UC Hosts Award Ceremony for English Writing Scholarship Competition 2011

UC Hosts Award Ceremony for English Writing Scholarship Competition 2011


By Nguon Setha (UC Student)

The University of Cambodia (UC) hosted a scholarship exam for the UC English Writing Competition 2011 on August 6, and announced the results of the exam on August 13. The 50 highest performing students on the exam were awarded scholarships to UC at an award ceremony on August 20. The event was presided over by H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, President of UC and Adviser to Samdech Techo Prime Minister, and was held alongside the CES graduation ceremony. H.E. Samraing Kamsan, Senior Adviser to the President of UC and Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Dr. Angus Munro, Vice President for Academics, Por Malis, Vice President for Operations, and Pay Chheng How, Director of CES and Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Humanities, were in attendance for the ceremony.

A total of 633 students in grades 10-12 from different high schools in Phnom Penh and the provinces participated in this competition. They wrote on the topic, "How is University Education Important to You?" Only 50 students were selected as scholarship recipients. With the scholarship, they are able to take courses at the Center for English Studies (CES) to improve their English fluency, and then pursue their Bachelor’s degree at one of the six Colleges at UC: College of Arts and Humanities, College of Education, College of Law, College of Management, College of Science and Technology, and College of Social Sciences. For this writing scholarship, recipients were awarded either a full or partial scholarship. Out of the 50 scholarships, 10 students won scholarships covering 100% of tuition, 20 students won scholarships covering 70% of tuition, and 20 students won scholarships covering 50% of tuition. Half of the scholarships were distributed to students entering CES and the other half were distributed to students entering academic studies at UC.

Pay Chheng How, Director of CES and Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Humanities, led the Scholarship Committee and, during his speech at the award ceremony, said that he admired the students’ efforts in the scholarship competition. The Committee corrected and edited the students’ examination papers carefully and judged the exams fairly before selecting the winners, he said, adding that the 50 winners of the UC Writing Competition still needed to take placement tests at CES to measure their English ability. At the end of his speech, he advised students to think carefully before selecting their major so they can avoid wasting their time and money.

Dr. Kao delivered the keynote address and congratulated the 50 winners of the competition, calling them the "best of the best." He told students they can learn from two worlds. The first is the world of theory, referring to the university experience and coursework, and the other is the world of practice, which requires students to apply the theories they learn in class into the workplace. He continued to say that students do not only compete locally, but also compete with others in the Asian region and beyond, so they need to develop themselves and be able to adapt with the changing world. His final message was that students need to take care of their own health in order to be successful.

"We want every UC student to become successful in their studies and their life," Dr. Kao said at the end of his address.

Afterwards, Dr. Kao and other members of the UC Executive Team presented certificates to the 50 winners of the UC Writing Competition.

Ly Tech Srun, a 19 year-old from Tuol Svay Prey High School in Phnom Penh, said he was surprised and excited when he saw his name on the announcement informing students about the scholarship recipients. He was one of the ten students who won a full scholarship to pursue his Bachelor’s degree studies at UC.

"I was very happy when I. . .[found out that]. . .I won a full scholarship to study at UC," he said. "This competition was very strict, strenuous, and fair for every student."

He said that he will commit to studying hard and added that he is thankful to UC for hosting this competition. He also expressed his profound appreciation to his parents, who have always supported him and encouraged him to study.

Another writing competition winner, Chea Sophy, who won a full scholarship to study at CES, said that she was excited to participate in the competition and very happy to win the scholarship. She expressed her gratitude to UC for creating this competition, which will allow her and other high school students an opportunity to pursue higher education.

The University congratulates all of the Writing Competition 2011 scholarship winners, and encourages all qualifying students to compete in future UC scholarship competitions.