A new, unaccredited, US-based university is poised to replace the American University of Hawaii’s degree programs in Phnom Penh following a Hawaiian court’s ban earlier this year on the institution awarding degrees.
However, officials here said Thursday that degrees from either school will not be recognized.
Ray Christl, AUH dean of student affairs, said officials are nearing agreements which will allow Preston University, an unaccredited school based in Wyoming, to assume AUH courses, which are operated out of Singapore International Teaching Consultancy’s Phnom Penh headquarters.
Commenting on Tuesday, Christl said, “Accreditation is not realistic for Cambodia. Some other schools that say they are accredited, they’re very dubious.”
Roth Sokha, director of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, said he will not approve licenses for unaccredited universities, and the 350 AUH students will be unable to transfer to other universities within Cambodia. Degrees already awarded by AUH will also be worthless, he said.
“The Ministry of Education asks [the university] to show the accreditation and recognition,” he said Thursday. “If not, they cannot cooperate with other institutes in Cambodia and the Ministry of Education will not accept their certificates.”
Py Borapyn, 26, an AUH Master’s of Business Administration student, said he was not worried about accreditation.
“I just need a [university with a] license from the American and from the Cambodian governments,” he said Thursday.
Preston University’s Web site states the school is not accredited but does have a legal Wyoming license to offer degrees.
“Because Preston University is not accredited by a post-secondary school association, many US schools may not immediately accept Preston credits or degrees for transfer into their programs,” the university’s Web site states.