Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Workshop on “How to Build a More Research –Oriented Faculty”

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

A workshop on “How to Build a More Research-Oriented Faculty” was held on August 19 in Phnom Penh at The University of Cambodia (UC). The workshop was presided over by Dr. Angus Munro, Vice President of UC. Katherine Marshall, Professor of the Georgetown University, and Head of the World Faiths Development Dialogue was the lecture at the workshop.

Dr Angus Munro said that the workshop aimed to improve the research abilities of the faculty members and staff of the UC. He added that the workshop will promote a culture of research at UC. “Cambodian society needs to recognize the importance of research. Research can contribute at a national and international level, an institutional level or individual level. However, it is of vital importance that the research methods are of a high standard. The examination of all assumptions and presumption is at het base of every research,” he said during his opening remarks at the workshop.

Katherine Marshall, also Head of the World Faiths Development Dialogue, said that research is very important for teachers and faculty staff members of universities. She said that research is the only mean to improve and promote teachers’ teaching and the universities’ prestige worldwide. “Teaching is not just preaching but its needs to be fueled with freshly conducted research. If teachers conduct their lessons without the input of research the lessons are not imbedded in reality. I feel that all faculty members should conduct research in their own areas of specialty. Besides improving the quality of the lessons, it is a way to show the rest of the world what their university has to offer.”

Katherine Marshall pointed out that many universities in the world especially in the United States of America (USA) have been using research in addition to their curriculum. She continued by saying that a lot of faculty members of American universities are highly skilled in conducting research. One thing American scholars are particularly good in is making the results of their research public. Many of them have had their work published. Another common phenomenon in America is that researchers have their own website, where they make their work public. By doing so they are contributing to status of their university.

Professor Marshall found that conducting research is a highly undiscovered territory in Cambodia. “Cambodian academics do not see researching as a standard part of their function.” She found that because it is so uncommon for Cambodian scholars to conduct research, their skill are of yet limited. She advised all staff members to start engaging in research, so they can improve their teaching skills and increase the prestige of UC. Se further recommend to al UC teachers to create their own website, so they can show the world the high quality of education UC has to offer.




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