Here’s an informative article from the September 2019 issue of Vietnam Economic Times about the growth of private education in Viet Nam. The introductory paragraph should whet your appetite for more, assuming you have at least a casual interest in this topic.
The International School @ ParkCity Hanoi (ISPH) will officially welcome hundreds of students to study at its new 2.5-ha facility in September. “We are here in Hanoi to meet the educational needs of Hanoi residents, both Vietnamese and expats,” Mr. Pham Duc Trung Kien, a private equity investor and Board Member of ISPH, told VET. “There are many great success stories in Vietnam’s education sector for both founders and investors. So I am upbeat about investing in the country.”
These schools are the path of least resistance for colleagues who want to promote their institutions to overseas-bound students, including Vietnamese and expats. For example, they tend to have guidance counselors who are fluent in English, which facilitates communication and there is little to no bureaucratic red tape associated with a visit.
The reality, however, is that most of the students in Viet Nam who are planning to study overseas are Vietnamese enrolled in local public and private schools. I would estimate that the national breakdown is 90% or more from Vietnamese schools. (This is just an educated guess.)
Access to Vietnamese schools is more problematic, in some cities more than others, because of local rules and regulations. Foreigners need a permit and schools have been inundated with requests from colleagues and education companies, all of whom are promoting institutions and programs.
Since the schools’ primary mission is education, outside visits are a much lower priority in terms of staff resources and valuable teaching time. Unless you know someone at a particular school, it’s very difficult to simply send someone you don’t know (and who doesn’t know you) an email and expect a positive outcome yet alone a response.
In conclusion, while it’s worth visiting selected international schools, after determining your institution has what their students are looking for, e.g., many welcome the more selective schools, for example, you shouldn’t put too many of your outreach eggs in the international school basket, simply because they’re easier to gain access to. It could end up being a waste of your precious time and travel/marketing funds.
Yes, dear readers, there is a Bill Gates School (BGS) in Hanoi, which consists of a kindergarten and an elementary school. I saw an ad in my neighborhood and thought I’d check it out. Perhaps the founders were inspired by several visits to the City of Peace by the Man Himself and his Microsoft success story. Or perhaps it’s example of honor by association. Build it, name it after one of the most famous and respected people (Vietnamese or foreign) in Vietnam and they will enroll.
The website, a bit sparse in both languages and obviously still under construction, features dance aerobics and martial arts performances by BGS students on the occasion of the 2011 International Women’s Day, a “Bill Gates TV” corner and a FAQ section with answers to these questions:
What is the climate like in Vietnam? It is safe to travel Vietnam? When is the best time to travel Vietnam? What currency your prices are in?
Can you name a school or any other institution after a living person without his/her permission? Just wondering. 🙂 P.S.: I’m checking with Mr. Gates about this and will let you know what I hear…