Dialogue with Full-Time Faculty on “Curriculum Development and Acquiring the Necessary Hard and Soft Skills”

III. Dialogue with Full-Time Faculty on “Curriculum Development and Acquiring the
Necessary Hard and Soft Skills”
Dr. Angus D. Munro (Vice-President for Academic Affairs)
with inputs from Song Sophoat (Deputy Director, AFD)

In an informal gathering in the UC Meeting Room on 3 August 2012, chaired by Dr. Angus Munro, Professor Marshall gave full-time faculty and senior support staff her thoughts and insights into how to develop degree programmes which give students the opportunity to not just learn ‘hard’ skills but further develop their ‘soft’ ones.
Her starting point was that students everywhere focus on exams and thus on competing with their peers. The result is the loss of a sense of both humanity and fun. Thus there is the need to encourage a change in their approach.
She noted that the reality is that there is a lack of human resources in Cambodia, which is compounded by problems of attitude, reliability and the ability to work with others.
Developing upon themes from a previous dialogue which included part-time faculty, there is the need for core principles.
First is integrity – it is important to convey a sense of 33honesty and other positive social values.
Developing upon this is the need for personal reliability 33and punctuality regarding deadlines, for example; with a commitment to quality so that can be trusted.
Imparting a sense of the need for teamwork as a skill to 33develop: knowing personal weaknesses and sum greater than parts.
Being self-aware and open to feedback, with the need to 33learn to take criticism
Focusing on the students themselves, she noted that studies in other universities indicate that the impact for new students is greatest in the first 20 days. Thus, for example, it is advantageous to hold boot camps to reinforce teamwork (physical activities) as well as presentation skills (writing and speaking) or an ethics retreat before classes start: the aim is to encourage adventurousness and the diversification of students' interests and abilities.

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