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What factors influence Vietnamese students’ choice of university?

Mai Thi Ngoc Dao (School of Education, University of Roehampton, London, UK)
Anthony Thorpe (School of Education, University of Roehampton, London, UK)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 8 June 2015




The purpose of this paper is to report the factors that influence Vietnamese students’ choice of university in a little researched context where the effects of globalization and education reform are changing higher education.


A quantitative survey was completed by 1,124 current or recently completed university students in Vietnam. Marketing approaches are drawn upon to inform the exploration and understanding of student choice and decision making.


The factor analysed data showed the nine key factors influencing student decisions, in order of significance, as facilities and services, programme, price, offline information, opinions, online information, ways of communication, programme additions, and advertising. There are significant correlations in the Vietnamese context between the factors of price and facilities, and services and programme, and differences between genders and types of students in choosing a university.

Research limitations/implications

Whilst this paper is a starting point, more research is needed in the Vietnamese context with deeper levels of analysis including the differences between types of universities and fields/disciplines, in addition to wider sampling.

Practical implications

A greater understanding of the Vietnamese context helps to inform marketing practices in a country experiencing increasing competition in higher education.

Social implications

Findings from studies in other contexts many not be directly transferrable to Vietnamese universities suggesting the need for a contextual understanding of these factors and a suitably nuanced marketing response.


This paper identifies the need for cultural understanding of little researched contexts and calls for further research which does not assume all cultures and contexts will have the same underlying Vietnamese model of university choice.



Dao, M.T.N. and Thorpe, A. (2015), "What factors influence Vietnamese students’ choice of university?", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 666-681.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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