Student Scholarships and Career Development in the Age of Globalization

On Saturday, March 20, 2010, the University of Cambodia Student Senate (UCSS) and UC organized a seminar on student scholarships and career development as a means to face the challenges posed by current globalization.

In his opening remarks, H.E. Hing Thoraxy, Secretary of State of the Council of Ministers, emphasized that this seminar would help students decide what to study and where to go to find good jobs after graduation. He also encouraged students to do volunteer work in their second and third year of study, and believes that most students do not pay enough attention to the benefits of working voluntarily. Students can gain valuable skills and knowledge and build character through these volunteer opportunities, which will help them develop greater capacity in the workplace and make them more competitive for jobs in the global market.

In Cambodia, about 200,000 students graduate with degrees every year, making competition in the job market fierce. Only a small number of graduates secure employment as government officials, a “Our students have to plan ahead for their education and to develop their English proficiency to compete with other students to study abroad.”
Mr. Tep Punloeu,
Associate Dean
of the College of Law

coveted position that is based on professional skills students learn at the university. The remaining graduates must attempt to find jobs in the private sector. H.E. Hing Thoraxy also noted that the government has already established a National Training Board to help provide training in professional skills so the labor force can contribute to the economic growth of the country. At present, Cambodia depends on four main pillars for growth, including tourism that contributes about US$1.5 billion this year. Cambodian students may want to study majors related to this and the other three important pillars – agriculture, construction, and the garment industry – so they can work in industries that help boost economic growth.

The next speaker, Mr. Tep Punloeu, Associate Dean of the College of Law at UC, recommended that our students search for learning opportunities at overseas universities with which we have signed MoUs. Many overseas scholarships require that students have solid English language skills, so it is important for students to master this skill.

“The UC, which uses English in the course programs, gets top priority for foreign scholarships,” he said. “Students can save a lot of money by winning a scholarship, and I encourage students to apply for these foreign scholarships. Our students have to plan ahead for their education and to develop their English proficiency to compete with other students to study abroad.”

Students who win scholarships to study abroad have taken a critical first step in their job search and are in a strong position to compete in the global job market, having demonstrated proficiency in English and academic skills and acquiring valuable skills overseas.

UC students have a competitive advantage when applying for foreign scholarships because English is the medium of instruction here, and students feel comfortable using it. Our students and graduates continue to reap the benefits of attending UC during their job search, as English is a major language in international business.

Mr. Sun Samnang and Mr. Mom Seilakboth, both UC lecturers in the College of Law, also spoke at the seminar and shared their experiences about the application process for scholarships and studying abroad. They encouraged students to study abroad so they can see different cultures and learn about the development of other countries.

Volunteer work and studying abroad are mind-expanding growth opportunities that provide students with greater competency in their academic and professional development, so UC encourages and supports its students in these pursuits.