As part of the UK’s “Education is Great” campaign in Asean, the British Embassy in Phnom Penh and the UK’s Department for International Trade have hosted two delegations of UK International Schools and UK Higher Education Institutions to explore opportunities for partnerships and collaboration in Cambodia.
The event was held from October 1-8 in the capital.
The “Education is Great” campaign in Asean aims to develop UK-Asean business collaboration in education and training. By design, this regional campaign supports Asean’s development and prosperity, and aims to secure the UK as the education partner of choice in each member state. There are currently 43,000 Asean students studying in the UK.
Following a direct call for UK partnerships from His Excellency, Dr Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport at the Education World Forum, in London in January 2019, the UK education delegations were keen to explore the opportunities for partnerships in Cambodia, where the country’s strong economic growth is driving a growing demand for high quality education options.
UK universities are now actively engaged in the development of international higher education in Cambodia and within the Asean region.
The UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey MP led the UK International Schools’ delegation, while His Excellency Dr Im Koch, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport was the guest of honour and took part in discussions on the wider context of Cambodia’s education sector.
The UK delegation had roundtables and business-to-business meetings with a range of both state and private Cambodian universities, including Paragon International University, the University of Cambodia, American University Phnom Penh and the Royal University of Law and Economics.
Dialogues began on the variety of transnational education partnerships opportunities for UK and Cambodian institutions to work together in future. Discussion expanded to other areas of partnership including collaborative research, student exchange and faculty capacity development.
“Education is such a crucial foundation for sustainable development, and international academic partnerships have a big role to play in accelerating education development. The British Embassy, together with our Department for International Trade strongly promotes and supports the establishment of quality academic and transnational education partnerships, to help strengthen education provision in Cambodia. We are happy to have made significant progress in 2019, following the Education World Forum,” said H.E. Tina Redshaw, British Ambassador to Cambodia.
“The British Embassy Phnom Penh will remain committed to supporting education development in Cambodia, in all areas including broadening and strengthening the curriculum, capacity-building for education providers and the popularisation of TVET and STEM,” she added.
The British Embassy in Cambodia has been actively promoting educational opportunities to universities in the UK through its popular Facebook page - highlighting the quality of education and university life in the UK as well as the range of career opportunities that await graduates with degrees, especially in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) subjects.
Dialogue between UK and Cambodian higher education institutions will continue over the coming months as they work to establish and deepen partnerships.