Supporting scholarships for poor and disadvantaged groups in Viet Nam

On March 19, 2014

As a growing body of evidence makes clear, education provides a way out of poverty. Poverty is rare among people with higher education or vocational training, while a lack of education can have the opposite effect. People living in rural Vietnam and other countries without access to education or technical training are more likely to experience crop, livestock, or aquaculture failures, pushing them into poverty. This vicious cycle takes a toll not only on those living in these rural areas, but also on their children, as uneducated parents are all too often unable to afford to educate their children, even though education could ultimately help their families escape from the poverty trap.

Supporting scholarships for poor and disadvantaged groups in Viet NamIn Vietnam, rural and lower-income families face greater barriers to access higher education than urban and higher-income people. Students in the Northwest, the Northeast and the Mekong River Delta regions are less likely to gain admission to university degree programs and less likely to be able to bear the financial burden of tuition, books and materials, transportation and other personal expenses to attend college or university away from home, in comparison to their counterparts from other parts of the country. Based on data from the Ministry of Education and Training, minimum tuition and living expenses for a student studying at a public university in the city run an estimated US$800- 960 per year. This is more than four times the annual per capita income in many rural regions in Vietnam. Although the government has expressed an interest in promoting access to higher education among the poor, thousands of students across Vietnam have been left behind.

It is in this context that the Center for Education and Development (CED) is working in partnerships with schools, universities and the Vietnam Association for Promotion of Education (VAPE) to create learning and development opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.