Remarks by Chargé d‘Affaires Michael Newbill at the Openning of East Asia Pacific EducationaUSA Forum

 Sokha Penh Hotel & Residence
September 18, 2019
(As prepared for delivery)

  • On behalf of the U.S. Mission in Cambodia, I would like to offer a warm welcome to the university and college representatives, our EducationUSA advisers, colleagues and friends attending the EducationUSA Forum in Phnom Penh.
  • Welcome to the Kingdom of Wonder!
  • The U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh is proud to host the East Asia Pacific EducationUSA Forum for the first time.
  • These forums are a key part of our efforts to increase the number of students who study in the United States.
  • S. higher education institutions have an unmatched reputation for academic quality, critical thinking, science and innovation, and English language preparation for careers and job placements.
  • Higher education studies in the U.S. offers an experience unlike any other. They offer an environment for students to think critically, challenge themselves and explore new facets of their intellect, academic and personal interests.
  • It is on U.S. college campus where creativity, innovation and exploration are encouraged. There’s a reason why some of the U.S. greatest technological, social and cultural developments have occurred on U.S. college campuses (i.e. Dell, Facebook, Dropbox, Snapchat, WordPress).
  • Cambodia is a country of youth. 50% of the population is under 35 years of age and the youth here, just like anywhere in the region and in the world, are increasingly connected to one another and the outside world.
  • Through films, books, Embassy programming, American Spaces and of course our EducationUSA advisers and centers they learn about the U.S., our culture, and our values.
  • Cambodia and the East Asia Pacific region is uniquely situated to promote study in the U.S. Students from the East Asia and Pacific region account for nearly 50% of the over 1 million international students studying in the United States.
  • Seven of the top 25 sending countries are in this region, as are some of the most popular destinations for American students.
  • For us here in Cambodia, in the last year alone, we had a 28.7% increase in the number of students studying in the U.S.
  • Thanks to reforms made by the Ministry of Education, Cambodian students are increasingly competitive and prepared for the rigors of U.S. higher education.
  • Cambodia is therefore a prime growth market for recruiting students to study in the United States.
  • In a time when students have numerous studies abroad options in the region Japan, Singapore, Australia, or South Korea this increase demonstrates the value an American education has in the region.
  • We are fortunate to have the YSEALI program in the region which helps expose students to higher education institutions in the U.S. and what academic, social, cultural and professional achievements they can attain if they study in the United States.
  • Through the Fulbright program our students obtain graduate degrees all over the U.S. and return to Cambodia to strengthen institutions and improve their communities.
  • Such as Fulbright alumni, Mr. Chea Kagnarith, Ms. Srun Sovan, and Mr. Pheng Meas Sak, who studied at Arizona State, Colorado State and Brandeis university respectively.
  • They founded the company Edemy—an education technology company with a mission to equalize access to quality education to offer personalized blended learning experiences to students, teachers and administrators alike, by combining. They honed their expertise in U.S. institutions and combined their expertise in education and technology solutions to create Edemy.
  • We are proud of what Cambodian alums of U.S. higher education institutions have accomplished here in COUNTRY.
  • With thousands of academic programs, world-class institutions, and unmatched flexibility, the United States offers a wealth of higher-education opportunities that you will not find anywhere else in the world!
  • This week is designed to strengthen the relationship and collaboration between EducationUSA and the U.S. higher education community.
  • As well as assist U.S. colleges’ and universities recruitment efforts in the region and promote interaction and cooperation among advisors in the East Asia and Pacific region.
  • U.S. higher education remains a beacon of free thought, expression, and innovation around the world. Obtaining a degree from the U.S. is a dream for many and a dream that each of you help many students achieve through your works as advisers, recruiters and admissions counsellors.
  • I would like to thank you for participating in this year’s EducationUSA forum and thank you to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, as wells as our partners at the Institute of International Education for choosing Phnom Penh to host the regional forum.
  • I hope your visit in the Kingdom of Wonder is unforgettable, and that you leave full of new ideas and connections as you continue your important work to promote study in the United States.
  • Thank you for all you do to ensure each and every international student in America has an experience of a lifetime. Have fun!