Phnom Penh, September 7, 2010 — Today the Royal Government of Cambodia and the World Bank sign a new project to help strengthen higher education institutions in Cambodia. The US$23 million project – Higher Education Quality and Capacity Improvement Project – aims to improve the quality of teaching, management and research capacity, and provide scholarships to disadvantaged students.
“The Phase II of the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Rectangular Strategy, under the dynamic leadership of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Royal Government will continue to strengthen its partnership with the private sector and the national and international communities to enhance and improve the quality of education services. Our main objective is to increase the availability of well-trained public and private sector manpower, including managers, technical specialist and higher level professionals to support the Royal Government’s national development objectives.” said Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon, Minister of Economy and Finance.
“Quality in higher education is one of the key issues to build the country’s human capital which is crucial for sustainable development and poverty reduction,” said World Bank Country Director, Annette Dixon. “I hope that this new project will help the country to strengthen its quality standards for education as well as to build the skills needed for the public and private sectors.”
The International Development Association – the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries – is providing a grant and interest-free loan for the project, each valued at US$11.5 million. This five-year project will focus on four main components:
- Strengthening the capacity of Cambodia’s higher education system by improving the overall development, management and governance of the higher education institutions. This involves strengthening the capacity of the Department of Higher Education, Department of Scientific Research, the Accreditation Committee of Cambodia and Higher Education Institutes.
- Providing Competitive Development and Innovation Grants that could help improve teaching and management, as well as provide practical solutions for existing development problems in the country.
- Providing Scholarships to Disadvantaged Students based on pro-poor targeting and educational criteria
- Project Management and Monitoring and Evaluation
“The Higher Education Quality and Capacity Improvement Project aims to improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the Cambodian higher education system. That will then increase the impact of higher education system on the social and economic development of Cambodia through increased human resource skills. This project will introduce several innovations in management systems, student access, institutional management, learning and teaching, and research within higher education institutions,” said H.E. Im Sethy, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport. “I believe that this first ever higher education project will build a foundation for the future development of the Cambodian higher education sub-sector. That in turn will help lead Cambodia to improved social conditions for its people, and to increased national productivity as outlined in national strategic goals.”