Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Raising salaries for quality's sake




Raising salaries for quality's sake

Raising salaries for quality's sake

The voice of the student body at the University of Agriculture has been heard by university authorities. A week after students protested outside the university, accusing school officials of pocketing their tuition fees in lieu of paying lecturers, authorities have agreed to raise salaries of university lecturers.

Salaries will be raised to US$5 dollars an hour for bachelors-level lectures, $6 an hour for masters-level lecturers and $7 an hour for lecturers with a doctorate degree. The previous hourly rates were $2.23 per hour. While the new pay is an improvement, it is still significantly less than the pay at private universities such as Pannasastra who pay lecturers between $10-20 an hour.

While the impact of low salaries for lecturers was obvious at the University of Agriculture when some lecturers stopped teaching their classes, the quality of education for students at many of Cambodia’s higher education institutions is affected by their professors’ salaries.

Many people who make their living teaching at universities must teach classes at multiple institutions in order to take home a salary that they feel matches their qualifications. The result is that professors are over-extended and students do not receive the attention that they desire.

“Some professors come to class a half hour late and leave a half hour early,” said a fourth-year female scholarship student in RUPP’s law program who asked not to be named. “For the last half hour of class we just sit around and talk.”

The education for students at private universities also suffers from the over-extension of professors. Kieng Rotana, Vice Chancellor of Pannasastra University, said that occasionally he has to reign in professors who are not devoting enough time to their classes. “When we see that a professor is teaching at least 18 hours at our university and is teaching somewhere else, we tell them they must stop,” he explained.

In order to ensure that universities are allocating an appropriate amount of their budget to teachers’ salaries, the Accreditation Committee of Cambodia (ACC) will include a financial review as part of their institutional reviews which will begin next year with funding from the World Bank.

“Institutions must make their financial management and recruitment transparent,” said Pen Sithol, director of the department of standards and accreditation which oversees the ACC, adding that universities are already required to file financial reports with the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Higher education institutions must hire qualified teachers in order to keep up with a rising demand for quality education among the Kingdom’s university students. However, experienced lecturers are expensive, and many schools are barely able to remain operational as it is. Perhaps events at the University of Agriculture will set a new precedent when authorities face similar situations.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Khmer woman to pass out of West Point

    The life of a soldier certainly isn’t for everyone. The training is gruelling, the hours long and there’s no room for excuses. On top of that, soldiers must be ready to respond to sudden threats at a moment’s notice. Just ask Sithyka

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last