US ambassador W Patrick Murphy highlighted the significance of the enduring education ties between the US and Cambodia, commending the accomplishments of Cambodian figures including Prime Minister Hun Manet and his nine Cabinet members. He noted that their US educational backgrounds are testament to this relationship.
Murphy made the remarks at the EducationUSA Fair 2023, held in Phnom Penh on September 28 in the presence of San Vathana, an undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. The event aimed to enhance educational opportunities and exchanges between the two nations, providing a platform for Cambodian students to explore US educational programmes, scholarships and partnerships.
Describing his recent meeting with Manet, the ambassador remarked that the premier possesses both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from US institutions, representing the broader narrative of educational exchange between the two nations.
Murphy highlighted that nine members of Manet’s Cabinet likewise pursued their academic journeys in the US.
“Earlier today, I met with Minister of Mines and Energy Keo Rattanak, an alumnus of Columbia University in New York. Numerous others have similarly benefited from studying in the US,” he said.
The ambassador also underscored the significance of people-to-people ties and broader bilateral relationships, noting that discussions with Manet touched on various facets of these connections.
“Our assistance programmes here include education, English teaching, curriculum development and school food initiatives for improved nutrition. We’re committed to nurturing a vibrant educational ecosystem in Cambodia,” Murphy said, speaking on these initiatives.
He noted the high US visa issuance rate for Cambodian students, attributing it to a reliable return rate.
“Many return with a diverse set of skills and contribute across sectors such as education, business, government and civil society,” he added.
Murphy emphasised the countless educational opportunities the US offers, expressing hope that students will choose fields complementing the Kingdom’s needs, thereby promoting sustainable development and economic growth.