Educational Investment: A Trillion Race

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High profit margin, stable growth, lower risk than investment in other sectors. That is the reason, in recent years, investment in Vietnam education sector always takes place, especially large-scale M&A transactions in Vietnam.

One of the barriers for Vietnamese students to integrate into the world community is their limited English and soft skills. In addition, the curriculum of higher education has not linked to the labor market, people are more interested in spending on education. All that has led to investment in education over the years has become hectic.

In addition, the political stability, economic growth is the cause of increasing investment in education, but the capital scale that businesses invest in this field is still modest compared to other sectors. Hence, education is still a fertile market for investors to continue looking for opportunities.

Education is an area where there is no limit on demand. Along with the development in science and technology, the demand for professional knowledge and language skills to meet the requirements of domestic and foreign job market is increasing. Moreover, there is a growing need for sending children to study abroad. According to a recent study, 42% of Vietnam’s population is under the age of 24 – the golden age for almost all educational programs, so investing in bilingual schools, international universities, English language center is the “golden egg” for many businesses.

Investment trends in higher education will continue in the coming years as non-public universities currently only train less than 15% of the students, while the Government target is 30%. In Japan, Korea, private education and training facilities account for up to 70%.

According to the planning of the network of universities and colleges up to 2020, the total size of university and college education will reach about 2.2 million students, striving to 2020, the whole country has 224 universities and 236 colleges, but the capability to meet is still limited.

Many investors step into the race into this field, i.e. Cognita Education Fund buys International School HCMC (ISHCMC) and Saigon Pearl International Primary School, Nord Anglia Education Fund buys British International School (BIS), TPG – US Investment Fund buys the Vietnam Australia Bilingual School (VAS), EQT Investment Fund invests in the ILA English Language Center, TAEL Investment Fund invests in the Institute of American Education (IAE), the IFC Fund of the World Bank invests in Vietnam USA Society English Center (VUS), the Mekong Capital Fund invests in the Yola English Language Center, the Institute of American Education (IAE) invests in Thanh Tay University… among many transactions.

Another reason that education is attracting more investment is the steady source of profit. Although investment in education is considered as a long-term investment, as even 10 years later it is unlikely that the capital will be recovered, but the rate of profit against bank deposits is much higher and stable. There is also no bad debt because students must pay tuition at the beginning of the school year.

According to a recent statistic from Forbes Vietnam, out of 43 universities and colleges providing financial data, 77% of the schools have revenue exceeds their spending. The foreign language training offers the highest return in education investment, the lowest is 20% and with good performance, it can reach 50%.

The reason why investors are pouring money into education is because they can see the great potential of the market because the middle class is growing rapidly, the demand for education and expansion to the world is also increasing dramatically, while the education of Vietnam is backward.

Each year, it is estimated that Vietnamese people spend about 3 billion USD on overseas study and this number has grown rapidly over the years. According to the Ministry of Education and Training, if in 2010, 2011, the number of Vietnamese people studying abroad is about 98,000, then in 2016, it is about 130,000.

In Australia, each year the country earns 17 billion USD from international students, in which many of them coming from Vietnam. That is the driving force for investment in education in Vietnam next year higher than last year.

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