Amending provisions on cooperation and investment with foreign investors in education

Decree No. 86/2018/ND-CP regulating on foreign cooperation and investment in education was issued on 6 June 2018 and took effect from 1 August 2018 (hereinafter referred to as Decree 86/2018). After 3 years of implementation, in addition to remarkable results in creating a legal framework for a foreign entity participating in the educational development of Vietnam, Decree No. 86/2018 has also revealed inadequacies and asynchronous issues. Therefore, it is necessary to promulgate a revising decree amending and supplementing articles of Decree No. 86/2018 (hereinafter referred to as Draft). This article points out a brunch of new and prominent regulations amended in the mentioned Draft.

Firstly, the Draft supplemented the entities eligible for engaging in joint education: In particular, the Draft supplemented the entities eligible for engaging in joint education that are private educational institutions established and operating in Vietnam (regardless of investment capital in Vietnam or abroad) and a reputable, experienced and qualified educational institution operating legally in a foreign country which is recognized on the quality of education by a quality accrediting agency or a competent authority of an alien country.

Secondly, the Draft added regulations allowing investment according to the roadmap to create favorable conditions for investors in the early stages when the enrollment scale has not reached the maximum level. However, the investors must have a sufficient investment commitment after 5 years from the date of issuance of issuing investment registration certificate.

Thirdly, the Draft also regulated about specific foreign factors for educational institutions such as (i) Foreign education programs and accreditation; (ii) foreign teachers; (iii) students’ nationality to ensure information transparency.

Fourthly, for the purpose that foreign education programs taught to Vietnamese students ensuring the interests of learners and must be recognized by competent authorities, the Draft also supplemented regulations on registration of implementation of foreign educational programs for Vietnamese students for foreign-invested educational institutions that are newly established or have just started teaching foreign educational programs.

Finally, the Draft also supplemented regulations on responsibility for inspection, supervision, assessment and settlement of complaints and denunciations, handling violations according to its competence, clearly stating the responsibilities of the People’s Committees in provinces and central-affiliated cities in the management of foreign educational institutions within their areas. Finally, the Draft amended many articles on facilities and equipment of foreign-invested educational institutions, which complies with current regulations on principles of non-preferential lower than domestic investment

It is expected that the Draft will take effect in 2022 and affect all foreign-invested educational institutions in Vietnam.

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