PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA - MediaOutReach - October 15, 2018 - At a simple but dignified ceremony held in the National Sports Complex at theOlympic in Phnom Penh, His Excellency Mr. Yuok Ngoy, the Secretary of State ofthe Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Government of Kingdom ofCambodia and the Vice Chancellor of the Asian University for Women (AUW) inBangladesh, Professor Nirmala Rao, OBE, FAcSS, signed a Memorandum of Understandingannouncing 50 five-year scholarships valued at US $3.75 million foroutstandingly talented women from across Cambodia to pursue their undergraduatestudies at AUW. As part of the MOU, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport(MoEYS) of Cambodia -- led by its Secretary of State H. E. Mr. Yuok Ngoy hascommitted to undertake a national campaign to identify for AUW the mostpromising students from all 24 provinces of the country. The MOU signingceremony was witnessed by AUW Founder Kamal Ahmad, Under Secretaries H. E.Samedy Sivathana, H. E. Ms. Soeur Socheata, and Deputy Director General Dr. HunChanrith, other high officials of the MoEYS, AUW alumnae in Cambodia, andrepresentatives of TV and other media. Asian University for Women'scommitment to Cambodia follows its earlier similar commitments to Afghanistanand Yemen. At home in Bangladesh, the University has extended opportunities todaughters of borrowers of the Grameen Bank and other microfinance institutions,women who work at Bangladesh's largest export industry -- the ready-made garmentsectors -- as well as women drawn from the country's extensive network ofmadrasas. It has also made a special commitment to support education ofRohingya women from Myanmar.
Meeting with His Excellency Mr. Yuok Ngoy, the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Government of Kingdom of Cambodia and the Vice Chancellor of the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Bangladesh, Professor Nirmala Rao, OBE, FAcSS in Phnom Penh
His Excellency Mr. Yuok Ngoy, the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Government of Kingdom of Cambodia and the AUW delegation
The MOU signing ceremony between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Government of Kingdom of Cambodia and the Asian University for Women
AUW Vice Chancellor Professor Nirmala Raoexpressed her appreciation to the Royal Government of Cambodia for extendingsuch enthusiastic collaboration in meeting a key human development challengefor their country. She noted that AUW was proud of the many students fromCambodia it has already graduated, and looks forward to being a key partner inCambodia's endeavors to empower its women through the highest quality educationpossible.
AUW Founder noted that when the AsianUniversity for Women was established in 2008, Cambodia was selected as the onlySouth East Asian country from where students were recruited at AUW at that time.AUW's decision was in part out of remembrance of the Khmer Rouge atrocitiesthat decimated the educated population of Cambodia. He noted that Bangladeshhad suffered a similar fate in 1971, and it is an act of solidarity withCambodia that AUW is now embarking on scaling up support for Cambodian women'seducation.
The AsianUniversity for Women Cambodia Scholarship will provide full scholarshipsfor selected female Cambodian nationals from each of Cambodia's 24 provinces toattend AUW in Chittagong, Bangladesh for Access Academy -- a one-yearpre-collegiate program -- as well as three years of undergraduate study, culminatingin a bachelor's degree in one of the five academic disciplines offered at theUniversity -- Economics; Politics, Philosophy, and Economics; EnvironmentalStudies; Public Health; and Bioinformatics.
H.E. Yuok Ngoy, Secretary of State of theMinistry of Education in Cambodia, noted: "Through the MOU, we hope that thenumber of Cambodian female students to study in Bangladesh will be increased.This scholarship program is very useful and will help developing human resourcein Cambodia, especially for female students."
Saren Kaeng, a 2014 Cambodian graduate, struggledwith access to education prior to being recruited by AUW. Since graduating fromAUW, she has completed a master's degree at Brandeis University. She now works forthe Cambodian National Assembly. Saren says of her experience at AUW andbeyond: "When girls are educated, everyone benefits. It simply does not makesense that we limit opportunities for half of the world's population. If wewant to solve the major challenges the world is facing, we need everyone'scontribution."
A 2013 Cambodian graduate from AUW, DuthKimsru, works at a Cambodian-based non-profit organization dedicated to empoweringyoung Cambodians, and was invited to meet former President of the United StatesBarack Obama in Singapore this March, along with nine other emerging leadersfrom Southeast Asia. Another notable AUW graduate is Vylyny Chat (2014), whowas recently featuredin Voice of America, and is a PhD candidate in epidemiology at New YorkUniversity Medical School. Two other AUW graduates -- Sreymom Pol (2013) andSreymom Oy (2014) -- are currently pursuing graduate degrees at Oxford and UCLA,respectively.
About Asian University for Women (AUW)
Founded in2008 and located in Chittagong, Bangladesh, Asian University for Women is thefirst of its kind: a regional institution dedicated to women's education andleadership development -- international in outlook but rooted in the contextsand aspirations of the people of Asia. Chartered by the Parliament ofBangladesh, AUW exists solely to support a rising network of women leaders,entrepreneurs, and change makers from across the region. It seeks out women whohave significant academic potential and demonstrate courage and a sense ofoutrage at injustice and are empathic to the woes of other people.
Studentsfrom 17 countries attend AUW. 85% of AUW students are on full or near-fullscholarship funded by private donors from around the world. A majority of AUWgraduates find employment in the private sector in their home countries whileabout 25% go on to pursue graduate studies. AUW graduates or former studentshave been admitted to Oxford, Stanford, Columbia, New York University, Surrey,SOAS, Ewha, and a host of other leading universities around the world.