According to the recently released reports for the start of the 2023-2024 academic year, it has been observed that nine universities have successfully generated incomes exceeding VND1 trillion. This figure depicts a noteworthy increase of four universities compared to the data from two years ago.
The five public schools that were included are Hanoi University of Science and Technology, University of Economics HCMC, Ton Duc Thang University, National Economics University, and Can Tho University.
In addition to Van Lang University, completing the list are FPT University, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, and HCMC University of Technology.
The University of Economics HCMC succeeded Van Lang with an impressive revenue of VND1.443 trillion.
FPT University generated a total revenue of VND1.3 trillion according to its latest financial report.
The main sources of revenue include tuition and various fees, as well as income generated from technology transfer and other avenues.
Private universities often rely heavily on tuition fees, which usually account for the majority of their revenue.
Le Viet Khuyen, the vice chairman of the Association of Vietnamese Universities and Colleges, expressed concern about the escalating cost of education. He emphasized that while generating high revenues is positive, relying heavily on tuition fees and continuously increasing them is a worrisome trend.
During an April conference discussing the financial autonomy of universities, experts from the World Bank presented compelling data. According to their findings, in 2017, public universities relied on government funding for 24% of their resources, while tuition fees accounted for 57%. However, a significant shift occurred by 2021, where tuition fees surged to constitute 77% of universities' resources, leaving government funding with a mere 9% contribution.
In the current scenario, public schools are experiencing a growing dependence on tuition fees due to a lack of adequate expenditure on higher education, which accounted for only about 0.27% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020.
On the other hand, in nations where tertiary education has reached an advanced level, schools rely significantly on alternative funding sources such as businesses, sponsorships, and research to generate a significant portion of their incomes.
"Khuyen emphasized the benefits of generating more revenue through these activities, but cautioned against schools raising tuition fees without considering individuals' incomes. Such a practice could result in unequal opportunities for education."