Internationalizing Higher Education (HE) in Vietnam

Dong Phong Nguyen (University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Margaret Vickers (Department of Business, University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)
Thi Minh Chau Ly (Department of Quality Assurance - Curriculum Development, University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Mai Dong Tran (University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Publication date: 8 February 2016



The purpose of this paper is to increase knowledge of the key drivers, and challenges, of the internationalization of Higher Education (HE), especially in the transitioning economy of Vietnam.


An exploratory qualitative research design used semi-structured interviews. Nine senior institutional leaders from five Vietnamese universities were interviewed. Thematic analysis, informed by the literature, was undertaken on English-translated transcripts.


The findings shared senior HE leader perspectives on how internationalization of HE in Vietnam was being conceptualized and operationalized, as well as insights as to how these processes might be improved. Further research to monitor the success of internationalization processes in Vietnam, and beyond, is recommended.

Research limitations/implications

This was an exploratory qualitative study including nine interviews with senior HE leaders from Vietnamese Universities. Exploratory findings only are shared.


No previous studies exploring internationalization of HE in Vietnam have been located. Vietnam is a nation in economic transition from a state-based to market-driven economy, and is different culturally, economically and socially, to its Asian neighbors. Internationalizing HE is considered essential to the global integration and development of Vietnam.



Nguyen, D., Vickers, M., Ly, T. and Tran, M. (2016), "Internationalizing Higher Education (HE) in Vietnam", Education + Training, Vol. 58 No. 2, pp. 193-208.

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