Skip to main content
Log in

The Role of Parents in University Choice: Evidence from Vietnam

The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Cite this article


This paper reports on the ways in which a selected group of parents in Vietnam decided which university one of their children should attend. Drawing upon narrative accounts provided by 16 parents of recent graduates from three universities in Hanoi, the paper seeks to elucidate the kinds of considerations taken into account by parents in their decision-making and the nature of the parent–child relationships that were evident in the process. The paper presents a classification of parent–child relationships concerning the matter of university choice in Vietnam.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Attias-Donfut, C., Lapierre, N., & Segalen, M. (2002). Le nouvel esprit de famille. Paris: Editions Odile Jacob.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baumrind, D. (1978). Parental disciplinary patterns and social competence in children. Youth and Society, 9(3), 239–276.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Blair, S. L., & Qian, Z. (1998). Family and Asian students’ educational performance: A consideration of diversity. Journal of Family Issues, 19, 355–374.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chao, R., & Tseng, V. (2002). Parenting of Asians. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting (Vol. 4, pp. 59–94)., Social conditions and applied parenting Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chiu, L.-H. (1987). Child-rearing attitudes of Chinese, Chinese-American, and Anglo-American mothers. International Journal of Psychology, 22, 409–419.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Chow, S., & Dao, T. N. (2013). Bribes for enrolment in desired schools in Vietnam. In T. International (Ed.), Global corruption report: education (pp. 60–68). Abingdon: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hayden, M., & Lam, Q. T. (2010). Vietnam’s higher education system. In G. Harman, M. Hayden, & T. N. Pham (Eds.), Reforming higher education in Vietnam (pp. 15–30). Dordrecht: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hayden, M., & Pham, T. L. (2015). Higher education access and inclusion: Lessons from Vietnam. Advances in Education in Diverse Communities: Research, Policy and Praxis, 11, 19–33.

    Google Scholar 

  • High graduate unemployment rate blamed on bad career advice (2016). dtinews.

  • Iacopini, L. (2013). University choice in Vietnam: The impact of internationalisation and privatisation. (Doctoral dissertation).

  • Kellerhals, J., & Montandon, C. (1991). Les stratégies éducatives des familles. Neuchâtel: Delachaux & Niestlé.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kellerhals, J., Widmer, E., & Levy, R. (2004). Mesure et démesure du couple. Paris: Payot.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lareau, A. (2011). Unequal childhoods. Class, race, and family life with an update a decade later (Second Edition with an update a decade (later ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lescarret, O., Van-Thi, K. C., & Tran, T. M. D. (2000). Les théories de la scolarité chez les familles vietnamiennes et françaises. In O. Lescarret, O. Le Khanh & H. Ricaud (Eds.), Etudes vietnamiennes (Vol. 4, pp. 195–203). Hanoi: Ed. du Monde.

  • Lin, C. Y. C., & Fu, V. R. (1990). A comparison of child-rearing practices among Chinese, immigrant Chinese, and Caucasian-American parents. Child Development, 61(2), 429–433.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • London, J. D. (2011). Education in Viet Nam: Historical roots, recent trends. In J. D. London (Ed.), Education in Viet Nam (pp. 1–56). Singapore: Institute for Southeast Asian Studies Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Maccoby, E., & Martin, J. (1983). Socialization in the context of the family: Parent-child interaction. In P. Mussen & M. E. Hetherington (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology. Socialization, personality, and social development. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCornac, D. C. (2007). Corruption in Vietnamese higher education. International Higher Education, 50, 25–26.

    Google Scholar 

  • McCornac, D. C. (2012). The challenge of corruption in higher education: The case of Vietnam. Asian Education and Development Studies in Higher Education, 1(3), 252–275.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nguyen, N. A., (2012). (In Vietnamese). The financial allocations for public universities in Vietnam: The recent situation and recommendations (Co che phan bo ngan sach cho dai hoc cong lap: hien trang va khuyen nghi). Conference Proceedings, Higher Education Financing Reforms, Ministry of Finance, Hanoi, Vietnam, November 2012.

  • Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pham, T. L., & Dam, M. Q. (2014). The Non-public sector of H.Edu in Vietnam: Uncorking is needed.

  • Select school or choosing a career? (2016). Laodongthudo.

  • Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. (2004). Open coding. In C. Seale (Ed.), Social research methods: A reader (pp. 303–306). London and New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Trinh, L. T., Oubrayrie-Roussel, N., & Lescarret, O. (2009). Pratiques éducatives parentales et estime de soi de l’adolescent vietnamien. Psychologie et éducation, 1, 57–74.

    Google Scholar 

  • van Zanten, A. (2009). Choisir son école. Stratégies familiales et médiations locales. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Luna Iacopini.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Iacopini, L., Hayden, M. The Role of Parents in University Choice: Evidence from Vietnam. Asia-Pacific Edu Res 26, 147–154 (2017).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: