On September 15, the Ministry of Education and Training held a Conference called "Cooperation and Investment Opportunities in Education 2022." At the conference, AISVN's representative shared that delivering the IB Continuum programme requires the school to have a healthy financial potential and be loyal to its philosophy of creating global citizens who sustain their identities.
At the conference, Deputy Minister of Education and Training (MOET) Associate Professor Nguyen Van Phuc said that Vietnam currently has more than 400 international training programs offered at 44 higher education institutions, including five foreign-invested higher education institutions. Over 170 foreign-invested preschools and grade schools have been established throughout the country. More than 200 foreign-invested institutions provide short courses and professional training, significantly improving languages and information technologies among students, officials, Vietnamese businesses, and employees. This robust growth has brought about an increase in foreign investment in Vietnam.
In the context of internationalization, education has become a global trend, forcing Vietnam to further promote cooperation and investment with foreign countries in education. Vietnam's policy on cooperation and investment in education has been altered to attract investment in education and training. For instance, American International School Vietnam (AISVN), which meets international standards, is located on a 7-hectare-plot in Nha Be District, Ho Chi Minh City, with a total investment of VND5,022 billion (over US$212 million); providing an innovative learning environment for up to 3,000 students.
Mr. Barry Sutherland, AISVN Head of School, said that AISVN was established in 2006, being a private, coeducational institution for students from Early Years to Grade 12. Alongside classrooms with modern equipment, the school also features multiple facilities, including outdoor playgrounds and a football pitch of over 20,000 square meters (sqm), three indoor multi-purpose sports complexes of 5,000 sqm, a four-season swimming pool, two libraries covering 2,700 sqm with 50,000 books that include prints and electronic resources, music, drama, dance, art studios. In 2022, the school will put into operation a 1,100-seat-theater with innovative stage equipment; the new highlight will be ready for the Performing Arts programs at the school and further facilitate students' interaction with international schools from all around the world. The uniqueness of AISVN is that our curriculum complies with the International Baccalaureate (IB) Continuum framework and allows Vietnamese students to sustain their identity through learning the Vietnamese language (integrated with the combination of the three subjects: Literature, History, and Geography), following MOET's program.
According to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's latest report, Vietnam has recently recorded 605 projects of foreign cooperation and investment in education with a total investment capital of over $4.57 billion. Many of these are located in the two big cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, accounting for 91.23% of the total registered capital. In particular, Ho Chi Minh City holds 250 projects with a total investment of almost $4 billion (approximately equivalent to 86% of the total investment capital), while Hanoi has 239 projects, accounting for 5.14% of total investment capital; coming last is Da Nang with 30 projects.
Mr. Nguyen Tien Dung, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation (under the MOET), emphasized that the above investment attraction rate is still far from the Government's target of 16% applicable for the non-public education sector in Vietnam by 2025. Therefore, representatives from Quang Ninh and Da Nang proposed many preferential policies on property acquisition, tax incentives, fee waivers, paperwork reduction, etc., to encourage investments from educational institutions. These regions have already assembled land banks for investment in education.
From the investor's perspective, Mr. Barry Sutherland shared that the school has built an investment plan to expand the AISVN system to big cities, i.e., Ha Noi, Da Nang, and Can Tho. AISVN will also collaborate and transfer its model of integrated Vietnamese subjects in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Continuum programme. He added that the institution's leader must have good intentions and a broad vision to formulate a well-trained workforce that fulfills the economy's rigorous requirements. To successfully scaffold an education following the IB framework, AISVN must also have a healthy financial potential and be loyal to its philosophy of creating global citizens who sustain their identities. Through the journey of 16 years and above, AISVN is proud that many of our graduates are among the elite personnel contributing to Vietnam and the world's development.
At the conference, many other investors suggested that provinces and the MOET should create a friendly environment and reserve a land bank to attract investment in education. In addition, local authorities should prepare a portfolio of educational projects that fit their needs so that investors can conveniently consider the venture plan's compatibility. Business owners also expect a paperwork reduction in granting certificates of investment, authorizing education, and supporting local non-state institutions; these efforts will bring an enormous attraction for investors to power educational projects with confidence.
"With a sufficient and encouraging legal framework and a huge demand for high-quality curriculum, education investment in Vietnam is considered highly returnable. Notwithstanding, the investors who want to succeed in the industry are advised to be constantly aware of the effective lawsuits and continuously research regions' developmental plans to accordingly prepare and propose highly potential investments."Said Mr. Nguyen Tien Dung.