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Give up your dream major because of rising tuition fees

The dream of becoming a law student, but Minh realized that the tuition fee for this field was beyond the ability of his mother – who had a wobbly income from selling ornamental fish.

Having lost his father at a young age, Luong Cong Minh and his mother live in a room of 20 square meters in Ha Long city, Quang Ninh. The main income of mother and daughter comes from selling ornamental fish, but it is not stable. Every month, 3-4 million dong, mother and daughter earn just enough to take care of accommodation (1.3 million dong), money to study, eat, and live frugally. When the store was out of stock or closed because of the epidemic, Minh’s mother had to borrow everywhere.

Minh wants to study Law while his mother advises him to choose a military school, without tuition fees, and “stable and guaranteed output”. The disagreement between the mother and daughter lasted for nearly two years, until April, when Minh learned about the upcoming university tuition fees.

According to Decree 81/2021, the tuition fee ceiling in 2022-2023 for public universities that cannot guarantee recurrent expenditure is 1.2 to 2.45 million VND per month, an increase of 220,000 VND to 1 million VND compared to the previous year. The Law industry belongs to group III – the business and management sectors, and the law – has a ceiling of 1.25 million dong. Schools that are self-sufficient in recurrent and investment spending can decide on tuition fees that are 2-2.5 times higher than this ceiling.

Looking at the Law schools that have announced the tuition fees for next year, Minh sees a steady collection of about two million dong or more, double the 980,000 dong this year. In addition to accommodation, food and living expenses, Minh calculates that the cost of going to college is about 4-5 million VND per month – higher than the money from selling fish from his mother.

“Last year’s tuition fee exceeded my family’s economic ability, but I think I can work part-time to make up for it. This year, the tuition fee has increased again, and I and my mother can’t afford it,” Minh said.

After many days of thinking, the male student decided to listen to his mother and choose a military school.

Candidates taking the graduation exam 2021 at Ton That Tung Secondary School (Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City).  Photo: Quynh Tran

Candidates taking the graduation exam 2021 at Ton That Tung Secondary School (Tan Phu District, Ho Chi Minh City). Image: Quynh Tran

Like Minh, family circumstances made Ngoc Tram, 18 years old, living in Quang Ngai, give up her dream of studying English at a top school in Ho Chi Minh City.

Every month, Tram’s parents have to spend nearly 10 million VND to study for the three sisters. Meanwhile, Tram’s mother works as a worker with a salary of 6 million, while her father works as a freelancer. Family economic conditions do not allow, Tram chose to major in English at a university in Da Nang.

“Last year, the tuition fee for this major was about one million dong per month. My family couldn’t easily afford this, but of all the schools studied, this is the lowest,” the female student said.

According to the new framework, tuition fees for all majors in 2022-2023 will increase compared to the previous year, ranging from 300,000 VND to 10.2 million VND per year. In which, medicine and health sector increased the most with 4.2-10.2 million VND/year.

Mr. Nguyen Van Duc, a teacher at Dong Quan High School, Phu Xuyen District (Hanoi), said that his class has 50 students, of which about 6 are interested in medical and pharmaceutical training and have very good academic performance. However, because the family could not afford it, and the study time was long, the students changed their direction to register for pedagogy. According to Mr. Duc, it is not uncommon for students to give up or change their university aspirations because of difficult families.

Boarding students in grade 12 at Tri Duc High School, Hanoi, during evening self-study, review for the 2020 high school graduation exam. Photo: Ngoc Thanh

Boarding students in grade 12 at Tri Duc High School, Hanoi, during evening self-study, review for the 2020 high school graduation exam. Photo: Ngoc Thanh

Under the pressure of tuition fees, in addition to changing majors, many students decide to learn a trade instead of going to university

After a few mock exams at school, Quoc, grade 12 in Nghe An, only got about 15-16 points in combination A00 (Math, Physics, Chemistry). Like technology, but male students understand that this score can’t get into the top university, and at the same time, it is precarious with mid-range schools.

“I don’t want to try to get into a university, despite the quality of training and expensive tuition fees just to get a degree. My family is a farmer, so I want to save money for my parents,” Quoc explained to the study choice. his college.

The male student said that mastering the profession is also “very good and nothing to be ashamed of”. “What surprised me was that many students with poor academic ability also chose to study like me,” Quoc said.

Mr. Do Van Giang, Deputy Director of the Formal Training Department, General Department of Vocational Education (Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs), said that it is not possible to confirm that the change of students from university to vocational training is a trend. direction because the 2022 enrollment period has not ended, but this possibility is not ruled out.

Decree 81 also stipulates the tuition fee framework for the year 2022-2023 for vocational training institutions. This level is not much different from university tuition. However, according to Mr. Giang, vocational schools have certain advantages.

He said that if learning a trade, students only take about 1-2 years (for intermediate level) or 2-3 years (college). The strength of vocational education is training associated with businesses, the internship period accounts for 50-70% of the study program. Thanks to the closely connected business network, many schools are committed to output with students. He believes that getting a job early helps students support themselves, help their families and promote the development of society.

“In the face of the situation of tens of thousands of bachelors who are unemployed or working outside their majors every year, based on their family conditions and personal abilities, I think they should have a more realistic and appropriate view,” he said.

Thanh Hang – Thu Huong

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