Since its establishment in 1983, the National University of Management (NUM) has been one of the Kingdom’s leading academic institutions producing highly skilled graduates in business management. Based on NUM’s vision of “Excellence in Academics”, the School of Graduate Studies aspires to become an outstanding academic center for education, research and services in Cambodia.
At NUM, students can select their majors from a wide variety of fields, many of which are catered towards the professional service industry. Last year, over 15,000 students were pursuing master and bachelor degrees in the fields of management, accounting, marketing, tourism and hospitality, economics, information technology, law and entrepreneurship, as well as international and English programs.
Dr. Seng Bunthoeun, NUM Vice Rector, said that after a master degree, students can pursue their studies towards a doctor degree in business administration (DBA) and doctor of philosophy (PhD).
“The quality of NUM’s education programs are [meant] to reach the top levels of national and international standards,” he said. “Many teams of NUM students have won medals in national tournaments and contests, as well as international contests.”
After winning the gold and silver medals in the National Business Model Competition in February, two student teams from NUM successfully competed in the regional Mekong Business Challenge, which was held in March in Hanoi. While the Cambodian teams were pitted against other top university teams from Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Kunming (China), “RIP Funeral Event Agency” from NUM surpassed their peers to take the gold medal in the competition, explained
Stephen Paterson, Senior Advisor & Program Coordinator for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at NUM.
In early May, the same two student teams from NUM traveled to the U.S. to compete in the International Business Model Competition, the first time that teams from Cambodia have advanced to the International Competition which is co-hosted by Brigham Young University and Harvard University. According to Paterson, “over 40 university teams from around the world competed in the two day competition in the U.S. and one of the Cambodian Teams from NUM, “Khmer Social Tour”, advanced into the top 10 and received an “Honorable Mention” during the final awards ceremony. “Khmer Social Tour” advanced ahead of student teams from both Harvard University and MIT in addition to other top tier universities from around the world.”
According to Paterson, The National University of Management is currently in the process of expanding its entrepreneurship programs to include a Startup Accelerator Program and will also serve as the official host of the Mekong Business Challenge in March 2016, which is conducted in partnership with the international consulting firm, McKinsey & Company.
Besides competing in regional competitions, Seng added that in order to meet the University’s strategic plan 2014-2018, NUM has partnered with the IMF library so that NUM’s researchers, lecturers and students can have access to relevant data. NUM also collaborates with several national and international NGOs, universities and companies in Asia, Europe and the United States. Among their respected partners, Aeon 1% club and Sumitomo Corporation Scholarships are the big, active supporters every year for NUM’s outstanding students.
“Improving the education provided in all of our majors is the key to an inclusive and sustainable education development, and this encompasses a diverse dimension. NUM strives for quality through improvement in lectures, teaching services and student’s education, reform and adaptation of the curriculum throughout [their college careers],” he said. Currently, Professor Kristiana Raube, PhD, of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, U.S., is visiting NUM as a Fulbright Specialist. She will be making recommendations to improve the education provided at NUM.
Dr. Kang Sovannara, Director of NUM School of Graduate Studies, said that the university’s programs “will change the students to be effective managers and entrepreneurs in the era of regional and global competition.”
NUM also offers an International Business Program, which is taught in English by international faculty members, allowing the students to gain a global perspective.
Kerry Slattery, International Program Director of NUM, said in an email that NUM prides itself in being able to connect students to their lecturers while providing scholarship programs and study abroad opportunities.
She explained how this promotes both active learning and critical thinking, allowing international business students to participate in reality-based assignments that think beyond the classroom and force them to form opinions and create solutions to real world business issues.
For example, during the current semester, a group of students toured the Coca-Cola factory and listened to presentations regarding marketing strategies, while another class partnered with coffee shops around Phnom Penh to survey customers and employees.
Recently, an Australian-owned corporation in Phnom Penh selected five students from NUM to participate in internships at The Capacity Specialists, Fairsew, Anne Noelle Bridal and Phnom Penh Community College.
The International Program also welcomes study-abroad students. This year, a Japanese student from Osaka will join in the student exchange program in collaboration with the Osaka University of Economics and Law.
Student exchange programs are an important part of NUM’s International Program and allow the students to benefit from the diversity of culture, said Slattery. She explained how there was a particular shining moment this year when NUM led a cross cultural exchange with 25 Malaysian students from Universiti Sains Malaysia.
“Both countries enjoyed sharing their history and culture with each other, while building life-long friendships and connections,” she said.
While NUM has the goal of producing world class business leaders for both local and international employment, Kerry stressed the importance of providing a springboard into the region.
“As the opportunities for Cambodian education continue to grow, the International Program at the National University of Management plans to build our students’ capacity, our partnerships within Phnom Penh and our relations within ASEAN and the region,” Kerry said.