Tuesday, February 10, 2009

UK Education Fair Opens for Students in Phnom Penh

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Spring Board Cambodia Education Fair opened on February 5 in Phnom Penh with the support of the British Council Bangkok and the British Embassy in Phnom Penh. It was jointly organized by SpringBoard4Cambodia and the National Institute of Education in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS).

The Fair took place at the National Institute of Education, under the presidency of the Cambodian Education Minister Im Sethy, who said that education fair underlines the attention and strong support of the British government in promoting good cooperation, education and human resource development between Cambodia and the UK.

The fair also provides opportunities for state and private universities to cooperate and work with British Education Partners in promoting and expanding the cause of sciences technology, management and university development.

The Minister said that in addition, the fair offered the opportunity for Cambodian students and members of the public to explore the education system in the UK and receive direct information from British universities relevant to their studies abroad.

“I hope that the UK Education Fair will help to strengthen the relationship between Cambodian state and British universities and provide an opportunity for Cambodian students to study at the UK, which has the best quality education system in the world,” the Minister said during opening remark.

The Minister continued the Government has determined that education is a priority sector in producing human resources and serving the needs of social and economic development in Cambodia.

For instance, the government issued the Rectangular Strategy and set up the Strategic Development Plan 2006-2010, focusing on human resource development and ensuring that every child has same opportunity to receive quality higher education in Cambodia.

“I encourage both Cambodian state universities and British universities to expand cooperation between professors and students, arrange study tours and create joint curricular and research topics to promote quality education in future,” he said.


The Minister noted that to promote education in Cambodia, his government has created three important education reforms including the Enrollment Equity Guarantee which builds schools close to people’s houses and provides scholarships for students from poorer backgrounds; the Education Quality and Effectiveness reform will construct more libraries and schoolrooms and work towards curriculum development; and the Staff Capacity Building and Institutions Development reform will provide technical skills training for all teachers, as well as restructuring the organization chart.

Collin Glass, Head of SpringBoard4Cambodia, said this was the first occasion that his company has organized such a Fair in Cambodia. He said the fair will inform prospective students about the opportunities offered by the British education system. He added that the fair will also highlight the importance of education in a knowledge-based world, which demands a highly-skilled workforce.

“The Cambodian education system will be the driving force in developing the human capital of your wonderful country and we at the Spring Board hope to support this maximizing of your human capital,” he said.

He pointed out that the Spring Board is a multi-national company with offices throughout the ASEAN region. The company is proud to have a Cambodian registered company, housed in a new building that includes a computer laboratory. The organization can be found at the Purple Building in Phnom Penh.

“It is through this powerful agenda for change that Cambodia will produce skilled young citizens who can contribute to the economic prosperity of the Cambodian nation and to build their own vision of the world,” he said.

Ly Bunheang, 23, a law student graduating from the Royal University of Law and Economic Sciences in Phnom Penh, attended the UK Education Fair. He said that he was happy to be there.

“I am happy to visit the education exhibition organized by SpringBoard4Cambodia,” he said. “I note that all British university education systems and training courses appear to be the most up-to-date in the world,” he added.

He continued, “I would like to study in the UK very much. I will apply for study after graduation in Phnom Penh next year. I hope that I will get a good job if I graduate abroad.”

According to report, 23 British universities attended the UK Education Fair in Phnom Penh. These included Birkbek College, University of London, Cardiff University, Cambridge Education Group, The University of Central Lancashire, The Universities of East Anglia, Education First, the University of Greenwich, Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, INTO, the University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University, The University of Nottingham, the University of Plymouth, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Pembrokeshire College, Regent College, Roehmpton University, the University of Sunderland, the University of Wolverhampton, and University of Worcester.



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