Why are international schools becoming more and more attractive?

Published : 18/07/2017

In Vietnam, by the end of 2016, there are 309 investment projects in the field of education and training with a registered capital of more than 767 million USD. Investment trend in international schools keeps growing and attracting more and more middle- and upper-class families as it offers their children more opportunities to study in leading international universities in the world.

Responding to the growing demands of the parents, the number of 100% international schools and international bilingual schools increases remarkably despite of the high tuition fee compared to that in both public and private schools with intensive English program. The increasing interest in international schools comes from the standardized child care services, positive learning environments with advanced teaching and learning facilities, high teachers’ quality as required by  international education organizations and, above all, the students’ outcomes. The  knowledge, skills, and qualifications they acquire assure their admission into higher education levels overseas.

Recently, the most popular programmes are the IB program (International Baccalaureate Organization) with the IB certificate and the Cambridge program (of the Cambridge International Examinations - CIE) with IGCSE and A-Level certificates. Both of them are globally and perpetually valid. However, the Cambridge program seems to be preferred in Vietnam and other Asian countries due to its flexibility designed to be taught in accordance with given national curriculum. It also meets the demand of most Asian families who would like to preserve their cultures and languages. The most notable schools in Vietnam include the British International School (BIS) in the 100% international segment and the Vietnam Australian International School (VAS) in the bilingual segment, a member of the Cambridge International School recognized by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). VAS has  constantly expanded its campuses and attracts thousands of students in the annual enrollment.

Regarding the future development of the private education market, Mr. Marcel van Miert – VAS Executive Chairman expresses his positive hope: "Schools in every segment are expanding and improving their services quality in order to provide  parents with more options. The choice is up to the families, considering their finances, the orientation for their children’s education, and the reputation of schools, especially when there are many new schools with little operational experience.  I am confident in the quality and developmental growth at VAS as we have invested more on the school facilities, diversified our extracurricular activities, upgraded our student care services. Especially, we ensure the studying hours of Cambridge subjects at VAS are the highest among the bilingual segment. It is 22 - 32 periods/ week for the students from grades 1-12 (32 periods max for A Level class) but still maintains a reasonable tuition fee in the market."

The bilingual school model that is similar to VAS in term of programmes, but with lower tuition fee and fewer  English periods (from 12 to 20 per week), is growing rapidly.  The increasing of these kind of schools creates more options for parents. However, when come to the final decision, parents’ priority is still to choose the schools which have small class size, more English hours and qualified Vietnamese and expat teachers who are well-trained, certified by repute education organizations. This choice is coming from the expectation of building up a solid foundation for their children to be the best they can be.

(Source : Nhip Cau Dau Tu Newspaper, published on 17th July 2017)