Long-awaited regulations on foreign-invested vocational education institutions enacted
On February 1, the Government issued Decree 15/2019/ND-CP enacting long-awaited regulations on foreign cooperation and investment in the field of vocational education.

On February 1, the Government issued Decree 15/2019/ND-CP enacting long-awaited regulations on foreign cooperation and investment in the field of vocational education.

The Decree, which will come into force on March 20, specifies the conditions required to set up a foreign-invested vocational education institution in Vietnam.

A computer practice lesson at the secondary vocaitonal school for ethnic minority groups of Kien Giang province__Photo: VNA

Accordingly, a foreign investor may set up a vocational education institution when its to-be-formulated project is in line with the country’s master plan on vocational education institution network.

The investor is also required to have at least 1,000 m2 of land for a vocational education center; 10,000 m2 for an intermediate vocational school in an urban area or 20,000 m2 if the school is located in the suburbs or a rural area; 20,000 m2 for a college in an urban area, or 40,000 m2 if the college is located outside urban areas.

The required investment capital is at least VND 5 billion for a vocational education center, and VND 50 billion or VND 100 billion for an intermediate vocational school or a college, respectively.

The planned training curricula must meet the requirements specified in Article 34.1 of the Law on Vocational Training, and may not have the contents that might pose threats to national defense and security or public interests, propagate religions or present warped views of Vietnam’s history or cause negative impacts on social ethics, culture and fine customs.

Such institution must ensure that its Vietnamese students study all mandatory subjects as prescribed by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.

Under the new regulations, foreign vocational education institutions may open representative offices in Vietnam to promote cooperation with Vietnamese partners through the formulation of vocational education cooperation programs and projects; provide counseling services and organize seminars and exhibitions on vocational education to introduce foreign vocational education institutions; and supervise the implementation of vocational education agreements inked with Vietnamese partners.

However, these representative offices may neither carry out vocational education activities for profit-making purposes nor set up their branches in the country.

To be licensed to establish a Vietnam-based representative office, a foreign vocational education institution must have the legal entity status, have clear operation objectives, have operated in vocational education for at least 5 years in the country of origin, and have an organization and operation regulation for such representative office which conforms to Vietnamese law.

A license to establish a foreign vocational education institution’s Vietnam-based representative office is five years from the date of issuance.

The new regulations specify the conditions for a division of an intermediate vocational school and college to be established, which include a detailed project on division establishment, clearly stating the necessity of the division establishment; name and scope of operation of the division; a development plan, and planned vocational education subjects.

If wishing to establish a division of a vocational education institution, an investor is required to present a contract or an agreement on rent of physical facilities for at least five years, prove an investment capital amount at least equal to 25 percent of the capital amount required for a vocational education institution.- (VLLF)

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