The Eleventh Annual Graduation Ceremony 2015 of The University of Cambodia

On December 29th, 2015, the University of Cambodia held the Eleventh Annual Graduation Ceremony for Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree graduates and recognition of outstanding staff, faculty and students. The ceremony was held at the South East Asia Television Station (SEATV) Studio, highly presided over by H.E. Say Samal, Minister of Environment in the Royal Government of Cambodia.

Welcoming Remarks

Firstly, H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Founder, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and President of the University of Cambodia (UC), gave his welcoming remarks. H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn gave a warm welcome and paid his respects to H.E. Say Samal who graciously presided over the ceremony. He also thanked and con-gratulated all graduates, outstanding staff, faculty and students. In his speech he focused on the development and completion of the new UC building, complete with 11 stories on a 5-hectare campus with a capacity to serve 10,000 students. He also discussed the activities and accomplishments of the University of Cambodia Student Senate (UCSS). The University of Cambodia wants to instill a culture of constant learning, and he encouraged all UC students, faculty, staff and alumni to take advantage of UC’s many dynamic facilities. Moreover, he discussed the social responsibilities of living in an open world, saying that each of us are re-sponsible for dealing with solving the complex issuesfacing our world today. He encouraged the graduates to ask themselves, “What does the world, especially Cambodia, need you deal with?” Each one of us has our own strengths and weaknesses, so find the area in which you are most capable of helping with for example, promoting education, reducing poverty, eliminating inequality, reversing the affects of climate change, environmental protection, energy security, and eliminat-ing violence in society, etc. Finally, he closed his speech with the recommendation that “the challenge and obstacle should be the key to the solution if you wish to be successful.”

2015 Graduation Report

H.E. Samraing Kamsan, Member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Cambodia, delivered the annual Graduation Report of the University for 2015. He highlighted the background of the University of Cambodia, which was founded on June 20th, 2003 under Sub-Decree No. 51. The University of Cambodia has been operational for 11 years, and consists of 7 Colleges and 1 School: the College of Arts, Humanities and Languages, the College of Education, the College of Law, the College of Management, the College of Science and Technology, the College of Social Sciences, the College of Media and Communications, and the Techo Sen School of Government and International Relations - offering Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and PhD degree programs.

Secondly, he reported on the Universities increasing training and research initiatives. Additionally, he reported on the various centers and institutes such as the Center for ASEAN Studies, the Center for English Studies, and the Institute of Research and Advanced Studies (IRAS), which help to direct and implement training and research projects. In addition to this, the University of Cambodia has established the University of Cambodia Student Senate (UCSS), the UC Debate Club (UCDC), and the University of Cambodia Cambodian Red Cross Youth (UCCRCY) in order to provide extra-curricular activities to students, and to compete and build relationships with students from other higher education institutions. What’s more, students are given the opportunity to contribute to community development.

Then he reported on the total numbers of staff, faculty and students. The University has a total of 224 staff and faculty members, 52 of whom work at a managerial level (9 females). The remaining numbers consist of 71 staff (33 females) and 101 faculty members (12 females). Within the Univeristy’s 12 years of operation from 2003-2014, 2252 students (914 females) have graduated, and among this total number of graduates, there have been 3 PhD graduates, 214 Master’s degree graduates (49 females), 1893 Bachelor’s degree graduates (810 females), and 142 Associate Degree graduates (55 females). In academic year 2014-2015, there are 216 graduates (90 females). Among this total, 14 Master’s degree graduates (6 females), and 202 Bachelor’s degree graduates (84 females). Apart from this, 3103 students (1530 females) are currently studying at the University of Cambodia in academic year 2015-2016 After that, he reported the outcome of University of Cambodia graduates from academic year 2012-2013. Over 90% of graduates are employed, and 4% are pursuing their studies in graduate programs locally and overseas. University of Cambodia alumni are currently pursuing academic careers in other countries such as South Korea, China, Japan, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, Australia, Germany, The UK, The US, India, France, New Zealand, Sweden, The Czech Republic, and Hong Kong. Furthermore, he reported on The University of Cambodia’s collaboration with national and international institutions.

Finally, H.E. Samraing Kamsan acknowledged the important contributions of the UC management team, fac-ulty and staff members, students’ parents and guardians, and especially the generous support from H.E. Dr. Haruhisa Handa for granting a tremendous amount of scholarships to our students each year. He also thanked the University’s other primary donors, Dr. Rikhi Thakral, CEO of Thakral Holding Ltd of Singapore; China Fairwind Cambodia Investment Company Limited; Khmer Brewery Company; and Peng Hout Investment Co Ltd.

In conclusion, H.E. Samraing Kamsan expressed his deepest gratitude to H.E. Dr. Say Samal, Minister of En-vironment for spending his very valuable time presiding over our graduation ceremony today.

Keynote Address

After the welcoming remarks and the report of the University, H.E. Say Samal, Minister of Environment, delivered his keynote address. Firstly he expressed his appreciation to the University of Cambodia for creating a quality institution to foster learning and prepare the next generation to tackle the world’s complex problems. He also shared his personal knowledge and experience with problem solving, and how to deal with problems instead of allowing them to control us. Moreover, he explained that he has a passionate desire to transform problems or obstacles into oppor-tunities, and that this philosophy has greatly impacted his life.

He then shared his personal experience with education from el-
ementary-secondary school to his PhD degree. Additionally, he
spoke about his working experience as well. His first job was a
volunteer teaching position at the Royal University of Cambodia. He then went to work at the Ministry of For-eign Affairs as a foreign economic policy maker. He explained that this job was difficult for him, as his studies had not focused on this school of thought, and the position required him to do a lot of additional learning and research. He was then offered a position closer to his field of expertise in the Office of the Council of Ministers in charge of Preah Vihear Temple and the Thai-Cambodian Border. He worked there until he was offered the Minister position in the Ministry of Environment.

In summary, he recommended that all graduates pursue further studies and research initiatives because con-tinuing education is important for everyone. He stressed that training qualified intellectuals is vital for the de-velopment of Cambodia. We must be educated so that we do not destroy natural resources and waste precious development time. He recognized the importance of hard-working intellectual individuals by stating that they are the future of our country. However, our country will be strong only if we work together to build a better future.

Closing Program

Finally, after the completion of his keynote address, LCT Khem Rany, Vice-President for General Affairs and Member of the Board of Trustees, presented H.E. Say Samal with a bouquet of flowers to show appreciation to him for presiding over UC’s graduation ceremony. She then also presented the awards for outstanding staff. Prof. Katherine Marshall, Professor at Georgetown University and Distinguished Visiting Professor of The University of Cambodia, presented awards for outstanding faculty. H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn then presented the medals of honor for top four outstanding Bach-elor’s graduates, Ms. Tang Sreyneang, Mr. Keo Buncha, Mr. Bun Penghuy, and Mr. Rith Phyna. Ms. Midori Miyazaki, high represen-tative of H.E. Dr. Haruhisa Handa, Chancellor of the University of Cambodia, presented the awards for outstanding students. Follow-ing the presentation of awards, H.E. Say Samal conferred degrees

to all graduates. Thereafter, Miss Tang Sreyneang, representative of the graduating class of 2015 gave remarks on university life and the successes of the talented students of the University of Cambodia. The 11th Gradua-tion Ceremony came to an end at 6:30pm, and was followed by a dinner reception for UC graduates, presided over by UC President, H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Hourn.