his peers, who scribbled away on papers tucked inside blue
folders, Teav Rachana said he hopes to attend to The
University of Cambodia so he can study International
“This school has
good qualities,” he said. “It has good teachers and it is a
were just hoping to be able to study the area of their
choice without the high tuition fees. Hor Heng from Kampot
Province wants to study Management, Kung Seng from Phnom
Penh wants to study Education, and Pal Sereyvatana from
Phnom Penh wants to study English.
students returned to Phnom Penh on September 13 and 21 to
take the scholarship exams. In order to equip the capacity
of students who would be taking the exam, the university
held testing at two locations – UC and Preah Sisowath High
School. More than 100 UC student volunteers and about 70
teachers from area schools assisted in moderating.
covered both general knowledge and English comprehension.
Testing Capacity Limits
University of Cambodia continues to grow, finding the
classroom space to equip the incoming students has been a
In the past, the
university has addressed student body growth by creating a
three-session system, where students can opt to take classes
in the morning, in the afternoon or on weekends. Por Malis,
UC's Office of Administration Director, said that the
university hopes to continue to house classes within the
university’s facilities, but if necessary they will rent out
rooms in the National Institute of Education (NIE) building
for evening sessions.
university’s administrative office estimates that at least
1,000 students will enroll in classes for the new term,
though exact figures will not be determined until the start
of the academic school year on October 6. That figure more
than doubles last year’s enrollment of 447 students.
Malis said the
university hopes to support the increasing number of
students with a well-equipped staff.
be our first priority,” she said. “We need to strengthen our
faculty and the capacity and quality of our faculty and
UC has already
attracted international attention, having been recognized by
Eduniversal as having one of the top 1,000 business colleges
in the world. With this ranking of "Good Business School
with Regional Influence," it wants to continue to expand its
networks internationally, Malis said.
with this growth is the move to the new campus at Sangkat
Tuok Thla, planned for February 2010. The 11-story building,
currently under construction, will accommodate between
10,000 and 20,000 students, as well as house a television
and radio station. The university is also continuing the
search for funding in order to construct dormitories to
house students from the provinces wanting to attend UC.
Interested individuals, organizations or businesses wanting
to support dormitory construction should contact the
university's administrative department.
Team Places Second in National Competition
full of professionally dressed men and women, clad
in their collared shirts and pressed black pants and
skirts, watched as Mr. Som Sovan sat on trial for
robbery, accused of stealing a woman’s purse while
she was returning home from a trip to the ATM.
scene could have been straight out of a courtroom
drama, but it wasn’t. It was the prompt for the
Second Annual Cambodia Mock Trial Competition,
hosted by The University of Cambodia.
students from The University of Cambodia, Build Bright
University, Royal University of Law and Economy, Cambodian
Mekong University and Pannasastra University of Cambodia
converged in the UC Conference Center September 3-5 to
present their cases to a panel of judges, in competition to
be the top legal team in Cambodia.
awarded points on a number of qualities including their
overall performance, creation of questions, exhibited
information, control of the witness and closing statements.
take it seriously. They work hard. They are passionate,”
said Steven Austermiller, the event’s organizer. “Their work
is better than most advocacy seen in the U.S. and Cambodian
is part of USAID’s initiative to promote creative,
non-traditional educational methods within Cambodia and
teach advocacy to students, said Austermiller, the legal
education adviser at East West Management Institute, which,
along with USAID and the American Bar Association, helped
fund the event.
UC prepared for
10 weeks and sent two teams of five students to take part in
the competition. One team, consisting of students Heng
Kanal, Van Chanphila, Mao Sovanratha, Lim Srey Sros and Po
Vannary, made it to the final round and were deemed “second
winner” because although they didn’t win their case, they
gave a compelling performance.
“The judge said
there was only a slight difference between the teams and
that it was hard to make a decision,” said Tep Punloeu, the
As part of the
qualifying team, third year law student Chanphila said he
was chosen to compete because of his good grades and
participation in class discussions.
played prosecutor in one of the preliminary rounds and
defendant Som Sovan in a second preliminary round, saw a
challenge in developing questions for the trial and working
with the given facts.
“You have to
make a point and protect your side of the case,” he said.
The competition helped him improve his advocacy skills, and
he wants to take those skills into his future career as a
“I can help my
country do a lot,” he said. “And if my family has problems,
I can help them.”
Not having made
up her mind quite yet as to whether to pursue a career in
law, In Phirun, also a third-year law student, said the
competition gave her an opportunity to put her coursework
“I want to get
good advice and experience,” she said. “Because I’m studying
law, I must practice.”
have greatly improved their skills from last year, said
Punloeu, doing a better job with memorizing the facts and
performing. He said he hopes to continue to help the
students develop their skills by instituting a legal clinic
at the university, which will provide resources to help the
students in their preparation.
Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy, made a glaring error
when she mistakenly called The University of Cambodia by the
name Cambodia University. Campbell was presenting the second
place medals to the UC Mock Trial Team on September 5 when
she announced the name of a school that doesn’t exist.
The UC team
hesitated to appear on stage, but swallowed their pride to
accept an award they were rightly due. They would, however,
like to advise Ms. Campbell in the future to please do her
"We are The
University of Cambodia," the students stated.
Team Argues Environment Issues
of Cambodia debate team members made their debut television
appearance alongside a veteran debater and fellow team
member at the "Youth Environmental Debate" hosted by the
Ministry of Environment at TVK on September 5.
Kang Sokkim with
her rookie teammates Ou Daney, Tim Vutha and Riel Rathsatya
went head to head against Cambodian Mekong University in a
debate over whether climate change should be included in
governmental health policy. The team fought a tough battle,
but did not make it past the preliminary round.
“We planned very
good, but lacked confidence in our speaking,” said Vutha, an
English major, who said the team argued that the government
should create a health policy around greenhouse gasses and
the changing climate.
Before the day
of the debate, the students had about a month to research
information to support their points. They gathered data from
the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Health and the
American Embassy, but according to Sokkim, an English major,
their resources didn’t compare to other schools, like Mekong
University, that have a more structured debate club with
better Internet access and more materials.
have teachers that help to do research, but we have to do
everything ourselves,” Sokkim explained about what she
considered to be the team’s weakest point. She said the
students had to sacrifice precious study time and their own
money in order to find good resources to perform their
The team also
recognized that this initial debate posed some challenges
that they will work on for future competitions.
Rathsatya, an International Relations major, said he
believed they organized their information well, being in
front of a large audience made him jittery.
“Because it was
my first time, I felt a little bit nervous. That’s why I
lost my points,” he said. “There were many people around me
so I lost confidence.”
On the other
hand, Daney, an English major, felt it was use of humor that
might of hurt him. As Keng explained, they had to be strict
about the points they were making, but also engage the
audience. They can use humor, but not so much that they
“They have no
experience, so they didn’t know how to be on television and
compete with other teams,” said Dean Gina Lopez, the team’s
adviser. The more experienced members of the team were
competing, at the Mock Trial competition held at UC on the
Even though the
debate did not end as they hoped, the team agreed they
learned a lot from the experience. Not only did they learn
to work together in a group and get practice researching and
organizing information, they also had the opportunity to
expose their knowledge and communication skills to high
level ministry members.
“Now we have
experience on how to win, know our weak points, and can
improve,” Vutha said.
The debate club
will start meeting again during the new term, which starts
in October. The date for selecting new officers is to be
announced. Students interested in joining can contact Gina
Lopez or Chris Smith.