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Policy & Strategy

2004 State budget for education up 0.3 percent

Education will make up 17.1 percent of the 2004 State budget, an estimated 30 trillion VND, compared to last year's 16.4 percent, 25 trillion VND allowance.

The figure is expected to increase to 18 percent by 2005.

Investment priority will be given to colleges and universities in northern mountainous region and the Central Highlands with an aim to strengthen the skills of ethnic minority groups, said Nguyen Van An, Head of the Department for Planning and Finance under the Ministry of Education and Training.

Also high on the list of investment priorities are institutions that train agricultural and forestry engineers and technicians.

He also disclosed the ministry's plan to increase tuition fees on the grounds that the cost of quality university education is constantly rising.

The plan, which will be submitted to the Prime Minister for consideration within the first quarter of 2004, however, will guarantee aid to students from poor families who cannot afford higher education.

University students are encouraged to self-fund their education following the Open University's example, An said.

The Open University last year managed to cover 94 percent of training costs by students themselves.

Viet Nam is expected to enroll 199,100 students for universities and colleges, including 24,100 for private-run institutions in 2004.

VNCG-VDC1 - (22/12/2003)

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