Sihanoukville University signs MOU with American one
Sihanoukville. The University of Management and Administration (UMA) – Sihanoukville’s branch – signed this Saturday a Memorandum of Understand with an American institution that bases its method of education in Vedic teachings: Maharishi University of Management (MUM). The agreement will allow that UMA’s students could pursue further upgrading in MUM in business administration, accounting, banking and financial, agricultural, and computer science, among other possibilities. The ceremony, assisted by students and teachers of the Cambodian institution, was presided by the UME president Moun Veasna and Samdech Heng Samrin, president of the UME Sihanoukville branch. The American University was represented by Dr. Susan Brown, official delegate.
The Maharishi University is located in Fairfield, Iowa and it says in its website:
For more than 40 years, Maharishi University of Management (MUM) has pioneered a new approach to learning, called Consciousness-Based education, which supplies a missing element to education.
It explains also that students at MUM practice transcendental meditation said to integrate brain functioning, increasing creativity and intelligence, reducing stress, improving academic performance and others. The University was founded by a Vedic yogi, Maharishi Mahesh in 1973 and it includes faculties such as Business, Media and Communications, Art, Literature, Education, and Computer Science.
By its part, the Cambodian University of Management and Administration (UME) is a private institution established in Battambang in 1997 with branches in different provinces. Most public superior institutions in Cambodia are in Phnom Penh, the capital, while the provinces are attended by private institutions like UME that is probably one of the most important superior centers in the fourth Cambodian city, besides the Don Bosco Technical Schools that offer technical skills and associate degrees focusing in impoverished youth. It has different schedules along the day and during weekends that allows young workers to study and fees are rather affordable.
I did some lessons in UME in 2009 of apply linguistic in the faculty of education for three months on weekends. It game me an idea of what many Cambodian youth look for when engaging in professional studies: just a title without much compromise and a weak discipline: I received a list of 30 students, but during the lessons the number went down to 10, to come back to 30 at the end of the course. I never could understand how the missing students get to stay in school and even made a poor report of me as “too much strict or complicated to understand,” when they came just for few lessons… My second disappointment with superior private education in Sihanoukville was with Life University, a religious oriented institution that rejected my CV only because I was a Catholic ! It came to be founded by a fundamentalist religious leader from South Korea. All faculties include Bible studies !
Let us hope that this kind of agreements such as the one of UME with this American university would improve the type of education Cambodian young professionals need. If there is not a big national will to provide a real professional formation, social change and development will become difficult in the coming decades.