A student apply at Ho Chi Minh City's University of Economics. Photo: Dao Ngoc Thach
The Ministry of Education and Training has proposed an annual increase of 10 percent in tuition at public universities over the next five years.
If the plan is approved, school fees will go up from VND6-8.8 million (US$262-385) a year in the academic year 2015-16 to VND9.7-14 million ($425-613) a year in the year 2020-21.
At the moment, Vietnamese universities' tuition varies from sector to sector, with medicine the most expensive.
A least six public universities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been granted autonomy over fiscal affairs, including setting their own tuition rates, since 2010. In its proposal, the education ministry also plans to introduce a new tuition ceiling, requiring these universities to cap the maximum fee at VND45 million ($1,970) a year.
Other schools still have to seek permission for fee hikes.
Speaking to Thanh Nien, the ministry's representative said since the school year 2015-16 already started, tuition at public universities will be unchanged for the first semester, VND550,000-800,000 ($24-35) a month.
The cost of tertiary education in Vietnam has been increasing over the past few years even though financial aid options for students remain limited.
The country's income per capita was over $1,910 in 2013, according to the World Bank.