Vietnam university's business school only accepts males at least 1.65m tall & females at least 1.58m

The requirements were removed after backlash.

Daniel Seow | July 10, 2024, 02:03 PM



A business school at a Hanoi university has reversed its recent decision to impose a height requirement on prospective students.

According to Vietnamese media reports in June, the School of Management and Business (HSB) at the Vietnam National University in Hanoi had previously announced that female applicants had to be at least 1.58 meters tall, and males had to be at least 1.65 meters tall as part of its admissions criteria.

Image from Hanoi School of Business and Management / Facebook.

Candidates were also required to have good physical strength and eyesight.

These criteria were in addition to meeting academic requirements.


This height criteria sparked controversy when it was announced, with many arguing on Vietnamese social media that it is unnecessary and discriminatory, VnExpress reported.

Typically, only schools for specific professions — such as police and military schools — set height requirements for enrolment.

In Vietnam, the average height is 1.56 meters for women and 1.68 meters for men, DW reported, citing Vietnam's National Institute of Nutrition data for the period from 2019 to 2020.

Hoang Ngoc Vinh, a former department director in Vietnam's education ministry, said that there is no scientific research proving that height is a decisive factor for success in the fields of management and business, as cited by the online media outlet Tuổi Trẻ .

As such, he concluded that admission criteria based on height can be seen as unfair and "violate the principle of equal opportunity in education".

Following the backlash, Vietnam's education ministry directed HSB through the university to review its admission criteria.

"The school must ensure that no candidate loses the opportunity to apply due to regulations unrelated to qualifications and abilities, except for those specified by the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of National Defence," the directive stated.

Now only 1 course has height requirement

HSB has since adjusted its admission criteria, removing the height requirement for three of its four undergraduate programs.

The criteria still apply to applicants for the Management and Security course.

A school representative told VnExpress that the school aims to train excellent leaders, managers, and executives for both the public and private sectors.

"In addition to academic and skill factors, HSB believes that physical fitness and appearance play a significant role in building a professional and confident image for future leaders."

The school only makes exceptions for candidates who do not meet the physical criteria if they have special talents.

HSB is seeking to admit 500 students this year.

Top image from Hanoi School of Business and Management / Facebook