Below is a PPT slide that I used in a recent presentation at the NAFSA annual conference in Houston, TX entitled Beyond Education Agents: An Introduction to Diversifying International Student Recruitment Strategy. The slide presents a comparison of the top ten sending countries, according to the latest (March 2012) quarterly update from the US Department of Homeland Security, their 2011 GDP and their ranking in that category. (SEVIS data include students enrolled at all levels.) Given Vietnam’s recent history (e.g., war, poverty, isolation), the fact that it ranks 8th among all countries sending students to the US is an extraordinary achievement.
As you can see, Vietnam jumps off of the screen with a GDP of $299 billion and a world ranking of 43rd, making it by far the poorest country among its peers. These statistics reveal the following:
- the cultural value of education;
- the importance of making significant investments in education both in Vietnam and abroad;
- the disproportionate amount of income that Vietnamese parents spend on their children’s education; and
- the positive prospects for continued growth.