Southeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

Different Geographies and Genealogies, Similar Destiny? An Examination of Higher Education in ASEAN and Beyond

Friday, July 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Mahogany, First Floor

This panel examines Higher Education (HE) in Cambodia through comparative reflections upon regional contexts, practices, and experiences. Three things characterize Cambodian HE. First, the development is recent and relies upon a narrow foundation, since a majority of the pre-genocide ‘educated elites’ were targeted by the Khmer Rouge, fled or never returned to the country. Second, HE investment from the State has been minimal in the past 40 years. Third, Cambodia is known for its heavy aid dependency for the past 25 years. Efforts to develop HE have relied significantly on external support, besides reliance on the ‘private sector as an engine of growth’. The co-dependency in the face of a limited state has brought about two consequences: poorly steered, piecemeal HE (under)development and adaption of external practices and ideologies into HE. While the first and perhaps second points are quite unique to Cambodia, the third – reliance on external support and neoliberal practices – is quite global.
This panel comprises three comparative papers to illustrate HE in Cambodia in relation to HE practices in the region. The first looks into the academic relations between Cambodia and China and attempts to identify the implications of Chinese aid in the development of Cambodian. The second compares Cambodian and Korean HE in light of their embracing neoliberal principles for economic and HE development. The final paper examines whether Cambodian and Malaysian HE systems are running on a similar path, given the adoption of neoliberal ideologies and practices to guide their economic and HE development.

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Phirom Leng

Cambodia Development Research Institute, Cambodia

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Phirom Leng

Cambodia Development Research Institute, Cambodia

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Krisna Uk

Association for Asian Studies, United Kingdom

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Different Geographies and Genealogies, Similar Destiny? An Examination of Higher Education in ASEAN and Beyond



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