How can Vietnam's success in learning provide lessons for future reforms in Vietnam and worldwide?

Why Vietnam?

Vietnam stands out as a nation where primary and secondary school students’ learning levels reach or surpass those of their peers in far wealthier nations. Therefore, RISE is undertaking a systematic evaluation of Vietnam’s education system, including analysis of the system’s distinctive features (such as norms around extra study outside of school) and the status and impacts of past, current and upcoming educational reforms, with the aim of understanding whether and how new reforms are able to build on Vietnam’s current achievements.

Vietnam is also embarking on further reforms aimed at addressing inequalities, and the Vietnam Country Research Team will seek to evaluate how and whether these reforms affect student learning.

For more about the team's work, see their technical research overview or a list of all Vietnam Country Research Team research outputs.

Researchers and institutions

The Vietnam Country Research Team is a multidisciplinary researcher group from institutions worldwide, including Vietnam, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Main operations are at the University of Minnesota, and the Vietnam Institute of Educational Sciences, which is located in Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training. Other researchers are from Centre for Analysis and Forecasting (located in the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences), Mekong Development Research Institute, Leiden University, University College London, the (UK) Institute for Fiscal Studies, and the World Bank.

A list of Vietnam Country Research Team members is available on our People page.

Research agenda

The team's research will provide a systematic evaluation of Vietnam’s education system by analysing the status and impacts of past, current, and upcoming system reforms. The team will achieve this through two research streams.

The first will conduct a retrospective analysis of Vietnam’s education system between 1990 and 2015 and evaluate its performance in terms of enrolment and student learning. Specifically, the team will focus analysis on four major sets of reforms over this period which include:

  1.  Increased public finance for education
  2.  Pro-poor policies that increase school access
  3.  Fiscal and administrative decentralisation
  4. School quality standards/assessments.

The second research workstream focuses on the analysis and evaluation of current and prospective pedagogical and curricular reforms aimed to fundamentally change how teachers teach, and what and how students learn. This includes the Vietnam Escuela Nueva program (VNEN) and a system-wide curricular reform focussed on skills and competencies needed to pursue further education and work in a changing economy.