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Posted by: | Posted on: October 5, 2008

Cambodia’s higher education dreams confront reality

PHNOM PENH (AFP) — She has two years to go until graduation, but already Cambodian student Chhum Savorn is filled with a sense of dread.

The 21-year-old decided to major in finance, hoping she would acquire skills to help develop her country, which is one of the poorest in the world.

Instead, she thinks her education is nearly worthless — classes are mostly packed with indifferent, cheating students and led by under-qualified professors.

“The low quality of my studies means that I can’t help the country, and I’ll even have a hard time getting a job that pays enough to help my family,” she says.

A growing number of eager young Cambodians are finding themselves duped into a higher education system that suffers from weak management and teaching because it is geared more toward profit than learning.