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Recruiting Intelligence

Yes, You Should be in Vietnam, but here’s the thing…

 

With the very real concern of declining domestic enrollment numbers, US institutions are right to broaden their recruitment strategies, including their international reach. Thinking beyond traditional student markets, like China and India, is old news by now.  You’ve diversified your draw and Vietnam has been on your list, right?

Don’t get us wrong, China remains an important market and neighboring India is clearly a recruitment stronghold. Learn more about these sending countries in recent posts here (China) and here (India). Today, we focus on Vietnam and why this country offers value to institutions looking at best practices and diversification in their international student draw. 

When we run our global marketing workshops, more than a majority of the institutions attending identify Vietnam as a student market they've targeted as a growth opportunity. The competition for students coming from Vietnam is only growing.


We’ll be at AIEA in DC in about 4 weeks and participating in 3 great presentations: 

  • AI for enrollment management  
  • Entrepreneurial leadership in bureaucratic environments 
  • A discussion around International Student Points of Entry and a new publication to be released later in 2024 

And of course, we will be presenting at NAFSA in New Orleans in late May. If you’d like to schedule time to chat over coffee instead of over Zoom, please be in touch (info@intead.com). 


According to the latest numbers from Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), approximately 190,000 Vietnamese students study abroad, the majority focusing on post-secondary institutions. That was for the 2019-20 academic year, though it appears the numbers are as strong or better today. Globally, Vietnam ranks as a top 10 sender of outbound student mobility per the ICEF Monitor. 

The majority of these students head to South Korea or Japan for university. Depending on who you ask, either 66,000 Vietnamese students studied in South Korea in 2022 per Capstone Education or just over 37,000 according to Korea Educational Development Institute. Less disputed are Japan’s numbers, which Study Japan puts at 49,000 incoming Vietnamese students in 2021. 

The third most popular destination is the US, hosting nearly 22,000 Vietnamese students in 2022-23 per the latest IIE Open Doors data. A distant third, yes, but considering the literal distance (8000+ miles between LA and Ho Chi Minh City as the crow flies), the numbers are encouraging. The reasons for choosing a US education we most often hear when speaking with Vietnamese students: 

  • A US degree is strong 
  • Classroom instruction encourages creativity and develops critical thinking 
  • Soft skills are taught 
  • Access to a multinational job market

That all makes sense from a prospective student perspective. But, why should your institution choose to actively recruit in Vietnam? What might make these students interested in your institution? And will it be a worthwhile effort for your institution’s enrollment growth? 

Below we share 3 big reasons why we find Vietnam a top student source for markets around the world and offer an insider’s take on the Vietnamese student mindset. To shape our thinking, we tapped our long-time colleague Hien Dao, founder and CEO of Golden Path Academics Vietnam, a Hanoi-based program that preps Vietnamese students for global academic and professional environments. She’s a great resource for any Vietnamese student recruitment initiative. Read on for insights. 

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Intead’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2023: Chosen by Readers

 

2023 ushered in some much-needed numbers. Enrollment rose among undergraduate (+2.1%) and graduate (+0.7%) students. And while freshmen enrollment trended downward (-3.6%), interest in shorter-term credentials was on the rise (+9.9%). All this per National Student Clearinghouse figures. 

Likewise, IIE Open Doors data showed a 12% increase of incoming international students in 2022-23. And the more up-to-date SEVIS data indicated 2023 fall enrollment maintained this welcomed momentum. All good news in aggregate. As we parse all these data sets, there are interesting findings and nuanced opportunities to be sure. 

Yet, all news was not good. The chaos of the world at large continued to make its way onto campuses across the nation. Safety continues to be a growing concern, and your prospective students and their families are unsure what to make of it. More admissions inquiries shift from campus life to safety and mental health support services. Also important to note: social justice activities influence an increasing number of applicants. 

In the midst of it all, we do our best to use this blog to weigh in on topics that matter to enrollment teams like yours. So, it’s always interesting for us to look back and see which posts were your faves for most valuable content from the year. There are always a few surprises. 

In 2023, there was a ton of interest in all things internationalization – especially around how student activity in India and China is changing. But that’s not all.

We were told our posts on student career prep, social media trends, and budgeting framework were also really helpful. So, with that, we share our top 10 posts from 2023, as chosen by you, our readers. Plus our staff pick for the most valuable post of 2023. If you missed any of these top pieces, you’ll want to read on…  

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