Vietnamese enrollments in Australia declined by 6% from January to October 2020, according to the Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment. Viet Nam ranks fourth among sending countries after China, India, and Nepal. The total number of young Vietnamese at all levels was 23,943, as of October. (The total YOY decrease from 10-19 to 10-20 was a modest 8%, all things considered.)
In contrast, there was a 13.85% decrease in US-bound Vietnamese students from January to September 2020, according to the latest SEVIS by the Numbers update. In spite of having fewer of its students in the US, Viet Nam jumped into 5th place, the result of a decline of 32.48% in Saudi Arabian students. Secondary schools were disproportionately affected by the decrease in Vietnamese students. In January 2020 there were 3,891, which dropped to 2,601 in September, -33% from one school year to the next. This is not surprising, given parent’s concerns about COVID-19 and the age of the students, in addition to financial reasons for some families.
The bottom line is that there is still considerable interest in study in both Australia and the US, which used to regularly trade first and second places as the leading host countries of Vietnamese students before the ascendancy of Japan and Korea. This friendly competition is likely to continue in the post-COVID-19 era.
Shalom (שלום), MAA