Ds Scholarship

Majors that high school students should study at universities

Since Cambodian students have recently passed their matriculation examination, many specialists and scholars have given advice and recommendations for them to pursue their higher education in universities.

Bon Soval, Dean of the College of Media and Communication at the University of Cambodia, says that over the past 20 years, the Cambodian education system has gradually improved due to the development of infrastructure, roads and schools.

Ben Soval at the University of Cambodia. supplied

“Students who have finished high school are advised to choose any discipline of study that is relevant to the market and the need for human capital in business, media, factory industry, digital economy, biological and physical innovation, and agro-industry.”

Meanwhile, Soval says students also need to gain a high level of English language proficiency if they want to win any scholarships to study at a foreign university.

“The English language is a must in addition to their ambition to learn relevant skills to help the country when they return,” he says.

Soval says he also encourages students to consider studying media and communications that might enable them to find suitable employment in the future.

“Due to the advancement of technology, media is a popular trend for all users, so learning this skill helps to secure a potential job opportunity and a good salary,” he says. “Therefore, students should consider studying this major.”

Air Soval, associate dean of undergraduate programs and global development and associate professor at Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management, says exam days in Cambodia were an ugly moment with cheating.

Air Soval at the University of Arizona. supplied

“I remember when exams were scandalous,” he says. “Children were injured when stones wrapped in answer sheets were thrown around them in the classroom.”

However, Soval says that things have changed for the better over the years with the positive reform of Cambodia’s education system.

“The cheating has been reduced, and we hope the merit will improve,” he says.

Sophal says the majors students choose to study at universities should be those that bring critical thinking which is absolutely necessary if they want to be able to judge and improve the situation.

“Without critical thinking, there is only copying,” he says. “For good jobs, just look at the demand and think about what the required education entails.”

Similarly, Soval says that those who want to win scholarships abroad need critical thinking as well as the right connections when needed.

“Show yourself that you can think for yourself and you can find a scholarship anywhere, and most importantly, a job anywhere, not just Cambodia,” he explains. “This is a skill that is in demand globally.”

Ann Sophan, a librarian at Cambodian University of Majors in Phnom Penh, says there are many majors that students who have passed the matriculation examination can study at Cambodian universities, including English, IT, architecture, design, management and law.

Ann Sovan at Cambodian University of Specializations. supplied

“With Cambodia reopening in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, tourists will be returning to the country,” he says. “Therefore, some students may want to study tourism and hospitality so that they can make money quickly.”

To help strengthen the rule of law and build the economy, Suvan says some students may study law and economics respectively.

“Now, there is also a tendency for students to study banking and marketing as the Cambodian economy grows,” he says. “But wealthy students may want to study to become doctors because it takes many years to study and a lot of money.”

Thorn Thor, principal of Hon Sin Kang Tanyeong High School in Kampong Cham Province, says he hopes 90% of the 136 high school students will pass the exam this year.

“Every year, about 96% of our students pass the matriculation exam,” he says. “But, let’s run a little underestimated this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

He says that about 80% of his students who have passed the matriculation exam continue their studies at Phnom Penh universities.

“We have an agreement with the Royal University of Phnom Penh, the National University of Management and the Royal University of Law and Economics, which have provided scholarships for our students to study for free for four years,” he says.

The principal says his students love to study accounting, banking, finance and information technology.

“These are the subjects they like because they think they can find jobs easily after they finish their studies,” he says.

Thing Puntra, a 32-year-old loan officer at Prasak Bank in Kandal County, says he encourages students who have passed the high school exam to study banking and start working at the same time.

Prasak Theang Buntra Bank loan officer. supplied

“I started working at Brassac Bank when I was in my third year at university,” he recalls. “But now some banks are willing to hire good students to work as loan officers after they finish high school and can go to weekend classes.”

Buntra says a job as a loan officer is a lot of fun and freedom when they work for MFIs and go out to find new clients.

“It’s like going for a fun ride on a motorbike and you’ll get to know a lot of new people and places,” he says.

Shea Thorida, a 38-year-old secondary school teacher in Phnom Penh, says she would like to encourage students who have passed the high school exam to go and study in teacher training schools to become teachers.

High school teacher Chea Thourida. supplied

“Before you start any career, you have to go to school and study many subjects,” she says. “Above all else, you need teachers to teach you.”

Thuraydah says teachers play an important role in developing human resources and changing society for the better.

“Teachers are the architects of the soul,” she says. “We equip students with knowledge, experience, and social issues.”

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