Private educational institutions have changed their names in order to comply with
a circular issued by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS).
The circular states that universities or institutes must offer at least an associate
degree or higher academic qualification, or else be known by a lesser title. While
the circular was issued mid-July, some education centers are still catching up on
the name change.
"Any institutes that are not offering higher education programs, those institutes
shall change their name from 'institute' status to either 'school' or 'center',"
said You Virak, deputy director of the Department of Higher Education at MoEYS.
The name change edict is part of an effort to promote quality education and standardize
the higher education system in Cambodia, Virak said, adding that various local and
international organizations cooperated with MoEYS on the reforms.
"I've observed that some institutions have changed their names accordingly -
such as New York International School (NYIS) and Newton Thilay School (NTS) - and
I hope others currently using inappropriate names will also change soon one-by-one,"
Hong Lim, deputy director of NTS, said as a response to the circular, all 30 branches
of what was formerly known as Newton Thilay Institute in Phnom Penh were promptly
"Not only my school, but other institutions also have to change their names,
because it's a requirement of our education system in Cambodia," Lim said.
Lak Chendarith, deputy director of NYIS, said his school decided to change its "institute"
status in mid 2004, before a written circular from MEYS was publicized.
Seang Sovann, head of administration at Asia Euro University, said that he welcomed
the circular from MoEYS and said it would help students choose the right organization
for their continued studies.
"I do support [this circular] because the ministry made this decision in order
to alert private owners of [educational institutions] not to adopt names inappropriately,"
This week, MoEYS has organized a two-day workshop on "Quality Assurance and
Improvement in Higher Education." The workshop is supported by Asean University
Network Program and Build Bright University.