Why do Vietnamese who study abroad not return to Vietnam?

VietNamNet Bridge - “The story of Doan Minh Dang shows one of the reasons why some overseas students like us think that we can choose another way rather than come back to work in Vietnam,” said Nguyen Thanh Vinh, the runner up at the first ‘Road to Olympia’ competition.


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Nguyen Thanh Vinh and his family now live and work in Australia

Vinh won the second prize at the national competition held annually for excellent high school students.This is a prestigious competition broadcast by the Vietnam National Television (VTV);  the winners at the competition receive a donors’ scholarship to study at a university in Australia.

Though ‘Road to Olympia’ is just a competition organized by television, it has always been an important event to Vietnamese. The winners at the competition are considered the best high school students.

Dang and Vinh have are winners at such competitions. However, their conditions were quite different. 

Vinh, who was a chemistry major at the Lam Son High School for the Gifted when he became the runner up at the competition, later left for Australia to study under a scholarship from the Australian government. He settled down in Australia after earning a doctorate.

“My thinking and the educational mechanism in Vietnam cannot really meet. This is the biggest reason which makes me hesitate any time I think of returning to Vietnam,”

Nguyen Thanh Vinh

Meanwhile, Dang decided to return to Vietnam after he finished studying overseas because he vowed to devote himself to the country’s development. In Vietnam, he works as a lecturer at the Can Tho University of Technology.

However, Dang recently met trouble. He was disciplined for ‘violating the Article No 19 of the Civil Servant Law – offending the honor, dignity and reputation of another person while performing professional activities’.

Dang’s decision on coming back to Vietnam after finishing school overseas, as Vinh admitted, was a big surprise to everyone, because most of the ‘talents’ like Vinh and Dang, who have the opportunity to study abroad, do not want to return to Vietnam.

Vinh, in an interview to Tri Thuc Tre, said he intended to come back to Vietnam after finishing the university education. But he later changed his mind because he could not see any clear job opportunity.

Vinh wanted to continue his scientific research. Therefore, he decided to stay in Australia and continue his postgraduate study. Vinh said as he is dedicated to teaching and researching, and cannot do his work in Vietnam.

“My thinking and the educational mechanism in Vietnam cannot really meet. This is the biggest reason which makes me hesitate any time I think of returning to Vietnam,” Vinh said.

When asked to comment about what happened with Dang, Vinh said it is “incredible and ridiculous” that a deputy dean has been dismissed just because he attended a scientific conference.


Tri Thuc Tre


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