While Viet Nam is still primarily an agent-driven market, growing numbers of students are beginning to bypass education agents and apply directly to educational institutions, especially for certain types of institutions and programs with simpler application procedures. In some cases, more than 50% of all apps are directly from students.
The reasons for this recent trend are increased access to information, both on- and offline, more confidence, and greater sophistication. Given the quality and ethical problems that plague many education agents, the more Vietnamese students (and international students, in general) who apply directly, the better.
There are some students who don’t require the services of an education agent, thereby saving money and sparing both student and parent the potential aggravation of working with dodgy agents. They include academically talented students who have done their homework, so to speak, and know which institutions they want on their short list, as well as those who know exactly which school they want to attend because of their participation in a fair, info session, or based on a recommendation from someone they trust, e.g., a parent, teacher, or friend.
This is an encouraging win-win trend, in my opinion, that should be promoted. It gives students and parents more control over the entire process, eliminates the need to work with an agent, many of whom do not have students’ (and parents’) best interests at heart, and saves admitting institutions the cost of a commission. What’s not to like?