Why Vietnam? 

A recent World Education Services (WES) report identified Vietnam as one of four emerging markets for international student recruitment, along with including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.


High recruitment potential is attributable to Vietnam’s growing middle-class and strong study abroad interest. Vietnamese students are the third largest body of international students at American community colleges. Institutions of higher education that identify and reach Vietnamese students with the financial means to study in the US should enjoy a good deal of recruiting success in the coming years.

Vietnam ranks…

Ø  8th among all sending countries (IIE/Open Doors & SEVIS, DHS)

Ø  5th in international undergraduate enrollment (IIE/Open Doors)

Ø  3rd in international enrollment at US community colleges (IIE/Open Doors)

If you’re looking for a partner in Vietnam, I’m pleased to recommend Mark Ashwill, managing director of Capstone Vietnam, a human resource development company with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).  Dr. Ashwill has lived and worked in Vietnam for over seven years.  From 2005-09, he served as country director of the Institute of International Education in Vietnam.

A 2011 Hobsons consultant’s report for a U.S. university noted that “The work of Dr. Mark Ashwill, formerly of IIE, and the former U.S. Ambassador, Michael Michalak, helped to promote the United States as a destination for Vietnamese students, and strengthened the ties between the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) and U.S. universities.”  Last summer, Jeff Browne wrote in his blog Vietnomics, that “Much of the credit for the strengthening US-Vietnam higher education link goes to Hanoi-based educator Mark Ashwill, director of Capstone Vietnam and key advisor to student-run nonprofit VietAbroader, both of which help Vietnamese students navigate the American education culture.” 

What is Capstone Vietnam?

Capstone Vietnam, whose slogan is Reaching New Heights, has grown quickly over the last three years, during which its focused mainly on institutional services. This includes helping colleges and universities, companies and nonprofits achieve their Vietnam-related goals, whatever they happen to be. For institutions whose primary goal is student recruitment the market has become very competitive in the last five years. You need to develop a long-term strategy that is diversified and meets the unique needs of your school. In the US, Capstone Vietnam works exclusively with regionally accredited colleges and universities.

Institutional Services & Overseas Study Advising

Examples of institutional services include: StudyUSA community college fairs in all three regions of Vietnam, StudyUSA higher ed fairs, information sessions, high school outreach visits, study tours, study abroad programs, “precision matchmaking” trips, marketing (on- and offline), translation, printing, etc.

This emphasis on institutional services sets Capstone apart from other education companies, most of which are traditional agents. Capstone also helps students gain admission to both partner and non-partner schools. In every case, its highest priority is to find the best possible match between a student’s qualifications, interests, ability to pay, goals and preferences and a short list of schools. NoteCapstone does not drive students to partner schools. It’s all about the “fit.”

International Academic Centers (IACs)

Capstone’s latest and most ambitious institutional service to date is the establishment of two International Academic Centers in Hanoi and HCMC for institutions of higher education that would like a country or regional coordinator who works for them but is employed by Capstone.  Its first Hanoi and HCMC IAC members are Kansas State University and Lane Community College, respectively.

For more information, visit Capstone Vietnam’s website and/or contact Mark at markashwill(AT)

Happy Year of the Snake!

This entry was posted in Colleges, International Education, International students, Uncategorized, Universities by Marguerite Dennis. Bookmark the permalink.

About Marguerite Dennis

Marguerite Dennis has been recruiting internationally for over 25 years, first at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and then at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. During that time she was responsible for establishing a branch campus for Suffolk University in Dakar, Senegal and Madrid, Spain. Marguerite increased the international student population at Suffolk University by 193% from 1993 to 2011 and increased the number of study abroad programs by 135%, from 20 to 47. She monitored the recruitment programs for Suffolk University in 20 countries and hired a network of 10 international educational consultants. She signed agreements in Viet Nam, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Germany, Mexico, France and Argentina.