A model of the dimensions that measure the way students perceive and think about the image of vocational education training (VET) was developed together with an instrument to measure the impact of VET’s image on students’ loyalty towards the VET sector in the Vietnamese context. The data were collected from 900 students: 300 in lower secondary school, 300 in upper secondary school and 300 in vocational education and training using a face-to-face administered survey questionnaire. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine the nature of the constructs or dimensions quantifying the image of vocational education and students’ loyalty towards VET. Correlation analysis was used to examine the relationships between the independent variables that comprised the image of VET and the dependant variables of students’ loyalty and, finally, regression analysis was used to measure the impact of the image of VET on the students’ loyalty. Three main findings emerged from the study: (1) the image of VET was constructed by seven dimensions (entry requirement, facility and equipment, recognition of qualification, student career and job potential, quality of curriculum, social skills and soft skills); (2) students’ loyalty was constructed by two dimensions (future study choice and earning potential); and (3) students’ loyalty towards VET, namely the rationale underlying their decisions about whether to continue their future studies in higher education or VET, and their perceptions of the earning potential offered by obtaining a qualification in VET, were impacted significantly by their perceptions of the relevance or quality of the VET curriculum to the emerging industrialised and market-led economy of Vietnam, and the level of entry requirements for VET courses, with exception of lower secondary students.
Key words: Influence, vocational education training, image, loyalty, and students.
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