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TACTIC Project- Newsletter /No2/

December 28, 2016

TACTIC project participants hold second meeting 

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The TACTIC project second coordinating meeting was held in sunny Cambodia from 24th  to 28th October, 2016.

Besides the seminar on Effective Management described in another article, the TACTIC project meeting for involved partners started on 25th October at Battambang University with discussions about the report for the first year of activities as well as common issues for the partners. The partner universities were advised to follow the guidelines based on  some explanations and recommendations from the Brussels meeting.

The meeting consisted of several parts. The participants were introduced to the current state of arts, they discussed staff exchanges within the project and workloads for each of the partners. Mrs.Violeta Osouchova acknowledged Ho Chi Min City University of Technology for being an active partner for the first year of the project.

The second day of the meeting started with a warm welcoming speech from the rector of Battambang University, Mrs. H. E. Sieng Emtotim. The partners discussed the content and the importance of the survey filled in by the partner universities earlier in 2016. Then the partners worked in groups to talk about training modules, types of training the university needs, the best time for training in the country and who is going to organize it. A presentation on the project website, communication tools and e- newsletters was given and partners shared their ideas on the easiest tool of communication and the content of the website.

On the third day, the participants were hosted by Meanchey University. The rector of the University, H. E. Mr. Sam Nga, welcomed the guests. After the campus tour at Meanchey University, a presentation on financial management and preparation for  the  first  interim  report  was  given  by Ms. Aneta Trcakova and Mrs. Violeta Osouchova. Also an inspirational brief introduction to the IT system of Brno University of Technology was delivered by Mr. Peter Nemec.

Effective Management of HEIs at Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports 

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Monday 24th of October was a day full of inspiration and new thoughts due to the seminar “Effective Management of Higher Education Institutions”, which was held at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) of Cambodia. At  the beginning, the participants of the seminar had the honor of being welcomed by the Minister of Education H. E. Dr. Hang ChuonNaron, who spoke about the importance of such international activities of mutual cooperation between Asian and European institutions. Mrs. Violeta Osouchova, the main coordinator of TACTIC, then briefly introduced the participants and the project itself. She was followed up by Mrs.Ros Chansophea from MoEYS speaking about general information on Cambodian higher education.

Thanks to the high participation of more than 30 people from various institutions, it is absolutely clear that effective management, quality assurance and providing an excellent higher education are among the top priorities in the country. Dr. Dimitrios Tsivrikos from University College London spoke about the psychological aspects of how to understand, promote and encourage change. The participants were told about the key steps to take in order to turn people’s attention to change and development towards general improvement. The main point was to understand the change and have a clear plan to overcome the issues.

Mr. Johan Cloet, a consultant in CBHE and former Secretary General of EURASHE, was the second guest speaker and the participants were able to learn about the process of change and how to make it from practical experience. People’s motivation and their passion are the driving forces of change and improvement but it is necessary to see the process as a strategic instrument from the broad perspective. The seminar concluded with a Q&A session where all of the speakers answered questions from the audience.

Little bit about Battambang

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The origins of Battambang are lost in the mists of time. What is known is that there are a number of pre- Angkorian structures there. Modern Battambang was established as an important trading city with around 2,500 residents in the 18th century. They lived mostly along a single road parallel to the Sangkae River. In 1795 Thailand, then Siam, annexed much of northwestern Cambodia including the province of Battambang. The Siamese Abhaiwongse family ruled Battambang as governors for six generations until 1907 when the province was ceded to the French to be part of their French Indochina colony.

Following the colonization of the French in Battambang the colonial administration developed  an urban layout which enlarged the size of the French colonial town. In the first time development, they constructed a grid pattern of well-defined streets, put in the urban structures and built three main  streets parallel to the Sangker River, and connected both sides with two bridges in 1917. Military buildings and prison infrastructures were erected inside a compound. 19 years later, a second urban development plan was created with a newly constructed railway linked from Battambang to Phnom Penh. The urban structure was extended to the west of the town, featuring some important urban axes looking over the railway station. Many outstanding buildings like residential villas and significant public buildings were constructed during that period. According to the third urban development plan for Battambang, a large extension was planned for the north, east and south of the city. The urban layout was technically planned and required long-term thinking to create an urban axis corresponding to the existing urban layout from the former period. Battambang grew as a modern provincial capital, and became the most developed part of all provinces in Cambodia.

Several large infrastructures and public facilities were built under the modernization program of the Cambodian government under Prince Sihanouk. Several provincial departments, the Court House and other public administrations were set up on both sides of the river. Textile and garment factories were built by French and Chinese investors, the Battambang Airport was constructed, and the railway line was  developed  to  reach  Poipet.  Numerous  schools  and  a  university  were  built.  A  sports centre, museum and an exhibition hall were constructed to serve the cultural needs of the growing population.  

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Battambang is home to the University of Battambang, the highest ranked university in Regional      Cambodia.      Some      key     facts:

  • Provincial capital
  • Urban population: 250,000
  • Agriculture (Rice, Tapioca, corn, bean, and mixed crops), Animal raising (Cattle, Fish and Crocodile)
  • Industry (Rice milling, Food processing and Mining)
  • Tourism (The number of tourist flowing into Battambang has increased)

Banteay Meanchey

Banteay Meanchey means “Fortress of Victory”. The Province has a population of 678,000 (2008) and covers an area of 6,679km2.

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The area was formed as part of the Khmer Empire. Its most  notable archeological feature is the 12th Century Banteay Chhmar Temple. Other ruins include the temples Banteay Neang and Banteay Torp. In 1795 Siam took control over Western Cambodia, and made the area into the Siamese province of Inner Cambodia with the administration capital in Phra Tabong (Battambang). This province lasted until 1907 when Siam traded Inner Cambodia for the return of Trat and Dan Sai. In the same year, King Sisowath decided to split the Inner Cambodian Province into the Battambang Province  (which  included  Sisophon)  and   the Siem Reap Province. When Thailand re annexed western Cambodia in 1941, Sisophon was split off from the Battambang Province and became the Administration capital of the Phibunsongkram Province, which lasted until 1946 when the whole region was returned to French control.

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In 1988 the province  Banteay Meanchey was  split  off  from Battambang, originally consisting of the five districts Mongkol Borei, Thmar  Puok, Serei Saophoan, Preah Net Preah and Phnom Srok.

During the Cambodian Civil Wars of the 1970s and 1980s the Banteay Meanchey Province was on the frontlines of much fighting and as a result it is one of the three most heavily mined provinces in Cambodia, along with Pailin and Battambang.

The provincial Capital, also called Banteay Meanchey, is home to Meanchey University. Opened in 2008, its function is to develop human resources, research, culture, science and techniques and to improve national identity.

Agriculture, especially rice farming, plays an important part in the local economy as do a Special Economic Zone and the Border crossing to Thailand at Poipet. It is estimated that fourteen percent of tourists entering Cambodia (2005) do so via Poipet, as do over 300 trucks.

Source: Adapted from Wikipedia

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