Vietnam: New Requirements for Foreign-Invested Vocational Institutions
The government has issued Decree 15/2019/ND-CP (“Decree 15”) introducing new requirements for foreign investors in the vocational education sector. The new conditions include establishment size, investment capital, training curriculum, and opening representative offices (ROs) or branches.
Decree 15 will be in effect from March 20, 2019.
According to the decree, an investor would need at least 1,000 square meters of land to establish a basic vocational training center. Secondary level vocational training centers in urban areas and schools in suburbs or rural areas would require at least 10,000 square meters and 20,000 square meters of land respectively.
College-level vocational training schools in urban areas and outside urban areas would require 20,000 square meters and 40,000 square meters of land respectively.
Investors need at least 5 billion VND (US$217,000) to set up a vocational training center. For a secondary vocational school and vocational college, the minimum investment capital has been set at 50 billion VND (US$ 2.1 million) and 100 billion VND (US$4.2 million) respectively.
The curriculum needs to meet the requirements set out in Item 1, Article 34 of the Law on Vocational Training and should include all the mandatory subjects prescribed by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs.
In addition, it should not include any content that can pose threats to the national defense or public interest, propagates religions, distorts the country’s history, or has a detrimental effect on culture, ethics, and customs.
According to Decree 15, foreign vocational educational institutions can open ROs to increase cooperation with Vietnamese partners, provide counseling services, conduct seminars, and manage the implementation of partnership agreements with local partners.
ROs can neither be involved in profit-making activities nor set up branches in Vietnam.
To be a licensed RO, the foreign institution must have a legal entity status and should have operated for at least five years in the country of origin.
To set up a branch or a new campus of a foreign-invested secondary vocational school and college, the investor should have a detailed development plan explaining the need for such an establishment, the name, and scope of the entity, and details about the training fields and subjects.
Establishing another branch or an additional campus would require investors to provide the lease contract of the infrastructure and facilities for at least five years. In addition, the investment capital should be at least 25 percent of the minimum capital requirement for setting up a vocational training institution.