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Vietnam has an extensive state-controlled network of schools, colleges and universities, and a growing number of privately run and partially privatised institutions. General education in Vietnam is divided into five categories: kindergarten, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and universities. A large number of public schools have been organized across the country to raise the national literacy rate, which stood at 90.3% in 2008.
A large number of Vietnam's most acclaimed universities are based in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Facing serious crises, Vietnam's education system is under a holistic program of reform launched by the government. Education is not free; therefore, some poor families may have trouble paying tuition for their children without some form of public or private assistance. Regardless, school enrollment is among the highest in the world,[citation needed] and the number of colleges and universities increased dramatically in the 2000s, from 178 in 2000 to 299 in 2005.