Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version



Yao, C. W., & Garcia, C. E. (2018). International Students in Their Own Country: Motivation of Vietnamese Graduate Students to Attend a Collaborative Transnational University. FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education, 4(2). 10.18275/fire201804021134


© Lehigh University


Higher education institutions in Vietnam have embraced opportunities to collaborate internationally to address specific educational needs that have emerged as a result of an accelerated economic and political society. The shift to a global market-driven economy has resulted in the need to produce better prepared graduates, advance in technology, and a shift in teaching and learning practices. In this study, we examine the motivations of 22 Vietnamese graduate students to attend Vietnamese-German University (VGU). The site is of particular importance because VGU is a true collaboration between two different governments, resulting in a collaborative transnational university. The findings from this study indicate three connected pull factors for graduate students: instruction conducted in English, benefits of a German degree, and the low cost for an international degree. Implications from findings illuminate why Vietnamese graduate students make educational choices and provide insights on their academic experiences as they relate to societal priorities.