Sunday 10 March 2013

GLOBAL: What motivates Brits and Americans to study abroad?

CHINA: Online courses gain popularity at universities

UNITED STATES: Tensions reappear at University of Virginia

UAE: Universities reminded of obligation to teach in Arabic

GLOBAL Australia rises as US, UK universities dip in reputation survey

GLOBAL: Higher education as soft power in the age of autonomy

Cambodia ‘near bottom’ in budget transparency

Foreign investment in Cambodia’s property rises

Tourists, Not Tension, Reign at Preah Vihear Temple

By and - March 8, 2013

 PREAH VIHEAR TEMPLE – Several fierce battles have been fought with Thailand at this ancient temple in recent years, but last week it was an energetic game of volleyball that kept Cambodian troops on their toes as groups of tourists wandered unconcerned around the 11th-century ruins. 

A Preah Vihear Authority conservation ranger drinks water. (Simon Lewis/The Cambodia Daily) 

A Preah Vihear Authority conservation ranger drinks water. (Simon Lewis/The Cambodia Daily)

Despite saber-rattling stories in the Thai press and a recent warning by Prime Minister Hun Sen that Thailand planned to attack if the International Court of Justice (ICJ) rules that land around Preah Vihear belongs to Cambodia, volleyball and water were the two main concerns among troops at the temple.

A number of soldiers approached by reporters said they were under strict orders not to talk to the media. But rather than staying quiet to keep the enemy in the dark about military matters, they said they were gagged after a recent radio report quoted Cambodian soldiers complaining about the lack of water at the temple.

“The commander was angry after that,” said a soldier who declined to be named.

Far into the dry season, with only a few centimeters of water remaining in wells, and the ancient ponds of the mountaintop temple almost dry, water appeared to be the troops’ most pressing concern.
One soldier, Morn Phat, said that drinking water was being brought up the mountain.
“The water [to drink] is enough, but we have some trouble with water for bathing,” he said. “It’s normal for this season.”

Another, Touch Rathana, said all had been quiet on both the Cambodian and Thai sides of the frontline since July, when the countries held an official withdrawal of troops from an ICJ-proposed demilitarized zone (DMZ) around the temple.

Combat troops were withdrawn on both sides, and Cambodia has kept only conservation rangers and police at the temple since, Mr. Rathana said.

However, troops in army fatigues sat in sandbag bunkers on the steep road up to the mountaintop, which is still within the DMZ. Around the Hindu temple, only police and the Preah Vihear Authority’s rangers, armed only with pistols, were seen on patrol. The heavy weaponry previously stationed near the temple has been removed and there has been no fighting in the area for almost two years.

Around the ancient stones of Preah Vihear, on four ornate tiers separated by steps and long causeways, a handful of tourists strolled peacefully, occasionally crouching behind the sculptures for shade.

Eur Say Lang, 57, a rice farmer from Banteay Meanchey province’s Svay Chek district, said she had come to visit with a group of 17 people.

“But I feel a bit disappointed because it is ruined because of the war,” Ms. Say Lang said, peering sadly at the iconic lower pavilion, which is in a rundown state of repair.

“It must have been beautiful, if it wasn’t ruined by the Thai shells,” Ms. Say Lang said of the iconic stone portico, familiar to all from advertisements and beer labels.

Though the damage Ms. Say Lang spoke of was not inflicted by Thai artillery, but just hundreds of years of neglect and the harsh tropical climate, she thanked the Cambodian army for saving what was left.

“I’m really afraid that they [Thailand] will shell more and ruin everything. I’m happy the army is here to protect it.”

Ms. Say Lang carried with her a $1.25 photograph of herself in front of the temple, taken by one of the young men who make their living with digital cameras and battery powered laser printers.

According to figures from the provincial tourism department, visitors to Preah Vihear temple reached 92,300 in 2012, an increase of more than 75 percent compared to 2011.

Kong Vibol, director of the provincial tourism department, said the two-year period of peace at the temple meant visitors now felt safe.

“The security issue is under control. Our authorities have strengthened security, public order and hygiene for tourists to the temple,” he said.

Of the visitors in 2012, 7,141 were foreign nationals, almost two-and-a-half times the amount recorded in 2011, according to the figures.

“Most of the [foreign] visitors are from Europe, including Italy and France, as well as Asia, including Vietnam, China and Japan,” Mr. Vibol said, adding that the growth in tourism at the temple looked to be continuing this year, with more than 9,500 visitors seen in February alone.

Russian visitor Oleg Malin, 35, said the temple compared in beauty to Angkor Wat, but had an added element of excitement.

“I had some concerns. I was not advised [to visit],” he said, indicating that the modicum of danger associated with Preah Vihear was just his cup of tea.
Mr. Malin gestured at his two Russian companions: “I have some very adventurous friends.”

Prosecutor Wants Change to Sonando Charges

By and - March 8, 2013

In a bizarre twist at the Appeal Court hearing of jailed radio station owner Mam Sonando, the prosecution on Wednesday asked that judges drop the charge against Mr. Sonando of inciting antigovernment violence, but then asked the court to uphold another charge of leading an insurrection.

Jailed radio station owner Mam Sonando waves to photographers from a holding room at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, during the second day of hearings to have Mr. Sonando's 20-year jail sentence overturned. (Siv Channa)
Jailed radio station owner Mam Sonando waves to photographers from a holding room at the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, during the second day of hearings to have Mr. Sonando’s 20-year jail sentence overturned. (Siv Channa)

 Both charges carry a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

The owner of independent Beehive Radio, Mr. Sonando was convicted on a total of six charges for stoking an alleged secessionist movement in rural Kratie province by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in October and handed down a 20-year jail sentence in a decision widely denounced as politically motivated and aimed at stifling a popular government critic.

Appeal Court prosecutor Hean Rith asked the judges to uphold five of those charges, including the one for leading an “insurrectionary movement,” but to drop the charge of inciting anti-government violence.

In its place, though, the prosecutor asked the court to convict Mr. Sonando of a brand new charge, under the forestry protection law, of illegally clearing state-owned forestland for private ownership, which carries a prison sentence of five to 10 years.

“The prosecution believes the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision to charge Mr. Sonando with Article 464 was not right and that he should be charged with Article 97.6 of the Forestry Law,” Mr. Rith said.

Mr. Sonando is appealing all the charges against him, alongside Touch Ream and Khan Sovann, who were handed five- and three-year jail terms, respectively, for their own roles in the alleged insurrection.

All three have adamantly professed their innocence.
Presiding Judge Khun Leang Meng, bringing two days of hearings to a close, said the court would issue its decision on March 14.

Contacted afterward, Mr. Rith, the prosecutor, said the Forestry Law charge made sense because the alleged secessionists in Kratie province’s Broma village were in a dispute with Casotim, the private owner of a local rubber plantation.

“I asked the judges to change one of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s charges and keep the others,” he said. “It is a land dispute and a forestry issue, not an incitement issue.”

Mr. Sonando’s lawyer, Sa Sovan, said the Appeal Court had no authority to change the original charges, only to uphold or drop them entirely.

Yeng Virak, executive director of the Community Legal Education Center, a legal aid NGO, said the courtroom twist was astonishing.

Mr. Virak said the prosecutor’s attempt to have Mr. Sonando convicted of leading an insurrection without actually inciting violence—the charge he wants dropped—was mind-boggling.
“It does not make any sense,” he said.

However bizarre, Am Sam Ath, technical supervisor for local rights group Licadho, said merely swapping one charge for another would make little difference.

“It is not good for Mr. Sonando because he still faces other criminal charges,” he said. “Those other articles still carry three- to 10-year prison terms, and some three to five years.”

Outside the courthouse gates, hundreds of Mr. Sonando’s supporters who had come from far and wide were no less wary of success.

Kong Hong, who joined some friends in renting a taxi for the trip from Kompong Cham province, proudly sported a baseball cap with the logo of Mr. Sonando’s NGO, the Association of Democrats. A member since early last year, his Association of Democrats photo ID hung from around his neck.
“Mam Sonando broadcasts the real thing in Cambodia; he educates people about democracy,” he said of Mr. Sonando’s Beehive Radio station, one of the few independent broadcasters left in Cambodia.
“They convicted him because they didn’t like his activity, so that he can’t speak on the radio,” Mr. Hong said. “They don’t want Sonando to do something right for the people.”

Rupert Abbott, Cambodia researcher for Amnesty International, said the failure of all seven witnesses that Mr. Sonando’s lawyers had asked to attend the hearing—for the second straight day—also left the proceedings wanting of due process.

Some of the seven had been co-defendants with Mr. Sonando at his first trial in September and implicated the radio station owner in the alleged insurrection. After Mr. Sonando was convicted, those who had testified against the radio presenter had the remainder of their prison sentence suspended and walked free.

“I think it’s outrageous,” Mr. Abbott said of the absence of the witnesses, “because the evidence was really based on what those witnesses were saying [in court].”

“So the fact that they did not turn up and the defense did not have an opportunity to cross examine them and show the inconsistencies in what they’d said was very disappointing. And the defense asked for those testimonies to be thrown out, and I think that they have a very strong case for that.”
But Mr. Abbott said the prosecutor’s request to have one of the most serious charges dropped did add to the prospects of an early release for Mr. Sonando.

“We have to be hopeful,” he said. “We would hope that the conviction is overturned, that he is released immediately and unconditionally.”

Mr. Sonando’s case has attracted widespread attention from human rights groups and foreign governments alike, all calling for his release.

On a visit to Phnom Penh in November, U.S. President Barack Obama urged Prime Minister Hun Sen to release all of Cambodia’s political prisoners and called out Mr. Sonando by name.

© 2013, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.

History Weighs Heavily on Cambodia’s Human Rights Struggle

By Youk Chhang

More than 30 years after the Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia is still struggling to build a strong foundation for human rights. 

The U.N. and other international partners have helped us begin dealing with Khmer Rouge impunity and create space to talk more openly about our history and our human rights.

Renewed interest in the region, showcased by U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent visit, also holds tremendous opportunities for progress in these arenas. But we must be cognizant that history often stands in the way of our optimistic visions for the future.

Human rights and history are interconnected, because to have a conversation about one inevitably requires an interpretation of the other. This is what has made the Khmer Rouge tribunal so valuable.
By opening a dialogue on some of the most sensitive and controversial parts of their history, Cambodians have been forced to confront basic questions on human rights, the rule of law, and the relationship between a government and its people.

The next step in this national conversation is to educate youth about genocide and the role of law in a just society.

For rights to be sustainable, they must be cultivated at the grassroots. That does not mean we must cease to engage with Cambodia’s political and economic leaders. Building a stronger human rights foundation in Cambodia and the Asean region is a cornerstone to economic integration and participation within the global community.

Mr. Obama’s visit to Cambodia was an important part of that process, as Cambodians look to the U.S. more than any other country as a beacon for leadership on human rights and democracy issues, as well as what can be achieved by a free and fair market system.

We also see Mr. Obama’s visit to Burma as an important opportunity to help foster reconciliation and the rule of law in that country. Burma and Cambodia share many similarities in religion, culture, and political dynamics. One country’s progress in democracy and human rights will help provide encouragement and offer a useful guide for improvement in the other.
In both cases, persuading countries to respect human rights from the top down is unlikely to be effective. We need bold new strategies—the Middle East and North Africa offer possible lessons.
The events and processes that fueled the Arab Spring show that diplomatic pressure on human rights and democratic reform often pales beside the effects of education and expanded access to information.

Governments evolve most sustainably when they do so at the request of an empowered citizenry and civil society actors. Educational initiatives and social dialogue, facilitated by the media, are key vehicles for fostering an informed public ready to encourage the rule of law.
In the stream of history, the impetus for societal change involves a multitude of actors. State-to-state meetings offer an opportunity to catalyze change, but sustainable evolution ultimately depends on building the local capacity to develop and defend basic rights.

Youk Chhang is the director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia.

© 2012, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.



Academics are judged on their ability to conduct researches that produce result which are useful to humanity; results that helps to address issues and problems in society; and produces knew knowledge that add to existing literature. School of Educational Studies is committed to producing graduate students with high quality skills and competence in research relating to educational issues, pedagogy, child development, learning theories, sociological and psychological issues in education amidst others. In line with this commitment, the school using the available excellent research facilities and well experienced faculty members provides high quality training to graduate research students in the school. Thus, the school has over the years built a good reputation in graduating student that demonstrates outstanding performance in educational research. To maintain this, the school in collaboration with the postgraduate students association conducts series of workshops and students’ discussion forums on monthly bases; such workshops and forums are directed towards enhancing the research skills of the postgraduate research students in the school. In line with consideration, the postgraduate students association of the school in collaboration with the school is proposing to a number of such workshops and students’ discussion forums from February to December, 2013 as presented in this paper work for the school consideration and approval.

AIMS OF THE PROGRAMMEThe workshops and students discussion forums are aimed:
Enhancing the research skills of the graduate research students in the school;
Provides an avenue for the graduate research students to meet, discuss, share experiences and collaborate with one another on issues relating to research activities.

The main objectives of the workshop are to: 
provide a platform for information exchange and knowledge sharing;
help the graduate student in understanding ethical issues relating to research activities and publications; and the implication of plagiarism on academics and their institutions of affiliation;
improve the graduate students’ knowledge and skills of developing research frameworks, data collection and analysis; and, skills of writing for research publications;
provide a forum where graduate research students can meet and discuss between themselves without the presence of faculty members on issues relating to the process of building:
good problem statement for research studies
good conceptual and theoretical frameworks for research studies
good literature review for research studies
helping the graduate research students to have a proper understanding of different research designs and their applications in educational studies

Workshop DetailsThe topics selected for the workshops as listed below are based on the graduate research students request sent to the postgraduate students association. The dates of the workshops would announce when confirmed via email and on this web site.

Prepared by: Sani Alhaji Garba
                     PERSILA President

Endorsed by: Assoc. Prof. Dr. HAZRI JAMIL
                                  PERSILA Advisor
                                  Deputy Dean (Research & Publiation), SES-USM.

                       Dean, School of Educational Studies,
                       Universiti Sains Malaysia.

CALL FOR PAPER: 2 nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education (IPCoRE) 5 th -6 th June 2013

Theme: Towards Sustaining Quality, International Networking and Collaboration in Postgraduate Research in Education 

The Postgraduate Students Association of School of Educational Studies (PERSILA), USM in collaboration with the Postgraduate Students Association of Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia announces the call for papers for postgraduate students to participate in the 2nd International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education (IPCoRE-2013). The International Postgraduate Colloquium of Research in Education (IPCoRE) is an annual international event organised by the Postgraduate Students Association of School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia and the Postgraduate Students Association of Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia. The program is intended to provide a platform for postgraduate research students to establish international research network and collaboration; and, a forum for the postgraduate students to present and discuss their research findings in conference sessions.

We are therefore inviting postgraduate students to submit their research papers for presentation at IPCoRE-2013. Papers to be submitted should be but not restricted to the following arrears of research in education:

1.      Science and Mathematics Education
  a)      Science Education
  b)      Mathematics Education
  c)      Vocational and Technical Education
  d)     Science, Technology and Society
  e)      Education for Sustainable Development

  2.      Curriculum and Instruction
  a)      Curriculum Studies
  b)      Primary Education
  c)      Early Childhood Education
  d)     Multicultural Education
  e)      Distance Education

3.      Educational Psychology, Psychometric and Counselling
  a)      Educational Psychology
  b)      Guidance and Counselling
  c)      Psychometric and Education Evaluation
  d)     Statistics and Research Methodology
  e)      Special Education for Diverse Needs

4.      Professional Education, Leadership and Policy Studies
  a)      Comparative Education
  b)      Educational Management and Leadership
  c)      Educational Planning and Policies Studies
  d)     Life-long Learning
  e)      International Education and Globalisation
  f)       Higher Education
  g)      Professional and Teacher Education

5.      Multimedia Education and Information Technology
  a)      Educational Technology
  b)      Multimedia and IT
  c)      Computer Assisted Instructions
  d)     Virtual Learning and Internet

6.      Social and Philosophy of Education
a)      History of Education and Development
b)      Sociology of Education
  c)      Philosophy of Education
  d)     Comparative Education

7.      Language Education and Literacy
  a)      English Language Education/TESOL
  b)      Malay Language and Literacy Education
  c)      Second Language Learning

8.      Social Studies Education
  a)      Economy and Commerce Education
  b)      Geography Education
  c)      Physical and Sport Education
  d)     History Education
  e)      Ethics, Moral and Religious Educations.

Participants can submit and presents their research papers for presentation in a conference sessions during the Colloquium. Intending presenters should submit their abstract in words or pdf file by email to any of the following email addresses on or before 15th of April, 2013:




All abstract submitted would be double blind reviewed and participants would get the feedback on or before 30th of April 2013. Participants whose abstracts are accepted are to submit their full papers by email to the above email addresses before 15th of May, 2013. All papers presented would be published online and in hard copies in the colloquium proceedings.

Guidelines for submission of abstract and full paper
The abstract should not exceed 200 words; it should start with the title of the paper (Times New Roman, 14 size font and bold using center alignment). Names of authors in full should be placed below the title (Times New Roman, 12 size font and center alignment). If the authors are two the names of the two authors should be separated with ‘and’; but if more than two, the names should be separated with coma (,) and the last two names with ‘and’. Author’s affiliation should be placed below the authors’ names (Times New Romans, 12 size font and center alignment. After the authors’ affiliation, the word ‘abstract’ should be written in capital and bold, 12 size font and left alignment.

The main body of the abstract should be 10 size fonts, justified, one line spacing, Times New Romans without indenting. The abstract should provide an overview of the study design, methodology and findings. Below the main body of the abstract should have the key words (key words should be in capital and bold, 12 size fonts, Times New Romans) then column (:) before words.

The main body of the article should be in Times New Romans, 12 size fonts, 1.5 lines spacing and justified. Headings should be bold and in capital letters while sub-headings should be italics. Authors should use the APA (5th or 6th edition). The full paper should not exceed 20 pages in word (doc.) file and should have the following outlook:

  d.      FINDINGS
  e.       DISCUSSION
  g.      ACKNOWLEDGEMENT (optional and if any)
  h.      REFERENCE.


All categories of presenters are to register on arrival as follows:

1.      Participants from School of Educational Studies, USM = RM 80 (USD 27)

2.      Other participants from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) = RM 100 (USD 34)

3.      Participants from other institutions of higher learning within Malaysia = RM 150 (USD 51)

4.      International Participants = RM 250 (USD 84)

5.      Delegates from Bandung University of Education Indonesia (registration covered under the MOU between Scholl of Educational Studies, USM and the Department of Education, National University of Education, Bandung Indonesia).

Further Inquiries
For further inquiries, please contact:

1.      Sani Alhaji Garba


Postgraduate Students Association of School of Educational Studies, USM (PERSILA)


2.      Rosli Yosuf

Vice President

Postgraduate Students Association of School of Educational Studies, USM (PERSILA)


3.      Sam Rany


+60 175063234

Thursday 7 March 2013

Graduates lacking skills: report

Morality training key to success

No CPP, no development: Hun Sen

China's Confucius Institutes flourish in ASEAN after West's freeze-out (西方冷落后中国孔子学院在东盟蓬勃发展)

  Geopolitical baggage less of a factor, while learning Chinese is seen as a smart move 地缘政治包袱影响较小,学习中文被视为明智之举