On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Association of Francophone Universities (AUF) in the Asia-Pacific region, a drawing competition called “My Francophone, My Future and My Identity” was organised.

Buddhist monk Thon Siphat won two prizes: The third prize for digital drawing and the public’s choice prize among 26 candidates from four countries, including Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia.

Siphat is a fourth-year student at the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) majoring in communications drawing.

“The drawing represents our Cambodian students studying French. They learn about Khmer history in French textbooks. The man standing there is teaching the young students who have just learned French,” Siphat explained about his drawing to The Post.

As a former student of French in his foundation year who reluctantly switched to English, Siphat joined the competition and sent the drawing to the AUF headquarters in Vietnam.

As a result, the 24-year-old monk received an e-book reader for winning third place and Casque Audio headphones for winning the public vote on Facebook.

The “Regional Poster-Making Competition Award Ceremony” was held on March 9 at the Centre d’Employabilite Francophone during the visit of the AUF rector and vice-rector for the Asia-Pacific region, Professors Slim Khalbous and Marie Nathalie Le Blanc.

Sok Kuong, project manager in charge of relations at AUF-Cambodge, said that the committee, which has members from all countries and from several higher education agencies using the French language, directly evaluated the selections based on four criteria.

“First, candidates must have respect for the content of the topic. The second is the originality of the candidate’s work. Third is the quality and artistic characteristics. Fourth, the drawing must have both the quality as well as the content of the text that accompanies the image,” said Kuong.

He said that AUF, which was established 60 years ago, is now the world’s first university network with more than 1,030 member institutions, including universities, colleges and research centers, present in 120 countries around the world.

The mission of the visit by the rector and vice-rector was to strengthen the relationship between the AUF and its member universities in Cambodia and to discuss new perspectives on cooperation as the national office in Phnom Penh has been established since 1994.

“Currently, the Kingdom of Cambodia has 13 member universities which are among the 87 higher education institutions of the AUF network in the Asia-Pacific region,” Kuong said.

He said that out of the 26 candidates’ drawings, only 10 were selected to be displayed at the Francophone Phnom Penh Digital and Employment Center at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia.

Khalbous did a presentation on a series of AUF activities for the benefit of French-speaking youth, such as university sports, student mobility, international competitions and the organization of the second French-speaking Youth Conference, one of the Francophone Science Week events in Quebec, Canada from October 30 to November 2, 2022, according to Kuong.

The first and second prize winners of the AUF Regional Poster-Making Competition were two students in Vietnam. The first place winner received an iPad Air and the second place winner received a Wacom digital drawing tablet.