Armed with a degree from one of the Top Five Universities in Cambodia, Svay Rieng University graduates have a realm of exciting career pathways open to them. SRU graduates have gone onto teach at all levels of education, hold managerial positions at prominent companies or start their own businesses, and change policy in local and national government offices. Moreover, Svay Rieng University graduates leave campus with a broader view of their world as well as a passion for improving their communities, their country and themselves.
Meet some of the impressive graduates from SRU:
Vechanak, Class of 2016
Vechanak always aspired to become a teacher, but with a family in extreme poverty and his own personal commitment to supporting his siblings and parents, his path to a university degree was uncertain. Vechanak enroled in a Buddhist high school in Svay Rieng province, committing to the teachings of Buddha and the saffron robes. After passing the national high school exam with high marks, Vechanak came to Svay Rieng University to study English on a full-ride scholarship. His passion for teaching and assisting others only blossomed. “When I was studying at university, I decided I wanted to be the best I can be.” During this time, he also undertook extensive charity work to help the poor, even though his own family struggled. He helped teacher Bill Shields with the SRU Scholarship Scheme to find and interview poor young women eligible for scholarships. He also arranged fundraising programmes to get books, supplies and money for the students and teachers in Svay Rieng province’s poor rural schools. In time, he decided to remove himself from monkhood and instead threw himself into education in order to teach students throughout Cambodia to grow and think critically. He devoted a significant amount of his free hours to working with the Santi Sena NGO to aid other communities in need. Today, he is on the path to gaining a Certificate of Teaching at the National Institute of Education. Giving back remains a core trait: Vechanak offers additional lessons to the students who need it, and he’s studying social work in his free time in order to help individuals he meets work through their issues. One of his greatest achievements has been earning enough to build his parents a new home in Svay Rieng province.
Soma, Class of 2016
Very few young people from Soma’s hometown in Kampong Thom province would pursue higher education. And it is almost unheard of for a woman from her hometown to attend a university. When she finished high school, Soma set out to study computer science at Svay Rieng University because she wanted a high quality degree but prefers the lifestyle in the provinces, and after their initial hesitance, her parents put their full support behind her. From the start of her studies in 2012, she became known for coming in “first”: she was the first in her family to pursue a bachelor’s degree, and moving to Svay Rieng marked the first time she lived away from home. She was the only woman studying in the Faculty of Science and Technology during her entire four-year degree, and in her fourth year, she became the first SRU student to study abroad via the Erasmus+ program, spending six months at Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu in Romania. “Everybody judged me because they thought that if you study computer science it’s not good, but I used their words to motivate myself.” After she graduated, she passed the government employment exam and accepted a job in the Department of Taxation in Svay Rieng. Her legacy at the university is lasting: there are now more women studying within the Department of Science and Technology, and her younger sister is now studying finance at SRU.
Suosdey, Class of 2016
When Sousdey graduated high school in Svay Rieng province, he had a very different idea for his life ahead. He wanted to be a mathematics teacher, but he was placed instead with a scholarship to study English. At that point, he had very few classes in the language, and little confidence in his English skills. His whole first year, he considered switching majors and dropping English studies, but slowly he became more invested in teaching the language, interning in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Languages office and eventually becoming the student association’s vice president. “The teachers from the Faculty of Arts are really experienced,” he said. “It’s the motivation that’s pushed me up from here.” Though mathematics is still a subject that intrigues him, Soudey chose to pursue English further through the master’s program at university, conducting research on ICT skills and teaching psychology. Today he still maintains a packed schedule, taking master’s degree courses in Phnom Penh through the weekends and teaching at Bavet General and Technical High School in Svay Rieng’s Bavet city, as well as at Svay Rieng University. Teaching classes of 40 to 50 high school students with older textbooks is a challenge while working with university students presents different trials, but Sousdey said he strives to teach critical thinking abilities and prepare students to find their own motivation for learning, just as he did during his university studies. “I want to teach students to care about the process of learning, as well as the end product.”