Speaking at the inauguration of the Heng Samrin Tbong Khmum University yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen called for a program to establish universities in all provinces, saying that the creation of more institutions of higher learning would improve access to education outside of the capital.
“We can’t keep the universities [only] in Phnom Penh, so we need to have a program to deploy universities in all the provinces too,” he said, adding that public institutions of higher education have already been established in Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Siem Reap, Svay Rieng, Prey Veng, and Kampong Cham provinces.
Although no such program currently exists on paper, the principle aligns with the Education Ministry’s Vision 2030 policy, according to ministry spokesman Ros Salin. The premier’s remarks, he said, reflect objectives of improving education quality and access.
Asked whether Hun Sen’s remarks constituted a promise, Salin replied, “Yes, he gives us advice to have more universities in remote areas that respond to market needs.”
Opposition lawmaker Yem Ponhearith, chairman of the National Assembly’s commission for education, expressed support for such a plan, but was unaware of whether it was being formulated within the ministry.