Academics battle obstacles to university research

Since the 1970s when Cambodia’s universities were devastated by the civil war and Khmer Rouge era, much progress has been made, and thousands of young Cambodians graduate each year from the country’s 162 higher education institutions. But teaching is still the overriding concern, and scholars say there remain significant obstacles to conducting original research and furthering knowledge, write Hean Socheata and Nov Povleakhena for Voice of America.

“The main income of the universities comes from the students’ tuition fees, so most Cambodian universities offer teaching services rather than research,” said Ros Vutha, a masters graduate in higher education and a lecturer at Phnom Penh’s Institute of Foreign Languages.

Funding for research is scarce, and many researchers simply go off on their own to do more ambitious work. Even when research is done, however, there are few places to have it published locally. Local scholars therefore must collaborate with foreign researchers to get their work published, said Vutha.
Full report on the Voice of America site