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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - College for profit set to open

College for profit set to open

C AMBODIA's first private higher educational institution, Regent College, will

open its doors for classes on July 4.

Low Bee Ai, Executive Director of

the college, said: "The college will offer a wide range of training and

educational courses in economics and commerce, finance and accounting, office

skills such as book-keeping and type writing, information processing and English

for business.

"The courses are taught in English using the syllabus of

the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). Students will sit LCCI

examinations leading to internationally recognized LCCI


Julieta Mateo, the Registrar of the college, said:

"Prices for the subjects are between $150-$240 per three month semester. Classes

will be one and a half hours, three days per week. To complete a subject and sit

the LCCI exam will take between 12 and 15 months."

Bee Ai said: "Our

primary goal is to strengthen Cambodians' skills and help them be more

competitive in the international business environment.

"We have so far

enrolled 50 students for classes, of these 20 percent are sponsored by their

employers looking to improve the skills and on the job performance of their


"The College will also provide 'short-term training', tailoring

special courses to suit the specific needs of individual organizations or

private companies upon request. To date six organizations, companies and NGO's,

have approached us to for such training."

"We will teach subjects with a

minimum of 5 students. Maximum class size will be 20."

Bee Ai said:

"Staff will initially be paid on a per hour basis, $12 to $16 depending on their

ability, but I'm prepared to pay up to $20 per hour to get good quality

teachers. We will have regular control tests to weed out poor or non-committed


"We are using a free market approach to the provision of

education. Everything will depend on supply and demand, the College hopes to be

profitable by the end of the year."

When asked how the students could

afford the prices of the courses Low Bee Ai said: "Since Pol Pot came to power

the people have been hoarding gold. The society is very hierarchically

structured, the people will pay for quality education as they see it as a way of

climbing that hierarchy."

Low Bee Ai said the college, located on the

corner of streets 51 and 200, is owned by Dato Dr Chen Lip Keong through the

Malaysian proprietary limited subsidiary company of Kampuchea Airlines.

Bee Ai said Dr Chen spent $400,000 building the five story premises,

which have 20 air-conditioned classrooms, a library, computer and typing

laboratories, conference facilities, and a rooftop cafeteria. Dr Chen is the

owner of the Cambodia Times. He also started a lottery in Phnom Penh which

ceased operations several months after opening in 1992.



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