Though enjoying special preferences, the international universities of excellence still find it difficult to enroll students.
In 2008, the Vietnam-Germany International University was established. The school, operating as a research university, strives to be listed among the top 200 universities in the world by 2020.
In order to help the school reach that end, the government has given it a series of preferences. This is the first state owned school in Vietnam which has a foreign rector. It is also the only school put under the control of the Prime Minister. However, the school still cannot attract students over the last five years, since the day of establishment.
In the first year, the school decided to enroll 80 students for the electric technique and information technology training majors. The enrolled students were the ones who got 21 marks and more from the national university entrance exams.
However, in September 2008, it officially opened the first course with only 32 students.
In the second year, the targeted number of students was halved, while the students with 17 marks from the national university entrance exams were eligible for applying for studying at the school. However, even with the loosened requirements, the school could only find 28 students.
In 2010, with the “flexible” enrolment method, the school found 39 students. Of these, less than 20 students got 21 marks from the national exams. In the 2012-2013 academic year, the school provides training in 9 university-level and post-university majors, with 527 students being at training courses.
To date, the school has provided 24 bachelors and 40 masters. After five years of operation, the school has received less than 600 students, far below the targeted plan of training 5,000 students in 29 training majors. The same situation is occurring with the Hanoi University of Science and Technology.
In 2010, the school kicked off its first training course, planning to enroll 40 students, who had to get 19 marks at least from the national university entrance exams. Later, the school decided to lower the requirements on the candidates, and the students with 15 marks could be eligible for applying for studying at the school.
Finally, only 30 students out of the 51 candidates were accepted. Of these, only one student got 22.5 marks from the exams.
By 2011-2012, or two enrolment years; the school had had nearly 200 students for both the university and post-university education levels. A report submitted by the school to the Ministry of Education and Training showed that about 400 students are studying at the school. Meanwhile, it plans to have 8,000 students by 2020.
Professor Mallon, Rector of the Vietnam-Germany International University, in a working session with Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, complained that it’s very difficult for the school to attract students, because the best students in Vietnam prefer enrolling in economics schools.
He also said that it’s very difficult for the school to enroll the learners for full-time master training courses, once the other schools in Vietnam provide part-time training courses, allowing learners to both work and study at the same time.
There’s another reason that Vietnamese good students would rather go studying abroad when they can get scholarships instead of going to an international school in Vietnam.