Food prices skyrocket, but university tuitions just increase slightly
August 27th, 2011
Most universities and junior colleges have announced the tuition increases for the 2011-2012 academic year. However, contrary to all predictions, the tuitions have increased slightly only.
State owned schools offer reasonable prices
Under the plan on increasing tuitions for higher education by 2015 approved by the government, the ceiling tuition levels applied to state owned schools in the 2011-2012 academic year would be 355,000-455,000 dong a month. The lowest tuition is applied to students of social sciences, economics, law, agriculture and aquaculture majors.
Meanwhile, the ceiling level of 395,000 dong a month will be applied to the students in natural sciences, techniques and technology, sports, arts, hotel and tourism. Especially, medical and pharmaceutical training has the highest tuition level of 455,000 dong a month.
However, the problem is that the Ministry of Education and Training still sets up tuitions based on academic years, while most state owned schools have begun calculating tuitions based on credits. The two different calculation methods have led to different figures about the tuitions students have to pay.
Nguyen Thanh Nam, President of the HCM City University of Technology, said that the tuitions are calculated on the numbers of credits students register. If students register few credits for every academic year, they will have to pay less each year, but their study process will be prolonged to six or seven years. Meanwhile, the students, who register many credits, will be able to shorten the study duration, though they will have to pay bigger money each year.
However, in fact, the total expenses students of the same majors have to pay for their studies remain the same, at 25 million dong for the whole training courses (if students do not have re-test).
Also according to Nam, the average total expenses for a 4-5 year training course at the school are about 30 million dong. The school collects 1.1 million dong only from every student at the beginning of school years, while the students can pay the remaining gradually until the deadline which falls in the middle of the second semester.
Head of the Training Division of the HCM City Forestry and Agriculture University, Tran Dinh Ly, said that the average tuition of the school is 2.4-2.9 million dong per school year. The school now has 52 training majors, while there are three different tuition levels applied to technology, agriculture and forestry, and pedagogical majors.
Non-state schools raise tuitions slightly
In order to attract more students, a lot of non-state schools, including Chu Van An, Dong A Technology, Van Xuan Technology and Ha Hoa Tien Universities, have decided to keep the tuitions unchanged.
Meanwhile, the Dong Do University has raised the tuition slightly by 100,000 dong a month in comparison with the previous school year. Students of the school now have to pay 700-720,000 dong a month, depending on the study branches.
Especially, as many schools find it difficult to enroll students this year, they have decided to lower the tuitions to attract more students. The Bac Ha International University, for example, has decided to reduce the tuition by 3 million dong per year for economics majors to 15 million dong, and by four million dong per year for technical majors. The Huu Nghi Technology and Management has also cut tuitions by 2.5 million dong per year to 8.5 million dong.
Nevertheless, the Thang Long University, which is considered the leasing non-state school and always sets higher tuitions than other non-state schools, still has decided to raise the tuitions. The average tuitions were 15-16.5 million dong a year in 2010, while the figures are 15.5-18.5 million dong this year.
In the south, the tuitions of the Hung Vuong University have been raised from 8 million dong to 12 million dong. Meanwhile, Huflit collects 13,225,000 dong a year.
Explaining the tuition increases, most schools say that they provide high quality training; therefore, they have to spend more money on training. However, what does it mean by “high quality” remains unclear, because the school accreditation remains open in Vietnam.