Decree No. 86/2018/ND-CP on Foreign Cooperation and Investment in Education has been in force since August 01, 2018 which is expected to encourage foreign investor to set up business in the education sector, especially in the context of the amendments to the Law on Higher Education  taking effect on July 01, 2019

Education Linkages

According to Decree 86, entities eligible for engaging in education linkages to provide an integrated education program include: Private pre-school educational institutions, private compulsory educational institutions in Vietnam, and legal educational institutions in foreign countries that are accredited by education quality assessment organizations or foreign competent agencies.

An integrated education program means a Vietnamese education program that is integrated with a foreign education program but still ensures its own objectives and avoids duplicated contents and knowledge. The integrated education program shall be approved by the Minister of Education and training is a fundamental step of the procedures that must be committed to the following standards:

  1. The integrated education program shall ensure the objectives of the Vietnamese education program and still satisfy the requirements of the foreign education program;
  2. A foreign education program which is introduced into the integrated program shall be accredited by its home country or by an educational competent agency of the aforesaid country;
  3. The integrated education program shall ensure its consistency throughout the class level and the connection between levels for the benefit of students;
  4. The aforesaid program shall also ensure that students are allowed for volunteer participation and shall not overwhelm them.

Foreign-invested educational institutions

The application dossier and procedures for requesting investments registration certificates shall be submitted and carried out in accordance with the regulations of the Law on Investment.

The Decree mainly focuses on determining the invested capital, in particular: An investment project to establish a pre-school educational institution shall have an investment unit cost of at least VND 30 million per child; while the minimum investment unit cost to set up a compulsory educational institution shall be at least VND 50 million per student and for the higher educational institution, the cost shall reach at least a total minimum of VND 1000 million (excluding land use expenses for all types of educational institutions). As for foreign-invested educational institutions where facilities are not newly built, but are leased or contributed to by the Vietnamese partner, the capital shall reach at least 70% of the capital specified above (except branches of foreign-invested universities).

In order to establish an educational institution, the investor shall provide 01 dossier in person or by post to:

  1. The Ministry of Education and Training, which is competent for the application documents of the foreign diplomatic missions and inter-government international organizations for approval for the establishment of: higher educational institutions, pre-school educational institutions and compulsory educational institutions;
  2. The Department of Education and Training, which is competent for the application documents for approval regarding the establishment of: Pre-school educational institutions, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, universal schools, except the establishment of pre-school educational institutions and compulsory educational institutions that the Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Training have the authority to approve.

In comparison with Decree No. 73/2012/ND-CP which was replaced, Decree 86 brings more treatments in education sector regarding foreign investment. For instance, the Decree has increased the proportion of Vietnamese students who participate in a foreign educational program which must not exceed 10% in primary schools and middle schools, 20% in high school to lower than 50% in pre-school educational institutions and compulsory educational institutions.

Representative offices of foreign education institutions

Accordance to the Decree, a representative office of a foreign education institution shall have the right to contact and boost the cooperation between the educational institution that it represents and the Vietnamese educational institution, introduce the foreign educational institution that it represents, expedite and supervise the process of implementing the agreements on educational cooperation signed with the Vietnamese educational institutions. Notwithstanding, the representative offices has no right to engage in educational activities that directly generate profit in Vietnam and must not establish branches under it.

A foreign educational institution that requests the approval for establishment of a representative office in Vietnam shall provide 01 dossier of application documents in person or by post to the Ministry of Education and Training. In case the Ministry of Education and Training approves the establishment of the representative office, within 20 working days from the date on which the decision on approving the establishment of the representative office takes effect, such educational institution shall complete the operation’s registration at the Department of Education and Training in the area located.


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