The government has begun construction on a second Institute of Technology on a 200-hectare campus in Kompong Speu province as part of its effort to better meet the country’s growing demand for workers with engineering and technical skills, the Education Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.
According to a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 20, the institute in Thpong district will offer bachelor and associate degrees in 11 departments including mechanical engineering, electronics, e-commerce, computer science and tourism.
Education Ministry spokesman Ros Salin said five countries have offered financial support to construct the new institute, with most of the funding coming from Thailand and South Korea.
“Kompong Speu has vast land [and] a lot of agriculture, industry, factories and a national road that connects it to economic zones like Koh Kong, Takeo and Kandal,” Mr. Salin said. “After students finish studying in the institute, their skill sets will allow them to find work close to them.”
The Education Ministry has put a freeze on the registration of new universities—with the exception of institutions focusing on agriculture, technology and the sciences—in an attempt to encourage more students to pursue degrees outside of business and finance.
“Most private universities in Cambodia do not offer engineering or mechanical careers,” Mr. Salin said. “So that is why we need to build public institutions with technology.”
“From now until 2020, we will integrate with Asean and a lot of industries will enter Cambodia,” he added. “We need to offer Cambodians skills so they can get jobs.”
Kompong Speu governor Ou Sam An said the new Institute of Technology would help youth in the area to take advantage of expanding employment opportunities.
“I think it’s good idea to have the institute here because Chinese and Korean factories and industries have been built here. They need people with skills to work,” he said.
“Here is like a special economic zone, so workers need real skills as mechanics or electricians.”