The Institute of Technology Cambodia (ITC) was established in 1964, since then it has connected French, English and Khmer speaking networks in the region and provided high quality education in the fields of engineering, science, and technology.
In their strategic plan, ITC have specifically outlined the steps they will take to continue developing and improving the university for future Cambodian students.
Among these steps is a focus on curriculum development. This development is to ensure the quality and effectiveness of ITCs specialist skills training. Skills training that will prepare students for the job requirements of tomorrow.
Dr Hul Seinheng is the Director of Research and Innovation Center at ITC. He spoke with The Post and let us know how STEM education is preparing future Cambodian professionals to embark on STEM based careers to build a better Cambodia.
With the adoption of STEM curriculums in Cambodian Schools students are becoming better equipped to study at ITC but according to Seinheng, “the STEM curriculum has shaped the types of courses chosen by students at ITC”, those well-prepared students of STEM are more willing to study technical courses and are in a better position to fully understand course materials. They can better visualise complex theories and concepts.
This is particularly true of girls. Cambodia’s young women are being actively encouraged to break in to the historically male dominated fields represented by STEM.
The result of this is that more women are going on to study STEM based courses at a tertiary level. Seinheng remarks, “I believe the increase in female enrollment at ITC is the result of increases in STEM high school graduates”, this a trend that we can expect to continue as more young women graduate from STEM based curriculums.
ITC enjoys numerous cooperative agreements with universities and institutions from Europe, Japan, the Southeast Asian region, and locally within Cambodia. These agreements help to lift the quality of education at ITC but they also enable collaboration in new research projects.
According to Seinheng, “the influx of STEM education (in Cambodia) will result in better collaboration for research and other project(s)”, this in turn will result in improved educational outcomes for tertiary students in Cambodia, a benefit that will eventually lead to social developments and better economic returns.
Seinheng believes that STEM students “will be well rounded and aware of their societies”, but only if the “STEM (curriculum) is well shaped as education”. This is evidenced in first year students at ITC.
Entering university for the first time can be an anxious time. In theory STEM graduates have the skills and emotional awareness to handle the strains of tertiary education.
STEM graduates are even aiding ITC in providing high quality education in the fields of engineering, science, and technology but being more focused, and having a better grounding in STEM subjects, they are better prepared for the rigours of university.