Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia housed many universities during Angkor era

Cambodia housed many universities during Angkor era

The Ta Prohm temple in the Angkor Archeological Park was used for educational purposes during the Angkor era.
The Ta Prohm temple in the Angkor Archeological Park was used for educational purposes during the Angkor era. Moeun Nhean

Cambodia housed many universities during Angkor era

When thinking about the Angkor era, it is common for one to conjure up images of towering infrastructure structures, such as the temples of Angkor Wat. However, what is less knows is that the Khmer ancestors were also able to receive high levels of education during the Angkor Empire.

Dr. Chen Chanratana, head of the Khmer Heritage Foundation and also an archeology professor, said there were many established universities during the 9th to 12th centuries of the Angkor era.

“The universities included Ta Prohm University, Preah Khan University and Neak Poan University,” he said.

Chen Chanratana.
Chen Chanratana. Moeun Nhean

“During the [Angkor] era, there were even students from China as well. In the compound around Ta Prohm temple, there is the Preah Vihear temple and a university that taught literature, arts, philosophy and religion,” he added.

“With regards to skills in management and general knowledge, students went to a university in the Preah Khan temple.”

When it came to education during the Angkor era, Chanratana said knowledge was strong in many areas, especially when concerning urban planning, infrastructure, health and social welfare.

Dr. Hay Ly Eang, head of the general department at Phnom Penh-based pharmaceutical company PPM Pharma, said some present day medical treatments, while tweaked slightly, were adopted from the Khmer ancient medical doctors who practiced during the Empire’s rule.

The Ta Prohm temple in Tonle Bati.
The Ta Prohm temple in Tonle Bati. Moeun Nhean

“The doctors back during the Angkor era were very skillful,” he added.

Dr. Michelle Trane, an archaeologist and an expert in Khmer culture, said that at Ta Prohm temple “what we see is only the holy temple but it also contained a huge hospital hall which was used as a training ground for students.”​

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to

  • EBA withdrawal provides ‘opportunity for growth’

    Economic analyst Khoun Bunny said on Tuesday that the loss of the EU’s preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement could be a golden opportunity for Cambodia to show it deserved to be ranked sixth on the list of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Government