IIE Networker - Spring 2010 - (Page 31)

VIETNAM The View from Vietnam: Perceptions of Prospective International Students By Patricia Chow ACCORDING TO THE Open Doors 2009 Report on International Educational Exchange, Vietnam has the fastest-growing population of international students coming to study at U.S. colleges and universities. Over the past decade, the number of Vietnamese students in U.S. higher education has increased eightfold, from just under 1,600 students in 1998/99 to 12,823 in 2008/09 (fig 1). This increase has taken place largely over the past 3-4 years, with this year’s 46 percent increase following increases of 45 percent, 31 percent and 25 percent the previous three years (during the same four-year period, the average rate of increase for all places of origin ranged from zero to eight percent). These increases have placed Vietnam among the top twenty places of origin of international students in the U.S., beginning in 2006/07 at 20th place, moving to 13th place in 2007/08 and to 9th place in 2008/09, just ahead of Saudi Arabia and below Turkey. Among community colleges, Vietnam is the third most popular place of origin, after South Korea and Japan, and ahead of China and Mexico. In response to this rapid growth, IIE conducted an online survey in Vietnam in March 2009 of over 700 prospective Vietnamese students on behalf of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.1 Students were asked about their preferred study abroad destinations, reasons for studying abroad, major obstacles faced, main sources of information on studying abroad and their impressions of five key host destinations (the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France and Singapore). Key findings include: • The U.S. was the first choice destination for the vast majority of respondents due to the high quality and wide range of academic programs available. • The highest percentage of students reported a favorable impressions of the U.S. compared to the United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and France. • The U.S. is perceived as a technologically advanced country with an excellent higher education system and a wide range of programs and scholarships opportunities. • The U.S. was perceived as an expensive place to study, and cost was cited as the primary obstacle students faced. • Australia and Singapore are attractive second-choice destinations due to lower costs and geographic proximity to Vietnam. Preferred Destinations Students were asked to indicate their first- and second-choice study abroad destinations in two separate open-response questions. The overwhelming first-choice destination cited was the United States. Eighty-two percent of respondents listed the U.S. as their first-choice destination. Australia was the second most popular firstchoice destination, with eight percent of the total, followed by the United Kingdom, with five percent. While students were not given any constraints in the destinations they could list, only 13 different places were listed as first-choice destinations (fig. 2). Australia was the most popular secondchoice destination, with 31 percent of the total, followed by the U.K. (21 percent) and Singapore (14 percent). The U.S. was the fourth most popular second-choice destination, with 10 percent of the total. Approximately 55 percent of the respondents who did not select the U.S. as their first-choice destination did select it as their secondchoice destination, and only 8 percent of respondents did not select the U.S. as either their first- or second-choice destination. Reasons for Studying Abroad The most important reason for studying abroad indicated was “quality or type of academic program.” Eighty-three percent of respondents indicated that this was among their main reasons for wishing to Figure 1: Number of Students from Vietnam in the U.S., 1998/99 - 2008/09 13,000 12,000 11,000 10,000 9,000 8,000 7,000 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 Source: Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange. New York: Institute of International Education. 2008/09

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Spring 2010

IIE Networker - Spring 2010
Message from Allan E. Goodman
IIE Networker University Presidents Interview Series: Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, President, National University of Singapore (NUS)
2010 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards: Best Practices in International Education
U.S.-India Exchange: Ready for a “New Era”?
Using Social Media to Recruit Indian Students Rahul Choudaha, World
Advancing Sustainability: Alcoa Foundation ProgramServes as Catalyst for Greater International Collaboration for Universities
A New Frontier in China for the University of Montana
The View from Vietnam: Perceptions of Prospective
When Meaningful Partnerships Work: Developing World-Class Indonesian Geoscientists
Rising Demand from Southeast Asian Professionals for Tertiary Executive Education Programs: When Quality Matters
Advertisers’ Index
IIE Program Profile

IIE Networker - Spring 2010