Over 90% of Gen Z students in Vietnam believe that face-to-face engagement is important when it comes to making decisions about studying abroad, according to the results of a survey of 16-25-year-olds by INTO.
The university partnerships company spoke to 1,000 Vietnamese students who were considering studying internationally and found that, while participants thought internet research was the most useful tool for gathering information, nearly all of the students also valued in-person advice.
Some 60% of students said that meeting university representatives was useful, but only 28% believed that education agents were one of the most important sources of information.
INTO today announced the launch of its new strategy which will see 14 University Access Centres opened in key source markets by the end of 2023 in a bid to give potential international students face-to-face time with university representatives.
The company has already established two UACs in Vietnam’s major cities, Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi.
Christopher Piwarski, vice president of recruitment for East Asia at INTO, told The PIE News that these will deliver the contact that Vietnamese students desire “by bringing recruitment partners, counsellors and institutions under one roof to offer a complete study abroad solution for students in a world-class facility”.
Approximately 190,000 Vietnamese students studied abroad during the 2019/20 academic year and Vietnam is currently the fifth largest international student source market for the US and the fourth largest for Australia.
The UK was the preferred destination among participants, with 23% of respondents selecting it as their first choice and 56% naming it as one of their top three, while Australia and the US followed as the next most popular destinations.
“US study visas issued over the last year are still almost 60% lower than pre-pandemic levels”
Commenting on this, Piwarski said the finding shows “a strong departure from a much higher demand for the US” historically – a change which needs “further understanding”.
“Despite year-on-year growth, US study visas issued over the last year are still almost 60% lower than pre-pandemic levels,” Piwarski said, comparing this to the UK’s visas issuance rates which are now “just 30% lower”.
Over half of participants said they were also considering an Asian destination, such as Japan or South Korea.
The survey, which was conducted between May and June this year, also points to the “strong social conscience” of Vietnam’s younger generation as the second most popular motivating factor to study abroad was to gain skills and knowledge “to help [Vietnam] prosper”.
However the primary motivation for studying abroad was to improve English language skills to enhance career opportunities.
The results show that parents also play an influential role in determining where their children will study –500 Vietnamese parents participated in the survey and almost a third of these responded that they are keen for children to experience life in another country.