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Experiencing Europe through Erasmus

Srey Kumneth / Khmer Times Share:
European Union Ambassador George Edgar (center) explains about EU’s Erasmus+ programme. KT/Srey Kumneth

More than 80 Cambodian students and academic staff will be traveling around 12 European countries to learn and share experiences to western students and lecturers from five days to 12 months through the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme in the kingdom.

At a press conference last week, Ambassador of the European Union to the Kingdom of Cambodia, George Edgar, said that the Erasmus programme, which was initially just focused on European countries and students, has now opened its programme for students from all around the globe to share different views, opinions and experiences.

“Cambodian students and academic staff are given this opportunity to study, learn and share their experiences, and teach in western universities.” Mr Edgar said. “Cambodia is also part of our capacity-building project, and a part of seven other projects. These projects involve 20 private and public higher education institutions in Cambodia.”

Erasmus+ is EU’s programme to help in the development of the kingdom, to reduce financial struggles and hasten financial management, build new technology and provide trainings for students and lecturers. Mr Edgar added that the project also includes midwifery training, which is an important skill that is still very much relevant among Cambodians.

For the programme, Mr Edgar said that the EU did not set conditions for students and other participants on what they will do after they complete the programme.

“When students go back to their countries, we try to keep in touch with all of them. We ask them how they plan to apply the knowledge and experiences they gained from the Erasmus+ but we don’t really put pressure on them.”

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron said that this scholarship opportunity from the EU will give Cambodian students, professors and lecturers an avenue to exchange experiences and learning, and study in EU universities. A total of 81 students passed the scholarship programme this year, and they will soon be taking bachelor, master and doctorate degrees abroad.

“Lecturers are given the opportunity to share their experiences during the duration of this programme. Also, many students passed this scholarship and they will study abroad and learn standard curriculum.”

Mr Chuon Naron also said that the number of students who took the Grade 12 national exam has increased this year. The Ministry of Education recorded 115,000 exam takers for this year, a big difference compare to the 900,000 takers the previous year. For students who will not reach the passing mark, they can still take the exam next year. Mr Chuon Naron added that the exam results will possibly be released on September 10 or 11.

Erasmus+ is just one of the European Union’s programme to support projects, partnerships, events and mobility in the areas of education, training, youth and sports in Cambodia.

Over the past 30 years, EU has offered over 9 million people around the world, including Cambodia, a chance to study in and experience Europe. Between 2005 and 2017, the EU-funded Erasmus+ and Erasmus Mundus have provided scholarships to more than 700 Cambodian students and academic staff to study or teach in Europe.

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