For the academic year 2023-24, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport affirms its commitment to awarding scholarships to both exceptional students nationwide and those with disabilities. 

The ministry’s dedication is underscored by the allocation of nearly 9,000 scholarships, which is welcome news for recent baccalaureate graduates.

According to ministry spokeswoman Khuon Vicheka, there are a total of 8,816 full scholarships for four-year Bachelor’s degree programmes.

These scholarships are distributed across six priority categories. Among these are 5,594 for general students, 1,156 for female priority students, 1,519 for economically disadvantaged students and 547 for students residing in remote areas. 

The ministry also extends its scholarship programme to outstanding students nationwide, specifically those excelling in mathematics, physics and Khmer literature. Additionally, scholarships are provided for students with disabilities.

“As in past years, candidate recruitment began last July, before the commencement of high school diploma exams. As a result, students aspiring for the baccalaureate exam selected their subjects, opting for the first or second choice. Subsequently, upon result announcement, we award scholarships based on the chosen subjects and the order of scores obtained on the exams,” said Vicheka.

Diploma exam success

As per a recent ministry statement, outstanding students excelling in mathematics, physics and Khmer literature, having successfully cleared the high school diploma exams for the 2023-24 academic year, automatically qualify for scholarships.

They should then choose a skill aligned with their strengths and apply for a scholarship between July 22 and August 9, 2024, at the education department in the capital and provinces where they pursued their high school studies.

Likewise, students with disabilities enrolled in Grade 12 during the 2023-24 academic year who applied for scholarships at their high schools and passed the diploma exams are also granted eligibility for scholarships.

Mao Keun, who earned an A grade on the November 6 exams at Samdech Chea Sim Angkor Chey High School, faces a challenge. Hailing from Bral village, Tani commune, Angkor Chey district, Kampot province, Keun aspires to study pharmacology.

He said that his family, dealing with financial constraints, cannot support his university education. Securing a scholarship would be a significant help for his family in this situation.

“As for the scholarship, it will greatly assist me because my parents face financial challenges. I will not be afraid of covering school fees and other expenses; it will provide substantial support,” said Keun.

Financial challenges acknowledged

“For next year’s high school diploma exams, the ministry should offer additional scholarships. Numerous economically disadvantaged students, akin to myself, aspire to pursue university studies. They yearn for the opportunity to actualise their dreams but face financial constraints. Acquiring a scholarship would be highly beneficial,” he said.

Keun said that despite being exceptional students with A grades, some may opt to discontinue their education due to a lack of funds. Financial challenges play a crucial role; without adequate finances, continuing education becomes unattainable. The necessity for monetary assistance is especially significant for those supporting impoverished or elderly parents.

The ministry has instructed that economically disadvantaged students seeking scholarships submit a copy of the scholarship application, a recent 4cm×6cm photo, a receipt copy with a photo, an additional application for poor priority candidates, an individual certificate (for exam-focused candidates only) and a residence record copy certified by authorities.

Chhorn Ky, the chief of Khnar Sanday commune, said that it is important to adhere to the ministry’s conditions and student certification requirements when confirming letters, documents or applying for IDPoor cards related to pursuing studies or scholarships, including providing family books and birth certificates.

Vicheka also clarified that students pursuing media and communication scholarships, who have not received funding in previous years, can still apply but need to be 22 years old by the third week of December.