Inha University Students Visit the University of Cambodia

January 14, 2013: Twenty students from Inha University, led by Professor Yong-Ho Kim, visited UC. This is the third year that students from this South Korean university have come to see us and receive insights into Cambodia’s history and her prospects. Dr. In Sophal, a UC lecturer in the College of Social Sciences, made a presentation on the recent turbulent history and economic development of Cambodia.

Mrs. Por Malis, Vice-President for Operations gave a welcoming speech and thanked Prof. Yong-Ho Kim and the twenty students for visiting UC. She then gave a brief profile of UC.

Thereafter, Professor Kim thanked UC for taking the time to meet their group, including Dr. Y Ratana for his previous help. He noted that Inha University is one of the top ten universities in Korea, located in the city of Incheon next to Seoul International Airport. It has a broad range of programmes, including Engineering, Information Technology, Medicine, Finance and Banking, various Social Sciences and more. He concluded by saying that “all UC students and faculty members are welcome to visit the Inha University.”

The slide presentation by Dr. In Sophal surveyed the political situation in Cambodian and her economic development since November 9, 1953 when independence was won from France under the guidance of King Norodom Sihanouk. Initial economic growth was remarkable, associated with the opening of an Olympic Stadium in 1960, as well as the Chaktomuk Theater and Phnom Penh University.

However, there were problems with Cambodia’s neighbours. “In 1957, South Vietnam invaded Cambodian territory, and in the same year the CIA supported the Free Khmer against King Sihanouk; then, in 1959, Thailand invaded the area of the Preah Vihear Temple” The Khmer Republic was formed in 1970, with King Sihanouk exiled to China after a coup d’état by Lon Nol with the support of the United States. In 1969-1973, the US bombed Cambodia and killed more than half a million of the population.

Subsequently, the Khmer Republic was replaced by Democratic Kampuchea: thus, on April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge forced people to leave Phnom Penh. They were a Maoist regime which believed that “all people must learn from the basic life without owning private property,” and were responsible for destroying existing social structures and for the Killing Fields with over 1.7 million people dying as a result.

Then, on January 7, 1979, over 200,000 Vietnamese troops entered Cambodia to take over the administration of much of the country with the support of the Soviet Union. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War in1989, Vietnamese troops withdrew from Cambodia shortly thereafter. Thus the scene was set for Cambodian political reform and the integration of all
political parties.

The visit provided knowledge and cultural exchange experience between UC and Inha university students.