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Number of Lao nationals studying abroad dips in 2019

The number of Lao nationals taking courses in other countries dropped from 7,128 in 2018 to 5,799 in 2019, according to a report from the Student Affairs Department, Ministry of Education and Sports.
They were enrolled in higher education programmes in 30 countries, studying for bachelor, master and doctorate degrees, funded by government scholarships, exchange scholarships, personal savings, and the state and private sectors.
In 2018 more than 2,300 people took bachelor degree courses while 1,938 people embarked on bachelor degrees in 2019. There was also a decline in the number of people taking master’s degrees, dropping from 1,061 in 2018 to 1,021 in 2019.
PhD programmes abroad attracted 99 people in 2018, but the number of students at this level increased to 150 in 2019. Other people took courses in various higher-level programmes and training courses.
Vietnam, China and Thailand are the most popular places for Lao students, while a much smaller number take courses in countries such as Spain, Italy and Myanmar.
The number of Lao officials and students taking courses in Vietnam dropped from 3,735 people in 2018 to 3,520 in 2019.
A total of 2,881 Lao people embarked on courses in China in 2018, falling to 1,693 people in 2019. Some 167 people studied in Thailand in 2018, with the number increasing to 178 in 2019.
Some received government scholarships while others were awarded exchange scholarships, and some students paid for their own studies.
According to the Student Affairs Department, most people enrolled in degree programmes in business management, law, health and welfare, engineering, production and construction in the academic year 2018-2019.
A total of 3,626 people took courses in general knowledge, 2,238 in business management and law, and 2,292 people studied health and welfare.
A smaller number studied services, natural science, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, and environmental issues.
The number of Lao students enrolled in agriculture, forestry, fishery, and veterinary courses abroad decreased from 131 people in 2018 to 100 in 2019.
The Ministry of Education and Sports is encouraging more people to take courses in science and agriculture, both in Laos and overseas, so that these areas can be strengthened in pursuit of social and economic development.

By Keoviengkhone Bounviseth
(Latest Update January 16, 2020)

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