenting Equals A Straight-A Kid, Plus an American Degree

Call it love, ambition or obsession, but the only thing most Vietnamese care about is a well-educated child.

good parenting
Photo by Thanh Nguyen, VNExpress International

It’s probably a bit of each.  Parents generally want the best for their children and overseas study, especially in the US, which is the world’s second leading host of Vietnamese students, is seen as one means to that end. 

Of course, there are other stories waiting to be told, for example, about growing numbers of young Vietnamese returning home after studying and, in many cases, working overseas. Many of them are making significant contributions in their fields, sectors, and to Vietnamese society.  There are also the many contributions and accomplishments of those who either choose not, or cannot afford, to study overseas, i.e., the vast majority of Vietnamese.

Follow this link to read the entire 25 June VNExpress International article

 

MAA

Nativism Not Nationalism (!)

uwn masthead

In her 16 June 2017 University World News article US student mobility trends in a global context Rajika Bhandari refers to “the rise of nationalism around the world and what is perceived as a turning inward of many traditional host destinations that have typically attracted large numbers of students and scholars from around the world.”  A turning inward refers to nativism not nationalism.  Ms. Bhandari is not the first colleague to misuse this term nor is she likely to be the last, unfortunately.  Please see these articles for more information.

The turn to nativism hinders international education
Mark Ashwill – 20 January 2017 Issue No: 443

Nativism is defined as “the policy of protecting the interests of native-born or established inhabitants against those of immigrants” and often goes hand in hand with xenophobia. Nativism and nationalism are by no means mutually inclusive.

US nationalism – The elephant in the room
Mark Ashwill – 18 March 2016 Issue No: 405

…nationalism is defined as loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.

MAA