Education in Vietnam

Vietnam recognizes education as a national priority. Since 2008, the government has been spending 20% of its budget on education. The government’s strong commitment to education and long standing cultural and social support for education have led to significant progress in the sector.

Vietnam has high primary school completion rates, strong gender parity, low student/teacher ratios, and a low out of school rate. The country policy “Fundamental School Quality Level Standards” provided universal access to education and ensured that minimal conditions were met in every primary school.

Despite these achievements, the country still faces some challenges. Access and quality are still concerns for lower secondary education and quality is limited in remote areas. Accessing and completing education is a greater challenge for female students and ethnic minorities.

The overall objectives of the Education Development Strategic Plan (EDSP) are to renovate the education system, move closer to regional and international quality standards, and ensure social equity and lifelong learning opportunities.

The EDSP outlines further objectives for all levels of education:

  1. Achieve universal early childhood and care education to ensure that all children have the proper intellectual, emotional, and physical development necessary to enter primary school.
  2. Improve and maintain the quality of universal lower secondary education and pursue universal upper secondary education in economically disadvantaged localities.
  3. Strengthen ethnic minority boarding schools and provide inclusive education at all levels.
  4. Restructure the vocational education system, establish new colleges that respond to learning needs, and ensure that students are equipped with the professional skills to participate in the international labor market.
  5. Expand non-public higher education and provide more university preparatory institutions for ethnic minorities.
  6. Diversify various forms of continuing education and create life-long learning opportunities to continuously improve professional qualifications.

The EDSP also covers nine strategic solutions focused on renovating education management, expanding the education institution network, developing human resources, and strengthening investment and training.

As part of its national education plans, Vietnam also has an Education For All Action Plan for 2003-2015, which was updated in 2012.

Blogs and news

Primary school students in Escuela Nueva model in Vietnam. Credit: GPE/Koli Banik
November 26, 2018
In 2018, Vietnam’s two major universities made the list of top 1,000 most reputable universities worldwide. A recent report by the ministry of Education shows that the current rate of literacy...
Manh Nghia is wearing the glasses provided as part of the Fred Hollows Foundation Vietnam Child Eye Care project
July 05, 2018
Almost three quarters of a child’s early learning is dependent on vision, so early detection and effective treatment of vision impairment is vital to keeping children in school. Learn about the Fred...
Students raising hands at the Hidassie School. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Credit: GPE/Midastouch
October 19, 2017
Explore findings of a Young Lives Round Five Survey conducted in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam, which followed the educational trajectories of 2 cohorts of children born seven years apart in age.

Latest grant

A colorful board in a Vietnamese classroom.

CREDIT: GPE/Koli Banik
Development objective: Introduce and use new teaching and learning practices in the classroom targeting the most disadvantaged groups of primary students.
Grant agent:IBRD

The Vietnam Escuela Nueva Project began in early 2013 and closed in May 2016. The project’s objective was to introduce and use new and child-centered teaching and learning practices in the classroom targeting the most disadvantaged groups at the primary level.

It was an adaptation of the well-known Escuela Nueva Program in Colombia, where students engage in various individual and group work and teachers act as facilitators of learning, rather than spending time reading and writing on the board.

The four components of the grant were:

  1. Support the development of learning guides and other materials for teachers, schools, and communities, as well as capacity building to education administrators, teachers, and other stakeholders in material development.
  2. Support the development of training materials, delivering trainings, and providing materials.
  3. Provide school level support for Escuela Nueva implementation through school campus sub-grants, school equipment and furniture, teaching and learning aids, training activities, and extra-curricular activities. This component also supports providing grants to selected schools in most disadvantaged areas.
  4. Provide support for project management at central and provincial levels and for knowledge management, classroom assessment, and an impact evaluation.

The ministry of education and training led the program with the World Bank as the grant agent and UNESCO as the coordinating agency of the local education group, called the Education Sector Group.

In 2015, Vietnam received a US$233,650 grant from GPE to conduct an education sector analysis, to support the mid-term review of the Education Development Strategic Plan (EDSP) 2011-2020.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2013-2016 84,600,000 84,288,433 IBRD Completion report
Sector plan development 2015 233,650 233,650 UNESCO
  TOTAL 84,833,650 84,522,083    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Vietnam. For detailed results from GPE funding, please look for progress reports in the grants section.


Primary completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated October 03, 2018