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Vietnam spends big sending students abroad but most refuse to return



Vietnam spends US$1.4 billion annually sending 100,000 students abroad to study but most of them refuse to return home to work, said Peter Hong, vice-chairman of the Business Association of Overseas Vietnamese.

At a meeting held late last week by the Board for Southern Affairs of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee to collect opinions and proposals of residents in the south, Hong said that the Politburo issued Conclusion 12 reviewing significant contributions of overseas Vietnamese.

Remittances to Vietnam amounted to some $18 billion last year, including $6.1 billion sent to Ho Chi Minh City, Hong said, citing statistics in the Politburo’s conclusion.

Overseas Vietnamese have poured VND45 trillion ($1.92 billion) into over 4,300 companies in Vietnam, including nearly VND23 trillion ($982.7 million) invested in around 1,300 firms in Ho Chi Minh City.

However, it is more important to attract Vietnamese people studying abroad back home and make use of their expertise, Hong said.

At present, some 500,000 Vietnamese intellectuals are well educated in other countries.

Many of them want to return to Vietnam to work but have encountered multiple obstacles.

Taking his wife as an example, he said, “My wife is heading a ward of a large hospital abroad. Her current salary is some $187,000 per year. She wants to come back to Vietnam to work but she is offered only VND14 million [$599[ a month.”

Hong also mentioned the ‘Road to Olympia Peak’ program, the biggest quiz show on TV for high school students in Vietnam.

Peter Hong, vice chairman of the Business Association of Overseas Vietnamese, speaks at the meeting. Photo: Thao Le / Tuoi Tre

Peter Hong, vice-chairman of the Business Association of Overseas Vietnamese, speaks at the meeting. Photo: Thao Le / Tuoi Tre

Many people have joked that the program should be named ‘Road to Australia’ as most of the winners choose to stay there after completing their studies, funded by the grand prizes they won in the show.

He also mentioned Project 165 for the training of managers abroad using the state budget, saying that up to 67 percent of 3,000 PhD holders are living abroad, 27 percent are working for state agencies, and the remainder have quit their jobs.

“I am heart-broken as our children do not return home after studying overseas. I am sad when thinking of our next generations,” Hong said.

Nguyen Huu Dung, vice-chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, said he would acknowledge, select, summarize, and report the opinions of members of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee to the Party, State, and lawmaking National Assembly.

Elimination of land price frame needed to fight corruption 

Speaking of the anti-corruption fight at the meeting, lawyer Nguyen Van Hau, deputy head of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association, said the abolishment of the land price frame is important to root out corruption.

He attributed the devaluation of many land lots, many officials’ violations, and land disputes to unreasonable policies.

In addition, some people who denounce suspected corrupt officials get blamed for breaking units’ internal solidarity. This has discouraged accusers.

Therefore, the power of leaders must be controlled to ensure the effectiveness of the anti-corruption fight as leaders have the ultimate power over personnel and socio-economic issues, Hau said.

Many serious violations have been detected, including some by high-ranking officials, such as the former secretary of the Binh Duong Province Party Committee and the former Minister of Science and Technology, and were not found until the violators held more important posts.

It is necessary to enhance the improvement of anti-corruption regulations to ensure their feasibility and efficiency.

Moreover, loopholes in socio-economic management, especially in sectors prone to corruption, should be removed.

Penalties should be relaxed for corrupt officials returning all or a majority of the appropriated assets, Hong added.

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Vietnam to host inaugural NASA Space Week next week



The Vietnam Space Week will be organized in three Vietnamese localities next week, making Vietnam the first Southeast Asian country to hold such a NASA event.

The collaboration for the event involves the People’s Committees of Hau Giang Province, Thu Duc City under Ho Chi Minh City, and Binh Dinh Province, alongside the Ho Chi Minh City Computer Association and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The Hau Giang Convention Center in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang will kick off the first two days of the multi-day event on June 5 and 6.

The Student Culture House in Ho Chi Minh City, located at the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City in Thu Duc City, will host the third day’s activities on June 7.

The final two days of the event, June 8 and 9, will take place at the Binh Dinh Convention Center in the south-central namesake province.

The objective is to motivate the young generation through captivating stories of astronauts and to introduce scientific research aimed at protecting the earth, mitigating environmental pollution, and raising awareness about the potential dangers of asteroid collisions.

The event’s agenda also includes a NASA STEM Day providing students with the opportunity to participate in various STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities such as astrophysics, zero gravity experiments, robotics, virtual reality experiences, and other engaging scientific programs.

Former astronaut Mike Baker, who was on four space missions, and former flight surgeon Dr. Josef Schmid will be in attendance at the five-day event, according to The Saigon Times.

“It marks the inaugural implementation of this event in a Southeast Asian country,” The Saigon Times quoted chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Computer Association Lam Nguyen Hai Long as saying at the event’s press conference on May 29. 

“We look forward to its continuity as an annual event and aspire for Vietnam to be a host country preferred by NASA, with the possibility of elevating the event to a regional scale in the future.”

The concept of the Space Week has been prevalent in Scotland since the early 2000s, following the introduction by Hyang Lloyd, a former NASA employee, according to The Saigon Times

The event is also held annually to showcase NASA’s remarkable accomplishments and contributions in the realms of space exploration, scientific investigations, and technological advancements. 

It encompasses a range of activities organized by NASA and its affiliated partners.

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Vietnam bags 4 silvers, 2 bronzes at 2023 Asia-Pacific Informatics Olympiad



All six members of the Vietnamese team competing at the 2023 Asia-Pacific Informatics Olympiad won medals, including four silvers and two bronzes, the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training announced on Tuesday.

The four silver medals went to Nguyen Duc Thang, an 11th grader from Hung Vuong High School for Gifted Students in the northern province of Phu Tho; Nguyen Ngoc Dang Khoa, a 12th grader; Pham Cong Minh, an 11th grader; and Tran Xuan Bach, a 12th grader, all from High School for Gifted Students of the University of Science under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi.

The two bronze medals were secured by Le Ngoc Bao Anh, a 12th grader from Le Quy Don High School for Gifted Students in Da Nang, and Tran Vinh Khanh, a 12th grader from Quang Tri Township High School in Quang Tri Province, north-central Vietnam.

The 2023 Asia-Pacific Informatics Olympiad was held online with 1,471 contestants from 36 countries and territories, including students from Canada, Mexico, and Brazil who were invited to participate in the competition but not considered for prizes. China was the host country.

Fifteen Vietnamese students joined the competition at the University of Engineering and Technology under the Vietnam National University-Hanoi on May 20.

Six contestants with the highest scores were chosen for prize consideration, according to regulations of the competition.

With the six medals, Vietnam ranked ninth among the participating countries and territories.

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Vietnamese students win four bronze medals at Asian Physics Olympiad



A team of eight Vietnamese students competed in this year’s Asian Physics Olympiad, winning four bronze medals, according to the results announced by the contest organizers on Sunday.

The four bronze medals went to 12th graders Phan The Manh and Nguyen Tuan Phong of Bac Ninh High School for the Gifted in northern Bac Ninh Province, 11th grader Vo Hoang Hai of the High School for the Gifted of Natural Sciences under the University of Science, Vietnam National University-Hanoi, 11th grader Than The Cong of Bac Giang High School for the Gifted in northern Bac Giang Province.

Four 12th graders, namely Vu Ngo Hoang Duong, Nguyen Minh Tai Loc, Le Viet Hoang Anh, and Nguyen Tuan Duong, were awarded certificates of merit.

The eight students from the Vietnamese team participating in the 2023 Asian Physics Olympiad in Mongolia. Photo: Ministry of Education and Training

The eight students from the Vietnamese team participating in the 2023 Asian Physics Olympiad in Mongolia. Photo: Ministry of Education and Training

The 2023 Asian Physics Olympiad is being held from May 21 to 29 in Mongolia, where 195 students from 26 teams representing 25 countries and territories sit for both theoretical and practical examinations, each lasting 300 minutes.

Vietnam has taken part in the Asian Physics Olympiad a total of 22 times, according to news site VnExpress.

Last year, the Vietnamese delegation claimed a silver medal, two bronze medals, and five certificates of merit. 

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