Ample college seats drive candidates from vocational schools
Updated : 07/31/2012 16:08 GMT + 7
Ever growing quotas at the undergraduate level have gradually killed off enrollments at vocational schools in Vietnamese big cities where vocational courses only serve as the last resort to applicants.
Higher education institutions now offer too many places and thus ‘snatch’ nearly all potential candidates from vocational schools, a Ho Chi Minh City vocational school principal complained.
Available seats at tertiary schools in fact jumped 33 percent to 576,000 this year compared to 4 years ago, official figures show.
This number is going to continue rising until 2020, said Nguyen Van Ang, with the Ministry of Education and Training.
His prediction can be justified by the mushrooming of new colleges in recent years, which will certainly help drive candidates farther from vocational schools.
“Colleges are apparently trying to recruit as many as they can,” Tran Van Cuong, president of a northern junior college, said. “So it is understandable that applicants will rush for college even when vocational programs could be far better for them.”
Experts have long warned that Vietnam will face a surplus of ‘thinkers’ – a sarcastic way of referring to college graduates who are believed to be ‘theorists’ – while ‘doers’ – enrollees at vocational schools – will be in short supply.
Education authorities should intervene to redirect applicants to suitable schools, a HCMC-based educator said.
“It’s time to make a reform to ensure efficient manpower for the country in the future,” said Tran Anh Tuan, an expert at a HCMC state-owned human resource and job forecasting center.
In Vietnamese metropolises like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, candidates tend to shun occupational schools even when they fail to make it into college in the first place. Waiting to take the following year’s tests to gain college admission is the favored option among local students.