Viet Nam News
This can be an option for parents with the means to pay, but is this an option for the ordinary Vietnamese family? The answer to this question is a resounding ‘yes’, it is very possible.
But why would parents even consider overseas university education?
Is higher education in Vietnam inferior in some way? The answer is a definite ‘no’; Vietnamese University education has made great strides particularly during the past decade.
Is higher education in the rest of the developed world superior to that of Việt Nam? Well that generally isn’t the case.
There is now a trend for parents worldwide to send their children overseas. Increasingly parents in the UK, EU, USA, Canada and other countries worldwide send their children overseas for study for various non-academic reasons, including life experience, cross cultural exchange, language proficiency and of course the choice of obtaining the very best education in their children’s given subject.
So how can parents pay for fees?
There are scholarships available to those looking to study abroad but competition is fierce, particularly at undergraduate level. These can be awarded on merit or need and vary in the level of assistance provided.
In the US, universities award about 1,000 scholarships to foreign students each year, ranging from partial scholarships to what’s called a “full-ride”, where all of a student’s tuition fees and expenses are covered.
Some universities in other countries also offer scholarships to international students and students should consult the individual websites of institutions they are interested in attending to find out what, if any, schemes they may be eligible to apply for. It’s also worth searching the databases at InternationalScholarships.com and ScholarshipPortal.eu.
Another route to a scholarship is via education consultants. They typically help students and families select a university, apply for a course and scholarship, apply for a visa and occasionally with follow up once a student arrives in their destination country.
It is well worth contacting the International University Alliance (IUA) which is committed to creating more opportunities for students and inspiring cross-cultural exchange, ultimately leading to better, healthier, and more peaceful, respectful and sustainable communities.
Hà Nội-based PDVL Advisory is another organisation that may be helpful in accessing Scholarships, general advice on overseas higher education and the processes required to apply.
Failing the above, why not simply consider saving regularly now for your children’s future whether they go overseas or stay in Việt Nam.
The good news is that if you plan ahead, you have up to 18 years during which to save a university nest egg. The bad news is that some experts claim that in the near future nothing less than a pot of US$60,000 per year will be enough to see a child through overseas higher education.
The better the interest rate or return you earn, the less you will need to put away per month. If you saved $340 per month over 18 years with an annual return of 5 per cent on your savings, you would generate a pot of around $120,000 (before any costs or tax). The same monthly investment at an annual rate of return of 6 per cent would result in a pot of $132,000 after 18 years.
That’s where good financial advice comes into play. Instead of paying for more than 18 years to achieve your financial goals, it could take less than half that time if invested in the best investment strategy.
So why not think outside the box, consider all educational options for your children including overseas study and start saving now in an efficient savings plan. — VNS
* Brian Spence is Managing Partner of S&P Investments. He has over 35 years of experience in the UK financial services industry as an investment manager, financial planner and M&A specialist. He is a regular contributor to the UK financial press and has a deep understanding of the financial services community. Brian’s column will reflect on all the challenges and opportunities within the Vietnamese market, bringing a fresh perspective to today’s hottest issues. The columnist’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.