If the National Exam next month is not enough of a factor for stress and anxiety among Grade 12 students, choosing the university and degree programme surely are. And if you’re a Grade 12 student, you’re probably very busy preparing for both national exams and your life after that.
Bunny Sereivathna, 17, a 12 grader at Santhormok High School, said she is interested to attend the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE) and Department of International Studies (DIS). “I want both but I don’t think I have enough time to handle it so the main major is law. So I’ll go for RULE,” said Sereivathna.
Several universities have sprouted in Phnom Penh in recent years, but the information about their enrollment seem to be a major problem among high school graduates. Many students feel lost during enrollment, not knowing where to go or how to get enrollment details for the universities they’re interested in going.
“I have trouble trying to find the right university and I don’t know which university is right for me,” Sereivathna shared. “I get that information through social media and through my seniors.”
Leap Sok, chief executive officer of System Experts, said that the lack of information about schools and the difficulty of finding the right university for every student are not new issues in Cambodia.
“Students might go to their friends, family or relatives or visit the school directly in order to get the information; however, that information is not enough,” said Mr Leap.
Seeing this persistent problem, Mr Leap initiated an educational website hoping to tackle the main issue. A team of 13 people are working on a website guiding students in university enrollment – the Sala Enrollment. “Sala” means school in Khmer.
Sala Enrollment is a website that consists of relevant and detailed information about universities in Phnom Penh, ranging from the background of the universities, tuitions, programmes, as well as scholarship and exchange programmes.
“The students can see valuable details on the website, some of the information are not even written on the websites of the universities. Our team directly interviewed each university to extract essential information that can benefit students. We let them give us three points that make them outstanding,” shared Mr Leap.
System Experts was founded in 2015 focusing on IT solutions in school systems. Mr Leap leads the team of 13 young people, plus three interns in encoding and designing the Sala Enrollment project, hoping to ease the process of enrollment for both the students and the university.
He said that the website will be able to cut down the processing time during enrollment periods and will provide students with options to go into the university they feel is most suitable for them and their chosen majors, all without the hassle of traveling and being physically present. Moreover, the website also saves the time for the universities as the data are collected online and are directly transferred to each university administration systems. Another useful feature Sala Enrollment has is the personality test that lets students match their skills to different degree programmes offered by the universities on the system’s list.
Currently, Sala Enrollment has completed writing information about eight public and private universities. But Mr Leap’s team plans to include 44 universities in Phnom Penh once the website is officially launched. They also intend to include information about universities across Cambodia, as well as provide both English and Khmer versions in the website. Mr Leap is targeting Grade 12 students as the main market of the website.
Sereivathna expressed her interest in websites and applications such as Sala Enrollment that make the enrollment process stress-free for students. Sala Enrollment is rolling out late this month for soft launching and will be officially launched in early August.
At least 50,000 people are expected to visit the website each month, Mr Leap claims.
With this new project, Mr Leap aims to make education more enjoyable and accessible to students in Phnom Penh and beyond. Students and parents can initially visit www.salaenrollment.com to check out interesting and useful information about the different universities in Phnom Penh.