Ministry to revise study abroad guidelines

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The Ministry of Education and Training will loosen controversial draft regulations aiming to ensure that Vietnamese students working and studying abroad return home, a representative said at a meeting this week.

The regulations drafted by the ministry’s International Cooperation Department would implement different policies for students studying overseas under state sponsorship and those who study abroad at their own expense, said Deputy Minister Pham Vu Luan at the meeting on Monday.

Both self-funded and state-funded students would have to periodically report their academic progress to the government and would not be allowed to work in their host countries for more than three years under the draft released in December. But the revisions will free self-funded students from such requirements, according to the ministry.

The revision will also free state-funded students from having to pay income tax during their time abroad and would allow them to work abroad for more than three years in certain cases.

The ministry said the revision would also better define the responsibilities of each agency involved in regulating overseas study, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnam’s diplomatic agencies in foreign countries, in order to enforce the decree appropriately after gaining government approval.

Introduced for feedback from the public in mid-December, the draft drew opposition from overseas students and educational experts who said it was impractical to ask students to report on their academic progress and unreasonable to regulate their time aboard.

Nguyen Duc Long, national coordinator of Vietnam Foundation, which represents Vietnam Education Fund’s Overseas Students Association, said it was illogical to impose an income tax on overseas students working in host countries where they already have to pay taxes.

Source: Agencies

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