University To Open in April

The University of Cambodia—a private university founded by Cambodian Institute for Co­op­eration and Peace Executive Di­rector Kao Kim Hourn—is set to open its doors next month.

UC will offer everything from as­sociate’s degrees to PhDs in eight areas of study: Social sciences, law, education, humanities and linguistics, arts and sciences, business administration, public administration and public health.

Kao Kim Hourn intends to distinguish his school from other universities by cultivating a culture of research, which he says is lacking from the present higher education system.

“The idea is to not train Cam­bodians for just the Cambodian market. We are looking at how Cam­bodians can take advantage of regional markets. They should have more opportunities,” he said.

The school should be ready for administrative business in April, and classes are scheduled to be­gin in August, Kao Kim Hourn said. Teaching staff will carry the min­imum of a master’s degree from an internationally accredited institution, he said.

The university is located at the former Green Hotel on Norodom Boulevard near the Indepen­dence Monument. There will be 14 classrooms and a library with 100 Internet-linked computer terminals and 20,000 books.

Kao Kim Hourn said the board of trustees is considering posting tuition at $450 a year for eight classes, but will offer scholarships to needy students and a free education to the valedictorians of each Cambodian high school.

Applicants must pass a general admissions exam and an English test. Once admitted, students must take four semesters of Eng­lish and two semesters of Khmer language classes to be able to pub­lish in both languages, Kao Kim Hourn said.

To foster an academic environment outside the classroom, the university will host a speakers program and will publish a college newspaper, he said.

Private donors have paid $500,000 for start-up costs—in­clud­ing the purchase of equipment and the reconstruction and ren­ovation of the main building, a smaller faculty building and a parking lot, Kao Kim Hourn said.

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