Showing posts from May, 2013

Kem Sokha’s CPP-Loyal Brother Given Police Promotion

By Chhorn Chansy - May 29, 2013 Kem Sokhon, the estranged brother of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) acting president Kem Sokha, has been appointed to a senior role within the Interior Ministry’s national police department, a week after he gave a televised speech lambasting his sibling. According to a May 22 sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and King Norodom Sihamoni that was obtained Tuesday, Mr. Sokhon was appointed deputy director of the national police’s department of central security—a role created specifically for him—and given the senior title of major general.  The sub-decree was signed just days after the newly minted Maj. Gen. Sokhon appeared on Bayon Television, which is owned by Mr. Hun Sen’s daughter Hun Mana, and warned viewers that the opposition SRP and Human Rights Party—both of which he was previously a member of, and which merged to form the CNRP—were useless, including his brother, and that only the ruling CPP works for the people. P

Opposition slow to bite back in crisis

Last Updated on 29 May 2013 By David Boyle and Joe Freeman Last Updated on 29 May 2013 By David Boyle and Joe Freeman   Analysis Blindsided by a damaging political scandal, the Cambodia National Rescue Party finally moved into crisis management mode on Monday, defending acting president Kem Sokha from allegations he had denied the existence of the notorious Khmer Rouge S-21 prison. The response, however, came two days after the scandal broke, leaving observers to wonder why the opposition CNRP had dragged its feet for so long, and whether the delay says something about the party’s preparedness mere months before the national election. “They have the spokesperson, but they don’t have a team, and they don’t have a good strategy,” said Pa Nguon Teang, director of the Cambodian Center for Independent Media. “They just wait for the media to approach them rather than approaching the media.” On Monday, after refusing to speak to reporters about the controversy, Sokha offe

Kingdom lacks engineers: minister

Students at Hun Sen University attend a graduation ceremony last February. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post   Last Updated on 29 May 2013 By Rann Reuy Because Cambodia’s youth has not focused enough on studying technical or engineering subjects, the Kingdom now faces a lack of human resources and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports plans to reform the country’s education system, according to the minister in charge. Minister Im Sethy said he foresaw businesses or office-work related subjects attracting more students at university level than engineering subjects. “Now we see most [youths] have studied business, office work and communication, but they don’t pay attention and rarely choose subjects like engineering, and technical works,” he said. Im Sethy said people who have had proper education, particularly university students, mostly focused on studying in fields where they don’t have to work in difficult areas, but prefer studying com

CHINA: Joblessness fears as record number of graduates hit market

Yojana Sharma 22 May 2013 Issue No:273   A record 6.99 million students – an increase of 190,000 on last year's figure – will graduate from China’s higher education institutions this year. But graduate unemployment, a scourge in recent years, shows no sign of easing for the class of 2013. Local media in a number of Chinese regions have been declaring 2013 as the toughest year ‘in recent memory’ for new graduates looking for their first job, with even the country’s top leaders voicing concerns. Already official media is reporting that job vacancies for graduates in Beijing are at 98,000, a year-on-year decrease of 14%, with officials linking the drop to a slowdown in economic growth. This month Chinese President Xi Jinping said in official statements that employment would be a top priority, at a time when economic growth has eased from double-digit figures to around 7.7% in the first quarter of this year, the slowest annual rate for over a decade. The manuf

MALAYSIA: Court quashes new private college registration rules

New Straits Times 25 May 2013 Issue No:273   KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities and 54 others yesterday obtained the green light from the High Court to quash a circular in relation to the new registration system of international students in local private institutions. Judge Datuk Seri Zakaria Sam granted leave for a judicial review to the applicants after the leave application was not objected to by the Attorney-General's Chambers. Besides the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Private Educational Institutions, Aimst University and 52 other private institutions are the applicants in the leave application filed on April 30. They named the Registrar General of Private Higher Educational Institutions and Higher Education Ministry as respondents. In their affidavit in support, the applicants claimed that the registrar general had issued the circular on Jan 23 to

NETHERLANDS: Foreign PhDs urged to stay during strong expansion

Jan Petter Myklebust and Eric Beerkens 25 May 2013 Issue No:273   The number of doctoral candidates in the 13 Dutch universities jumped by almost 60% in the decade to 2010 and is now close to 4,000 students each year. An OECD country report on tertiary education in The Netherlands in 2008 said the proportion of foreign students at doctorate level was then 20%, with some 640 PhDs conferred. Through the ongoing internationalisation of graduate education in The Netherlands, a broad variety of different PhD trajectories have emerged. The PhD candidate as an employee of the university is the traditional model and is still widespread, especially in the hard sciences and life sciences. Increasingly, however, foreign PhD candidates come to The Netherlands to pursue the degree while being funded by their own governments. Chinese government-sponsored students and DIKTI students – lecturers funded by the Indonesian Directorate General of Higher Education – are important examp

SINGAPORE: Lack of students closes joint law course with NYU

Adele Yung 25 May 2013 Issue No:273   A joint degree run by New York University and the National University of Singapore that awarded a master of laws degree from both universities is being scrapped after just five years, due to poor uptake by students. The one-year graduate course started in 2007 with 39 students, with ambitions to enrol up to 80 students a year. However, according to National University of Singapore (NUS) figures it averaged only around 40 students a year. Although the degree attracted students from more than 20 countries, just 21 students will enter the programme this year, completing the degree in 2014. Tuition fees for the course taught by faculty members from both universities are around S$62,600 (US$50,000) a year – almost double the cost of NUS’s graduate law programmes. According to local reports, “at least” 50 scholarships were offered in each of the first four years of the programme but that did not appear to boost the intake. Singapor

Students ambush Subedi

Last Updated on 22 May 2013 By Kevin Ponniah   Students hold aloft signs protesting at the visit of UN human rights envoy Surya Subedi last night following a lecture he had given. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post United Nations human rights envoy Surya Subedi was ambushed last night by what appeared to be a co-ordinated student group while delivering a public lecture, raising suspicions that it was a political stunt. Professor Subedi, who was delivering a lecture on international investment law at Cambodian Mekong University, had completed his lecture and was taking questions when the ruckus began. Six students took to the microphone, all questioning the right of Subedi to report on Cambodia, with many students also questioning his impartiality and agenda – all to raucous applause from the packed house of university students. “What the hell are you doing to Cambodia?” one particularly energised young man asked. “Will you lose your job if you say Cambodia’s human righ

Hun Many looks towards the future

Last Updated on 23 May 2013 By Chhay Channyda   Hun Many, son of Prime Minister Hun Sen, speaks with the Post in Phnom Penh on Monday. Photo by Kara Fox   Prime Minister Hun Sen’s youngest son, Hun Many, is the first of his father’s progeny to officially run for public office. A father of three, Hun Many has studied in the United States, France and Australia. This year he threw his hat into the ring as a candidate to represent Kampong Speu province in July’s national election, surprising many observers who thought his elder brother Manet would be first to embrace parliamentary life. The deputy cabinet chief and head of the Cambodian People’s Party Youth Association spoke to the Post’s Chhay Channyda about stepping up into politics, foreign affairs and Cambodia’s future. At the ASEAN summit last year in Cambodia, did you have the chance to meet US President Barack Obama? What did your father tell his children about the meeting between himself and Obama? It was

Lessons for Laos and Vietnam (Malaysian Election 2013)

Last Updated on 20 May 2013 By Roger Mitton   The Malaysian election two weeks ago brought great satisfaction to all dispassionate observers. Despite some sour protests to the contrary, it showed that democracy is alive and well in Malaysia, and it sent a positive message around the region, especially to dictatorial backwaters like Laos and Vietnam. Said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch: “Malaysian voters reaffirmed their commitment to democracy and civic participation with an amazing and peaceful 80 per cent turnout.” As for the actual result, the governing National Front coalition and its leader, Prime Minister Najib Razak, won comfortably by 133 seats to 89 by the opposition People’s Alliance. But hidden within that seemingly handsome 45-seat margin were some nasty gremlins that will test the PM’s character and Malaysia’s social cohesion. After its woeful 2008 election performance, the Front’s dominant member, the United Malays Nationa

ការក្រាញ​អំណាច​ជា «ជំងឺ» របស់​សង្គម​ខ្មែរ

ដោយ ប៉ែន បូណា (Radio France International-IRI) ពុធ 08 ឧសភា 2013 សេចក្តីថ្លែងការណ៍​របស់​លោក​នាយក​រដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ហ៊ុន សែន កាលពីដើម​សប្តាហ៍​នេះ​ដែល​ថា លោក​នឹង​បន្ត​កាន់តំណែង​រហូតដល់​អាយុ​ជាង​៧០​ឆ្នាំ​នោះ បាន​បង្កើត​ឲ្យ​មាន​ការ​ជជែក​គ្នា​យ៉ាង​ផុលផុស​អំពី​អាណត្តិ​របស់​មេដឹកនាំ​ កម្ពុជា។ មតិ​ខ្លះ​បាន​រិះគន់​លោក​នាយក​រដ្ឋមន្ត្រី​ថា​នៅ «ក្រាញ​អំណាច» ទោះបីជា​ខ្លួន​កាន់​តំណែង​យូរហើយ​ក៏ដោយ។ ប៉ុន្តែ ប្រសិនបើ​គេ​ពិចារណា​ឲ្យ​ស៊ីជម្រៅ ការ​ក្រាញ​អំណាច​មិនមែន​ជា​រឿង​ដាច់​ដោយ​ឡែក​របស់​បុគ្គល​ណា​ទេ តែ​វា​ជា «ជំងឺ​សង្គម»​ខ្មែរ​ដែល​ត្រូវតែ​រួមគ្នា​ព្យាបាល។ តើ​ជំងឺ​នេះ​មាន​ឫសគល់​មកពីណា? នៅ​កម្ពុជា ផ្លូវ​ឡើងទៅ​កាន់អំណាច​គឺជា​រឿង​ដ៏​លំបាក​មួយ​ទៅហើយ ប៉ុន្តែ ការចាកចេញ​ពី​អំណាច​​វិញ​វា​រឹត​តែ​លំបាក​ថែមទៀត។ លំបាក​នៅ​ត្រង់​ថា «វប្បធម៌​ក្រាញ​អំណាច»​កំពុង​ចាក់ឫស​និង​បាន​ក្លាយជា​«ជំងឺ​សង្គម»​មួយ​ដែល​ គួរតែ​នាំគ្នា​រក​វិធី​ព្យាបាល។ ការ​ចោទ​អ្នក​នេះ​ឬអ្នក​នោះ​ថា​ក្រាញ​អំណាច​ គ្រាន់តែ​ជាការ​បាចទឹក​ដាក់គ្នា​តែប៉ុណ្ណោះ​ ពី​ព្រោះនេះ​មិនមែនជា​បញ្ហា​ដោយឡែក​របស់​បុគ្គល​ណា​ម្នាក់​ឡើយ តែ​វា​ជា​បញ្ហា​រួម​របស

SOUTH AFRICA: Three universities pilot doctoral supervision course

Ishmael Tongai 04 May 2013 Issue No:270 An innovative course that aims to produce a new generation of doctoral supervisors kicked off this year at three South African universities. The plan is to roll out the free course to other universities to raise the country’s PhD output. The seven-week course was piloted at Rhodes University, the University of Fort Hare and Durban University of Technology. It is structured around four themes – power relations in supervision, the importance of scholarship, supervisor practices and supervisor processes – and started when this year’s semester began in February. The initiative received funding of €1 million (US$1.3 million) from the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education, or NUFFIC. The course was developed by a consortium consisting of four South African universities – Rhodes, Stellenbosch, Cape Town and Fort Hare – and three Dutch institutions – Vrije University Amsterdam, the African Stud

UNITED KINGDOM: Why universities license degrees to foreign colleges

Nigel Healey 04 May 2013 Issue No:270   Transnational education has become big business for UK universities. The latest data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, HESA, reveal that the sector has more international students studying wholly offshore than on universities’ home campuses. The UK government has, in turn, become enthusiastic about the potential growth in this market. Transnational education offers universities a way of reaching the increasing number of foreign students who want a UK degree, but who are unable or unwilling to travel to the UK for study. Better yet, transnational education breaks the link between conventional ‘export education’ and student immigration, which is currently so politically controversial in the UK, allowing universities to grow international enrolments without the cross-border movement of students. International students on-campus vs studying wholly overseas Of the plethora of ways in which universitie

CANADA: Philanthropy, innovation and the idea of the university

David Strangway 04 May 2013 Issue No:270   Universities in Canada are almost entirely public and funded by provincial governments. They are able to charge tuition fees, but this is also controlled by government. This means that there is very little incentive for real innovation, let alone differentiation. Differentiation is important for innovation in a university system, but is very difficult to achieve in the Canadian system. In a number of countries there are excellent public and private universities side by side, leading to a built-in incentive for differentiation and innovation. One need only consider the United States, Mexico, Japan, and Korea, among many other nations. Some countries have followed the German Von Humboldt model of the university, in which the research agenda sets institutional objectives. In some countries – but not Canada – the Cardinal Newman view of the university, which provides a broad education, has thrived. This can be seen in the

VIETNAM: Partnership with Russia for new, world-class university

Hiep Pham 04 May 2013 Issue No:270   Vietnam is to invest some US$150 million to create a state-of-the-art university of technology in Hanoi. Russia is to be the academic sponsor, the Ministry of Education and Training announced. This is the latest in a series of partnerships forged with foreign governments and aimed at creating world-class universities. The project will have two steps. In the first phase, from now until 2016, a Russian training institute will be established as a unit of the 47-year-old Le Quy Don Technical University. From 2016, the institution’s name will be changed to the Vietnamese Russian University of Technology. Russian involvement in the project includes providing textbooks and curricula, granting degrees, sending professors to Vietnam to deliver courses in Russian, and hosting Vietnamese students and faculty on internships and fellowships at top Russian universities. The official agreement is expected to be signed next month in Moscow, d