School and Education in Vietnam


Education as a driving force for economic development as well as equality in education opportunities are key political goals in Vietnam. Literacy has long been higher than in almost all other countries at the same level of development and it now stands at about 90%. It is the lowest among older people in remote mountain regions.

  • A2zdirectory: Describes prehistory and early history of Vietnam. Includes history from colony to an independent nation.

Vietnam Country Flag

Vietnam flag source:

Land area 331,210 km²
Total population 98.721.275
Residents per km² 298.1
Capital Hanoi
Official language Vietnamese
Income per capita $ 6,900
Currency Vietnamese Đồng
ISO 3166 code VN
Internet TLD .vn
License plate VN
Telephone code +84
Time zone UTC +7
Geographic coordinates 16 00 N, 106 00 O

The compulsory schooling is five years and starts at the age of six. Almost 70% of the students go on to a middle school that consists of four years. Thereafter, a three-year secondary school is offered, which is completed with a degree. Preschools are also becoming more common. Since the end of the 1980s, all tuition is chargeable, even in elementary school.

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The high proportion of literate students has been a competitive advantage for Vietnam as foreign companies have applied to Southeast Asia. Nowadays, however, literacy is not enough, and the lack of more educated labor is becoming an increasingly serious problem in Vietnam. Both the scope and the quality of higher education are insufficient, especially with regard to science and technology. In 2008, there were more than 320 universities and colleges/ colleges in the country, but there is a very wide range in their quality. No Vietnamese university is among the 200 best ranked in Asia. See for all countries starting with V.

In 2007, 12% of the state budget was allocated to the education sector. Resource shortages are serious; Competent teachers, premises and materials are lacking at all levels, and the greatest is the lack of post-secondary education. Elementary school has been decentralized, while higher education is centrally and detailed controlled, which hinders improvements. In 2009, Vietnam, as the only country, received funding from the World Bank to develop higher education.


Hanoi, capital of United Vietnam since 1976; approximately 2.6 million residents (2010). Hanoi is located approximately 100 km from the Gulf of Tonkin on the large plain around the Red River and surrounded by large dikes for flood protection.

According to tradition, the city was founded in 1010 during the first Ly dynasty, and it served as the capital until 1802, when the imperial city was moved to Huê in central Vietnam. During the French occupation of the city in 1882, Hanoi was the administrative center of the Tonkin Protectorate and 1902-45 for the whole of French Indochina. The city was characterized by being both a royal city with citadel and administration and a trading town with a marketplace and associated craftsmanship. After the August Revolution of 1945, Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the independent republic from Ba Dinh Square in the middle of the city; it was the capital of North Vietnam until 1976.

The physical structure of the city has not changed fundamentally since the colonial period. In the center is Lake Hoan Kiem and the old town with 36 narrow, low-divided streets. The houses are located in small rows of individual designs with a characteristic sway in the back.

The economic reforms of the socialist economy in the 1990’s have led to rapid expansion in Hanoi. The city has become a dynamic economic center, and both foreign capital and private motoring have begun to characterize the city. It has been decided that the old town must be restored in order to preserve the traditional feel. Industries, hotels and housing are rising between the old houses, and in the suburbs, thatched cottages are being replaced by modern residential complexes. At the construction sites, accidents happen at regular intervals as construction workers dig unexploded bombs from the US air strikes during the Vietnam War.