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Education Ministry Planning Student Loans Fund for University

Ros Chanveasna / Khmer Times Share:
High school children in a classroom in Wat Kho. KT/Vireak Mai

In an effort to prepare more students for ASEAN integration, the Education Ministry plans to set up a program to give high school students access to student loans so they can continue their studies at university.   
Ros Salin, the Education Ministry spokesman, said that human resources play an important role for social and economic development in the Kingdom. However, at the higher education level, those resources are limited because so many high school students are from low-income families.
“Therefore, the Education Ministry plans to establish the Student Loans Fund to pay the way for students who come from low-income families so they will get an opportunity to continue studying at universities and enhance their competitive capacity with other students [from middle-income and rich families] at the higher education level,” Mr. Salin said. 
He said a local commercial bank is willing to work with the ministry to provide loans to students for higher education. He declined to name the bank, but said it is eager to set up the program. 
“However, we do not know when exactly we will run the loans scheme for students, because the ministry needs to study first how to manage the loans scheme, including repayment,” Mr. Salin said.
Yim Sovann, spokesman for the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), said that the opposition party applauds the Education Ministry’s plan to create loans for students throughout the country. “The CNRP appreciates all methods that would help improve capacity and get job opportunities to Cambodian students,” Mr. Sovann said.  
Mr. Sovann commented that after students graduate from universities, they will have access to higher education levels and earn higher incomes and improve their living conditions. “Those students will get more knowledge and greater competitive capacity,” he said. 
University law lecturer Sor Sopunna said the loan plan is a great method to give students a better chance at a higher education level, and the it will also reduce inequality in education as well as. 
“There were several dozen students from low-income families, and they have struggled to continually study at universities in Phnom Penh. But some of them also turn to find jobs and abandon their studying because they have no enough money to support their studies,” Mr. Punna said.

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