I placed a gentleman’s bet with myself that the number of young Vietnamese studying in Canada would top 20,000 last year. Based on the latest statistics for 2018 released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, it looks like I won, much to the dismay of Canada’s main friendly competitor for Vietnamese students, the United States of America.
According to the August 2018 SEVIS by the Numbers update, Viet Nam once again ranks 5th among places of origin with 29,788 active students at all levels and in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, inching past Canada, which had displaced it in June 2018. (One always has to take summer statistics with a grain of salt, since there’s always a dip that coincides with the end of the academic year.)
That’s the good news in these troubled times. The bad news is that the number of student visas issued in FY18, which ended on 30 September 2018, was down from last year. (I’ll provide more information in a forthcoming blog post.)
My ballpark estimate is a 5-6% decrease, which is line with the decrease in overall numbers. This assumes that the US Mission in Viet Nam (Embassy in Hanoi and Consulate in HCMC) issued the same number of F-1s in September 2018 that it did in the same month last year. That information will be out soon.
Keep in mind that there were 31,389 young Vietnamese studying in the US, as of December 2017. This means that there are now 1,601 fewer students from Viet Nam, a 5.1% decrease. One obvious reason is the shift to Canada, which hosted nearly 15,000 Vietnamese students last year and recorded an unprecedented one-year increase of 89%.
Postscript: There are currently 27,061 young Vietnamese studying in South Korea, which means the top five host countries for Vietnamese students worldwide are 1) Japan (61,671, 2017); 2) the USA (29,788, 8-18); 3) South Korea (27,061, 4-18); 4) Australia (22,565, 7-18); and 5) Canada (14,095, 2017). This means that there are 155,180 in the top five countries alone, 57% of them in East Asia.
This week, Capstone Vietnam, a full-service educational consulting company that I co-founded in 2009 and of which I am managing director, celebrated its 9th birthday. It has been a helluva ride, one I’ve found to be deeply rewarding on many levels.
As I mentioned to a colleague the other day, the best situation is when you are able to exploit your own labor rather than have to sell it to someone else and allow them to exploit it (you), to paraphrase Karl Marx. More about that in this 2017 interview.
Looking forward to celebrating our 10th anniversary and 10 years of Reaching New Heights in September 2019!
This matter-of-fact assertion does not (and should not) come as a surprise to US colleagues who recruit internationally. Here’s a recent story that inspired this post, so to speak, plus a heartfelt appeal.
I noticed that a number of students had applied to, been admitted by, and received visas to attend a particular school in the US. This interest was the result of a couple of public events and, of course, what the school has to offer, including solid academics and attractive scholarships for qualified and deserving students.
Amazingly, there would have been one more student but she withdrew her application because of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on 14 February 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Her parents decided not to send her to study in the US. (Maybe the USA’s loss is Canada’s gain, in this case?) So, yes, safety, as an essential element of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, is a primary concern among parents, as it is for all of us. The writing is on the recruitment wall and those of us who help international students study in the US ignore it at our collective peril.
While the number of young Vietnamese studying in the US is still healthy, these cases give one pause. You might say that this one student is insignificant because there were 31,613 Vietnamese students in the US, as of March 2018, but there are signs that others are following suit. For example, there are about 15,000 Vietnamese students in Canada, nearly half as many as there are in the US, a country with nine times the population and thousands more educational institutions.
Remarkably, Vietnamese students had the highest percentage increase in 2017 at 89%, making Viet Nam the fastest growing market in the country. Canada is now a top five host country for Vietnamese students, after Japan, the USA, and Australia, followed by China.
While US education, both secondary and postsecondary, is still a brand, it no longer sells itself. Current news, e.g., the mass shooting du jour, a relatively high student visa denial rate, the latest policy announcement to require social media information from all visa applicants for the past five (5) years, the latest missile strike, and a roiling cauldron of perceptions (and misperceptions) can have a decisive impact on where a young person studies.
Do You Have Any I HEART Vietnamese Students Stories?
I’ve heard stories from many colleagues about how much they value and appreciate Vietnamese students, not only for the financial contributions they make to their host institution and the communities in which they are located, but their academic performance, their integration into the campus community, their leadership qualities, and their positive attitude.
I would like ask those of you who have worked with Vietnamese students and have such a story share it with me in a 750-word essay, including photos and quotes, if possible. I will take some of these essays and incorporate material into an article about Vietnamese students. I would also like to translate some into Vietnamese and share them widely. By doing this, you will be helping to promote study in the USA in Viet Nam and, indirectly, promoting your institution. Now more than ever is the time to show them (more) love.
Please contact me at markashwill[AT]capstonevietnam.com, if you’re interested in contributing an essay.
…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.
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.
This 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.
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.
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.
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 market.
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.