Viet Nam Ranks 5th in International Enrollment in 3 Countries

…including Australia, Canada, and the USA!  Those countries also happen to be the world’s leading hosts of international students, albeit in this order:  1)  USA; 2) Australia; and 3) Canada, followed by the UK and Germany.  

intl students australia 3-18

Of the estimated 200,000 Vietnamese students studying overseas, 23,000 are in Australia (PDF download), about 15,000 are in Canada, and 31,613 are in the US.   Japan is the world’s leading host of Vietnamese students with 61,671 in 2017.  This means 131,284, or two-thirds, of all Vietnamese studying overseas are in the top four (4) host countries. 

Peace, MAA




BREXIT & US Election: No Major Short-Term Effects on VN Student Interest

hcmoblogo-newThis is the latest in a series of Diversification Market Reports produced by Hotcourses, the UK’s leading course search company with more than 6,000 course providers.  (Hotcourses was recently acquired by IDP.)

Below are an overview, executive summary, and list of the key takeaways, the most important of which is this:  BREXIT and the US election have not had any major short-term effects on Vietnamese students interest in the two countries.  The results of this survey were presented at the NAFSA 2017 annual conference in Los Angeles.

hotcourses vn trump

This report captures an overview of demand from students in Vietnam, and an
examination of the destinations they are headed to, the programs they are studying,
level of study and other trends and insights. The data in this report is informed by the
Hotcourses Insights Tool which tracks searches across the global Hotcourses websites,
to which there were over 32 million visitors in the past 12 months. 

The data for this report is drawn from the time period January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016.  The data was drawn from a sampling of 1,034,085 Vietnamese students researching 11 prospective destination markets over a 12 month period: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore,
Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States. 

Executive summary

  • Vietnam is a crucial market to engage with for universities looking to diversify
    their recruitment – particularly beyond China and India – gaining increasing
    international attention.
  • Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi are the two Vietnamese cities where the most searches for
    overseas study were performed.
  • Vietnamese students’ top destination countries of interest were the United States
    and Australia, with 33% of Vietnamese researching universities in the United States
    and 27% in Australia.
  • Business and management is the most popular program of interest among
    Vietnamese students for both undergraduate and graduate degree levels.

Key Takeaways

  • BREXIT and the US election have not had any major short-term effects on
    Vietnamese students interest in the two countries.
  • Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi are the two most important cities to travel to on
    international recruitment tours to Vietnam.
  • Business and Management is the top program of interest for both undergraduate
    and graduate level Vietnamese students.
  • Graduate programs in the UK are of high interest to Vietnamese students,
    particularly business and management.
  • USA’s Health and Medicine programs, especially those focused on
    pharmacology and psychology, are of high interest within the Vietnamese
  • Vietnam is a prime diversification market for Canada, as Vietnamese student
    interest there has been growing exponentially over the past year.
  • While interest in Australia as a destination market appears to be on a decline, it
    is still the second most popular destination market for Vietnamese students and
    has potential to rebound in the first half of 2017.

There is one caveat to all of the above:  The results are as of the end of 2016.  A lot of water has flowed under the political bridge in the past seven (7) months in both the US and the UK.  


SJR Excellence Scholarship Recipient Meets Canadian Ambassador

Pham Quynh Anh & Ambassador Chatsis at the Canadian Embassy in Hanoi.

On a recent sunny afternoon in Hanoi, Pham Quynh Anh, who was awarded the SJR Excellence Scholarship, the most generous scholarship ever awarded to a Vietnamese student, had the opportunity to meet with Deborah Chatsis, the Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam.  It was a chance for Ambassador Chatsis to congratulate Quynh Anh on this extraordinary achievement and to wish her well as she embarks upon a life-changing adventure.  At the end of the summer, she will travel across 12 time zones to begin her studies and life at  St. John’s-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg (Manitoba), one of Canada’s leading independent schools. 

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts and in this recent press release, the SJR Excellence Scholarship, funded by a SJR alumnus who has been successful doing business in Vietnam, enables Quynh Anh to complete the 12th grade at SJR and attend any university in the world, all expenses paid. 

I’m grateful to Ambassador Chatsis for taking time out of her busy schedule to meet with us and chat with Quynh Anh. 


Hai Duong Student Awarded The SJR Excellence Scholarship

This is a press release about the most generous scholarship ever offered to a Vietnamese student.  Follow this link to read the Vietnamese version (Học bổng Tài năng SJR đã tìm ra người thắng cuộc). 


Hai Duong Student Awarded The SJR Excellence Scholarship

Hanoi — Capstone Vietnam is pleased to announce that St. John’s-Ravenscourt School (SJR), one of Canada’s leading independent schools, has awarded the The SJR Excellence Scholarship to Pham Quynh Anh, a 12-grade student at the Nguyen Trai Specialized Senior High School in Hai Duong (northern Vietnam). 

“I feel very lucky to have been awarded such a great scholarship to study at a wonderful school like SJR, a school that has long been recognized for excellence in education and a strong foundation for many students to become successful people in life. On this occasion, I want to express my gratitude to Capstone Vietnam, teachers at SJR and especially the school alumnus who sponsors this scholarship,” said Quynh Anh.

Quynh Anh was selected from among a large number of applicants.  The rigorous screening process, which included English testing and a group discussion with other semifinalists at the Capstone Vietnam office in Hanoi, among other activities, concluded with a Skype interview with the SJR scholarship committee. 

Semifinalists in Hanoi and Dr. Ashwill at Capstone Vietnam’s office


“We are thrilled to offer this life changing scholarship to a most deserving candidate,” said Lisa Kachulak-Babey, Director of Admissions & Communications.  “Among a group of outstanding applicants, Anh set herself apart with her enthusiasm and preparation. Anh is an extraordinary student and we are confident she will be an excellent addition to our school,” she added. 

About the Scholarship

“The SJR Excellence Scholarship is the most extraordinary scholarship opportunity ever offered to a Vietnamese student,” noted Dr. Mark A. Ashwill, Managing Director of Capstone Vietnam.  The scholarship, which is based on academic excellence, community involvement and demonstrated financial need, covers up to two (2) years of study at St. John’s-Ravenscourt School and four (4) years of undergraduate study at any university in the world.  The donor is an alumnus of SJR who has been successful doing business in Vietnam.  He wishes to give back and award this generous long-term scholarship to a qualified and deserving Vietnamese student.

About St. John’s-Ravenscourt School

Founded in 1820 and locate located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, St. John’s-Ravenscourt School is a university-preparatory school for boys and girls. It offers a day program for students in Kindergarten–Grade 12 and boarding for students in Grades 8–12. As one of Canada’s leading independent schools, SJR has a consistent record of achievement. To date, SJR’s debating and public speaking program has an unprecedented record of 14 out of 25 World Championships. The school has produced 18 Rhodes scholars and numerous athletes who have competed at national and international levels, including the Olympics. SJR’s graduates receive top scholarships and go on to study in prestigious universities around the world.

International Boarding School Fair in Hanoi

Taping of “Study Abroad Window” TV Show About Boarding Schools

Interest in and the concomitant ability to pay for a boarding school education has been on the rise in recent years in Vietnam.  For parents who can afford it (total annual cost can be as high as $50,000) boarding schools represent a great opportunity for their children to obtain a quality education that will prepare them for admission to some of the top colleges and universities in the US and for life.

This November, for the first time ever, Linden Boarding Schools – in association with Capstone Vietnam, a Hanoi-based human resource development company – is organizing an international boarding school fair in Hanoi. (Disclosure:  I’m managing director of Capstone Vietnam.) 

Fair date: 17 November
Fair time: 4:00 – 8:00 pm
Location: The Melia Hotel, 3rd Floor Ballroom

The fair gives a select group of parents and their children an opportunity to meet, in person, admissions representatives who are thoroughly familiar with the details of their schools’ curriculum, facilities, arts and athletic programs, as well as the history and overall feel of the campus and its students.

Boarding school representatives from the following states and provinces will be at the fair:  California, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, and Virginia, as well as British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

The Hanoi fair is part of a 13-19 November Asia Tour that includes Kazakhstan (Astana), Korea (Seoul), and the Philippines (Manila), in addition to Vietnam.  The trip to Hanoi will include a networking event with prescreened agents. 

A word about the above photo.  This show was taped in June and will be broadcast in early November.  From left to right:  Ha Quyen, the host of HTV’s  popular Study Abroad Window (Cửa Sổ Du Học) program, Dinh Hien Khanh (Jessie), a sophomore at St. Andrew’s School (Delaware, USA),  John Williamson, Owner and Executive Director of Linden Boarding Schools, and Nguyen Do Ha Giang (Jill), an alumna of Verde Valley School (Arizona, USA) and a freshman at Hendrix College in Arkansas.

Vietnamese Student Visa Applications to Australia Drop by 31%

A Guest Post By Justin Birch

Australia has enjoyed its status as the number one destination for Vietnamese university students but it shouldn’t get too comfortable.  A recent report released by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship reveals that offshore applications from Vietnamese students dropped by 31%.  This decrease is not the largest, however, with India’s applications having dropped by a staggering 62.9%, but it is second only to China as a cause for concern.  Despite the enormous difference in population size, India accounts for only 1% more of the total number of student visa applicants than Vietnam.  While the market for Indian students in Australia has been generally soft, Vietnam has been a solid and reliable partner.  The recent drop reflects a string of negative developments that have tarnished Australia’s luster among Vietnamese students.

The highly-publicized violence against racial and ethnic minorities and students in recent years has caused significant damage to Australia’s public image and its reputation as a welcoming place for foreign students. While the government has claimed that many of the acts of violence were random, the severe beating of Vu Ngoc Minh, a 19-year-old student attending Deakin University, still remains fresh in the minds of many.  Among the many are Vietnamese parents, who choose where they would like to send their children to college.

The greatest factor have probably been the changes in Australian visa application criteria.  They are not only more restrictive and demanding, they have also been confusing for many and have discouraged applications.  If Australia were the only option for Vietnamese students, these recent events may not have had such a negative impact.  However, Canada offers excellent and affordable universities, and benefits from a solid reputation for its multiculturalism and treatment of international visitors and immigrants.  The US is also a popular destination but it has a much lower approval rate for student visa applications and higher costs. 

Australia’s close proximity, affordability, and familiarity for Vietnamese students will continue to give it key advantages in competing for their tuition dollars.  At the same time, those students will also have access to a growing number of alternatives that could continue to undermine Australia’s position and eventually cause it to lose its dominance altogether unless government policies change to once again make Australia a more attractive destination.

Bio:  Justin Birch wanted to be a high school teacher, and then a college professor, before encountering the difficulties of graduate school and professional academia. Now, as a writer and editor, he works to promote the quality and availability of undergraduate education in America.  Justin is a writer for Online Schools and can be reached at