With China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative well underway across Asean and, closer to home, in the Kingdom’s Preah Sihanouk province, Cambodian students studying at Guangxi University in China’s Nanning city say they are confident of their future job prospects, while a local dean praised their work ethics.
“Knowledge from China can now be used widely in Cambodia because the governments of the two countries have good cooperation. So I think in the future, [those who possess] Chinese language skills will be better off than [those who speak other languages],” said Hang Chan Sambor, a 31-year-old student who is pursuing a Master’s degree in Labour Economics at Guangxi University.
He is among 70 Cambodian students studying different subjects here.
The majority of them are on Chinese government-funded scholarships.
Sambor said he could not compare the quality of education in Chinese universities to those in Western countries, in Europe or North America for example.But he said with the Chinese investment in his homeland, there would be plenty of job opportunities available upon his return.
“Now, the One Belt One Road initiative is underway in Asean countries, so working with China is more beneficial. Now there are more options than just universities in Europe,” Sambor said.
Bun Sotheary, 26, a third-year student from Siem Reap province, is majoring in Enterprise Management.
She was hopeful that work would be easy to find after graduating.
“I think there are many opportunities for students who study in China. It may be a bit difficult to find the right job for what they have studied, but as new graduates, we have to adjust to the job market."
“I think there are many jobs out there – the question is whether we accept them,” she said.
Guangxi University International Education College Dean, Qin Chengqiang, said it had been working with Cambodian universities for several years, with partnerships with Kratie University and the Royal Academy of Cambodia to name just two.
He said in 2020, the university will start a Khmer language studies course, which will feature an exchange programme for students and teachers between Cambodian universities and his.
He praised Cambodian students and said Guangxi University currently has 27 colleges majoring in 11 disciplines, including 10 in post-doctoral research, with 68 PhD programmes, 247 graduate programmes and 98 undergraduate ones.
“We are already in contact with universities in Cambodia. Cambodian students are industrious and respect discipline,” Chengqiang said.