Revisiting Lifelong Learning and Its Practices in Vietnam




lifelong learning, Vietnam, education, policies


Education is an indispensable sector for a country's sustainable development. To maintain its continuity, government-based policies and related stakeholders in learning need to be considered to promote lifelong learning. This narrative literature review addresses international concepts of lifelong learning in Europe and how it has been implemented in Vietnam. The findings indicated that Vietnam faced more challenges than other developed countries, and some factors impacted LLL in Vietnam, such as legal frameworks, facilities, foreign language literacy, etc. The review also provided discussions for lifelong learning in Vietnam.

Author Biography

Phan Thi Kim Thao, CiY Viet Nam Training and Service Trading Company Limited, Vietnam

Thao PTK is an English-major lecturer and researcher in Vietnam. She completed her bachelor’s degree in English Linguistics and Literature and the master’s degree in TESOL. Her research has been published in international journals. Currently, she is a peer- reviewer and editor for research journals based on Vietnam and Southern East Asia. Her main interests comprise Applied Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Technology in ELT, and Language Testing and Assessment.


Andrade, M. S., Workman, L., & Westover, J. H. (2022). Current practices for community-based learning in schools of business. The International Journal of Management Education, 20(1), 100597.

Anh, L. T.K & Hayden, M. (2017). The road ahead for the higher education sector in Vietnam. Journal of International and Comparative Education (JICE), 77-89.

Biesta, G. (2006). What's the point of lifelong learning if lifelong learning has no point? On the democratic deficit of policies for lifelong learning. European educational research Journal, 5(3-4), 169-180.

Chan, C. K. Y. (2012). Exploring an experiential learning project through Kolb's Learning Theory using a qualitative research method. European Journal of Engineering Education, 37(4), 405–415.

Delors, J. (1998). Learning: The treasure within. Paris: UNESCO.

Desjardins, R., Melo, V., & Lee, J. (2016). Cross-national patterns of participation in adult education and policy trends in Korea, Norway, and Vietnam. Prospects, 46(1), 149-170.

Dib, C. Z. (1988). Fomral, Non-formal and Informal Education: Concepts/Applicability. AIP Conference Proceedings, 103 (1), 300-315.

Do, T. T., Phan,T.T, Tran, T, H. G., Bui, D. M., Pham, T. O., Nguyen, L. V. A., & Nguyen,T. T. (2021). Research on lifelong learning in Southeast Asia: A bibliometrics review between 1972 and 2019. Cogent Education, 8(1), 1-20.

Duong, B. (2015). Advantages when pursuing continuing education HCMC journal of education. Retrieved 20th January 2022, from

Education Law (2005). The National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Legislature XI, Hanoi. Law number 38/2005/QH11. Retrieved from:

European Commission (2001). Making a European area of lifelong learning a reality. European Commission, Brussels. Retrieved 04 Oct 2022, <>.

European Commission (2015). An In-Depth Analysis of Adult Learning Policies and their Effectiveness in Europe, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

Faure, E., et al. (1972). Learning to be: The world of education today and tomorrow. Paris: UNESCO.

Ferrari, R. (2015). Writing narrative style literature reviews. Medical Writing, 24(4), 230–235.

Field, J. (2001). Lifelong education. International Journal of lifelong education, 20(1-2), 3-15.

Freire, P. (1970). The adult literacy process as cultural action for freedom. Harvard Educational Review, 40(2), 205-225.

Kwak, D. J., Kato, M., & Hung, R. (2016). The Confucian concept of learning revisited for East Asian humanistic pedagogies. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 48(1), 1-6.

Ho, T. T., Pham, G. T., & Dam, Q. (2021). Reading attitudes in Vietnam: Initial study of the early school years. Reading and Writing, 35(2), 303-323.

Huong, N. M. (2021). The State of Open Education Practice in Vietnam. Capitalizing Open Education: The State of Practice in ASEAN Region, 105-136.

Khuc, P. T. T. (2019). Critical theory and the implementation of lifelong learning in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City Open University Journal of Science Social Sciences, 9 (2), 17-30.

Le, Q. T. (2020). Orientation for an education 4.0: A new vision for future education in Vietnam. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change, 11(3), 513-526.

Lee, J. M., & Nguyen, K. B. (2006). A Study on the System of Lifelong Education in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Journal of Agricultural Education and Human Resource Development, 8(4), 187-214.

Law, V., & Hui, S. H. Y. (2020). Lifelong education for health providers and community. Primary Care Revisited (pp. 321-335). Springer, Singapore.

Lin, P. M. C., Kim, Y., Qiu, H., & Ren, L. (2017). Experiential learning in hospitality education through a service-learning project. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism education, 29(2), 71–81.

Le, X. M., & Le, T. T. (2022). Factors Affecting Students' Attitudes towards Learning English as a Foreign Language in a Tertiary Institution of Vietnam. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 2(2), 168–185.

Lee, R., & Kim, J. (2016). Community-based lifelong learning and adult education: Situations of community learning centers in 7 Asian countries. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Lobachev, S. (2009). Top languages in global information production. Digital Voices: An Open Access Practice Journal, 1(1), 1-12.

Nguyen, Q. K., & Nguyen, Q. C. (2008). Education in Vietnam: development history, challenges and solutions. In B. Fredriksen & T. J. Peng (Eds.), An African exploration of the East Asian education experience, Washington D.C.: The World Bank.

Nguyen, L., Luu, P., & Ho, H. (2020). Factors Influencing Life-Long Learning: An Empirical Study of Young People in Vietnam. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business, 7(10), 909-918.

Nguyen, T. M., & Teng, H. C. (2022). A Study of Mobile Devices' Acceptance in Developing EFL Listening Skill among Vietnamese High School Learners. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 2(2), 95–118.

Phạm, Đ. N. T. (2014). Obstacles to lifelong learning in Vietnam and some suggested solutions. VNU Journal of Science: Education Research, 30(1), 21-30.

Prime Minister (2013). Quyết định 89/QĐ-TTg Phê duyệt đề án xây dựng xã hội học tập giai đoạn 2012- 2020 [Prime Minister Decision to Approve Building Learning Society 2012-2020. Document No QĐ 89/QĐ-TTg]. Government of Vietnam.

Quyen, N. T. H. (2019). An analysis of the Singaporean preparation for the future workforce and recommendations for Vietnam. VNU Journal of Foreign Studies, 35(4), 92-113.

Rubenson, K. (Ed.). (2011). Adult learning and education. Academic Press.

Ruggero, C., & Yuri, K. (2018) Investing over the life course: The role of lifelong learning in a social investment strategy, Studies in the Education of Adults, 50(2), 203-218.

Singh, M. (2002). Institutionalising lifelong learning: Creating conducive environments for Adult learning in the Asian context. Hamburg: UNESCO Institute for Education.

Sundkvist, P., & Nguyen, X. N. C. M. (2020). English in Vietnam. In K. Bolton, W. Botha, & A. Kirkpatrick (Eds.), The handbook of Asian Englishes, (pp.683-703). (Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics)

Tan, C. (2017). Lifelong learning through the Skills Future movement in Singapore: Challenges and prospects. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 36(3), 278-291.

Thao, P. T. K. (2021). Vietnamese Undergraduates' Attitudes Towards the Use of Facebook for English Language Teaching and Learning. In 17th International Conference of the Asia Association of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (AsiaCALL 2021) (pp. 181-195). Atlantis Press.

Nguyen, T. M., & Teng, H. C. (2022). A Study of Mobile Devices’ Acceptance in Developing EFL Listening Skill among Vietnamese High School Learners. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 2(2), 95–118.

Thoa, N. T. K., & Ju, Dong-Beom (2021). Lifelong Education System in Vietnam: A New Development Direction from the Korea Paradigm. 비교교육연구, 31(2), 93-115.

Thuy, H. T., & Thuy–Ha, H. D. (2019). STEM education in non-formal learning institutions in ethnic minority and mountainous areas: a look from Ha Giang city's community. learning center. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1340 (1),1-10.

Thuy, N. Q., Trang, N. T. D., & Tuyen, N. T. T. (2022). Enhancing teachers'capacity for "lifelong learning" in secondary schools in Vietnam. Наука, техника и образование, 1 (84), 88-93.

Tin tức [The News - the e-newspaper of Vietnam News Agency]. (2018). Chú trọng hỗ trợ phát triển kinh tế xã hội vùng đồng bào dân tộc thiểu số [Prioritising support for socioeconomic development in ethnic minority areas]. Available at: [Accessed: 01 April 2022].

Tran, H. H. (2019). Mind the gap: E-Learning and the quest for lifelong learning (Doctoral dissertation, University of Melbourne, Victoria).

Tran, T., Le, T. T. H., Nguyen, T. T., Pham, A. G., Vu, T. H., Nguyen, M. H., & Vuong, Q. H. (2019). The relationship between birth order, sex, home scholarly culture and youths' reading practices in promoting lifelong learning for sustainable development in Vietnam. Sustainability, 11(16), 2-26.

Tuan, V. K., & Rajagopal, P. (2022). The mediating effect of the budget process on the performance of small-and medium-sized enterprises in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management, and Innovation, 18(1), 65-92.

UNESCO and UNICEF (2011). Report on the Joint UNESCO and UNICEF Regional Workshop on Achieving Education for All and Promoting Lifelong Learning' Equivalency Programmes and Alternative Certified Learning'. Bangkok: UNESCO Bangkok. Available at:

Vaughan, R. P., & Walker, M. (2012). Capabilities, values and education policy. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 13(3), 495-512.

Vuong, Q. H., Nguyen, M. H., & Le, T. T. (2021). Home scholarly culture, book selection reason, and academic performance: Pathways to book reading interest among secondary school students. European Journal of Investigation in Health, Psychology and Education, 11(2), 468- 495.

Vuong, H. M., Hoang, P. H., Nguyen, M. H., Ho, M. T., & Vuong, Q. H. (2021). Reading habits, socioeconomic conditions, occupational aspiration and academic achievement in Vietnamese Junior High School students. Academic Contributions to the UNESCO 2019 Forum on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship, 11(18), 109-137.

Vuong, Q. H., La, V. P., Nguyen, T. H. T., Nguyen, M. H., Vuong, T. T., Vuong, H. M., & Ho,

M. T. (2021). Impacts of parents and reading promotion on creating a reading culture:

Evidence from a developing context. Children and Youth Services Review, 131.

Vuong, Q. H., Do, M. T., Pham, T. V. A., Do, T. A., Doan, P. T., Hoang, A. D., & Pham, H. H. (2020). The status of educational sciences in Vietnam: A bibliometric analysis from Clarivate Web of Science database between 1991 and 2018. Problem of Education in the 21st Century, 78(4), 644-662.

Wain, K. (2001). Richard Rorty and End of Philosophy of Education. M.A. Peters and P. Ghirardelli Jr. (Eds.), Education, Philosophy, and Politics, (pp. 163-178). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

World Bank. (2003). Lifelong learning in the global knowledge economy: Challenges for developing countries. Washington, DC: The World Bank.




How to Cite

Phan, T. K. T. (2022). Revisiting Lifelong Learning and Its Practices in Vietnam. International Journal of TESOL & Education, 3(1), 47–63.