Road to Finland 2024 in Vietnam – maintaining the flow of talent

TEXT | Sirpa Rutanen and Juha Vierola

Figure 1. The Finnish delegation members in Ho Chi Minh City.

VAMK University of Applied Sciences participated at Road to Finland 2024 in Vietnam in the beginning of November 2023 with 18 other Finnish institutions of higher education. The event was organised by Finnish National Agency for Education, Du Hoc Trawise and Finland’s Embassy in Vietnam (Study in Finland).

The program included education fairs, alumni events, agent meetings, and visits to Finland International School (VFIS) and Ton Duc Thang University (TDTU). The evening events included opportunity to meet and get to know the school representatives and former international students/ Finnish international students. The education fairs were organised in Hanoi on 4th November, at Hotel du Parc Hanoi and in Ho Chi Minh City on 5th November, at Saigon Grand Hotel. The events attracted over 500 interested prospects, parents and counselors (see Figures 1,2,3,4, and 5).

Offering agile ways for applying to degree studies

Our main target during this trip was to promote VAMK’s agile ways of applying to degree studies.

These included:

✅ Online Nordic Pathway

✅ Entrance Exam Courses in Business and Technology


✅ Joint application.

Figure 2. The education fair in Ho Chi Minh City gathered a great number of interested applicants.

Both education fairs arranged in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City brought together students with high level of competence and enthusiasm for their academic journey in Finland and Vaasa.  VAMK delegation was especially delighted to find out that many prospective students had good competence in English language and preparedness for studies. Many prospectives also possessed sufficient SAT scores that can be used for applying to higher education. The prospects showed also notable interest and motivation in pathway studies.

Our entrance exam courses raised a lot of interest. The application closed on November 7th, and once looking at the final application data, it can be noted that around 15% of the applicants come from Vietnam.

Figure 3. In the evening event in Hanoi, VAMK delegation met counsellors and new potential partners.

The potential of Vietnamese talents

For Vietnamese families, education is a top-of-mind concern. They want a better future for their children and a good education. During our encounters with Vietnamese parents, many highlighted the importance of a safe and comfortable living environment as a primary criterion for selecting the institution of higher education. This makes Vietnam a very potential market for Finnish institutions in international student recruitment.

Figure 4. Street view from Hanoi.

According to the data from the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), there are approximately 200,000 Vietnamese students studying abroad, and about 40,000 Vietnamese go abroad to study each year. (MoET: The ICEF Monitor from June 2023 states that Vietnam ranks in the top 10 markets in the world in terms of outbound student mobility.  Persistent quality issues in the domestic education system, an expanding middle class, and increasing tuition fees charged by international schools are driving Vietnamese families to send their children abroad. (ICEF, Jun 2023)

Figure 5. VAMK delegation representatives Sirpa Rutanen, Head of Communications & Marketing (left) and Juha Vierola, Head of Student Services (right) together with Ngan Dang from Du Hoc Trawise (middle in the picture).

VAMK has a long tradition in training Vietnamese talents into the working life. In our experience, they perform well in their studies, graduate in time and most of them have stayed working and living in Finland. VAMK aspires to enhance its footprint in the Vietnamese market in the future. We aim to provide international education in Technology and Business, presenting a gateway to compelling opportunities within Vaasa’s robust energy cluster, known for its various career possibilities. Furthermore, Vaasa offers an outstanding work-life balance and vibrant student life in a safe and welcoming, multicultural environment, enhancing the overall quality of life for its residents. This makes Vaasa an attracting study destination for Vietnamese talents.

  • ICEF Monitor [Internet]. Vietnam remains a key growth market in Southeast Asia ( Retrieved 06, 21, 2023

  • MoET [Internet]. Cổng thông tin điện tử Bộ Giáo dục và Đào tạo ( Retrieved 11, 10, 2023

  • Study in Finland [Internet]. Meet Us at Road to Finland 2024 in Vietnam | Study in Finland Retrieved 11, 10, 2023

  • Voice of Vietnam [Internet]. About 40,000 Vietnamese go abroad to study each year: MoET ( Retrieved 11, 10, 2023

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