Australia is still the first choice for Vietnamese who wish to study abroad, the Australian Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City says.

According to statistics provided by the consulate, every year more than 28,000 new students from Vietnam enroll in universities and other educational institutions in Australia, Viet Nam News reported on Tuesday. As of now, there are more than 60,000 alumni in Vietnam who completed their studies in Australia.

The numbers were released at a gala dinner celebrating 45 years of Australia-Vietnam diplomatic relations. The event was put together by the Vietnam Graduates from Australia Club with the theme “Boundless Connections.”

Members of Vietnam’s rising middle class are more than willing to send their children overseas for a good education. According to Vietnam’s Ministry of Education, in total Vietnamese citizens spend as much as US$3 billion to $4 billion a year to send their children overseas for their studies.

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