Friday, February 11, 2005

Developing research skills for academic and administrative staff at the Royal Academy of Cambodia

Royal Academy of Cambodia
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I. The reestablishment

The Royal Academy was created by a royal decree of 25 August 1965 and placed under the Office of the Council of Ministers. But it could not start its functioning up to 1970 when the war broke out in Cambodia.
In May 1999, the Royal Academy was recreated and composed of four institutes: Culture & Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, Biology, Medicine & Agriculture and Science & Technology. With the integration of the Institute of National Language in December 1999, the Royal Academy was renamed the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC). The official inauguration ceremony took place on 19 January 2000.
The RAC is a public institution with a cultural and scientific mandate, managerial and financial autonomy and the status of state secretariat under the Office of the Council of Ministers.
II. The Objectives
The RAC has the following objectives:
1. To manage and expand research activities on Khmer studies and other fields of study in Cambodia;
2. To establish cooperative relations in research with ministries, institutions, national and international organizations, which have the same goals;
3. To organize scientific and educational forums in order to help the country’s development in all fields;
4. To train researchers for the Master’s and Doctor’s degrees;
5. To widely distribute documents and research findings in the national language for the public in the country and Khmer studies in foreign languages for the international audience;
6. To collect and preserve research findings on Cambodia, countries in the region and in the world;
7. To bring together national intellectuals to foster the country’s development;
8. To propose scientific decorations for national and international dignitaries;
9. To cooperate in the examination and evaluation of higher, including post-graduate, education;
10. To participate and cooperate in protecting intellectual property;
11. To examine and evaluate scientific research findings;
12. To examine and evaluate social evolution and contribute to the development of the country;
13. To cooperate in establishing research institutes at ministries;
14. To establish and manage branches of the Royal Academy of Cambodia at the regional level throughout the country;
15. To cooperate with relevant ministries for the establishment and management of prehistory and history museums in cities and provinces.
His Majesty the King Norodom Sihanouk Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister and RAC Administrative Council (01-09-99) at the Royal Academy (11-01-01)
III. The developing of research skills for academic and administrative staff
1. The training activities
After January 1979, great efforts have been made in educational field. However, most of our civil servants including university lecturers are only holders of Bachelor Degree. Therefore, there is a need to upgrade their capacity to higher level. Their research skills could be developed through the training programs for the Master’s and Doctor’s Degrees at the RAC.
The Master Degree Training has been the main activity of the RAC since late 2000. Students of the first two Classes consisting of nearly 130 have already completed their Master program. The 3rd Class (70 students) will complete their Master Program by the end of this year and the 4th Class (70 students) has just been started.
There are two different kinds of students. The first kind (the majority) will be the academic staff of the RAC. It is composed of several majors such as History, Geography, Philosophy, Literature, Linguistics, Education, Economics, Political Science, Fine Arts, Cultural Tourism, Mathematics, Physics, Information Science and Animal Production. Nearly 100 students already completed their Master program have just started their Preparatory Class of Doctoral Program.
The second kind consists of only one major, Public Administration, exclusively for the administrative staff of the RAC. After completing their Master program, most of them are working in the five Institutes of the RAC and are actively contributing to the improving of the training program and functioning of the Doctoral Program’s Preparatory Class.
2. The accomplishments
Thanks to these training programs, the RAC professors and students have done research throughout the country. Moreover, their field trips to places of historical interest have contributed to the consolidation of their knowledge. The administrative staff holders of Master degree have worked more efficiently for the progress of our institution.
At the same time, the RAC has organized various national seminars, conferences and forums to contribute to the national reconstruction and development. During this short period of time, cooperative relations have been established with some institutions, national and international organizations.
The RAC training programs have upgraded the capacity of both its academic and administrative staff. In order to provide more contributions to the national reconstruction and development, the RAC plans to establish two other Training and Research Institutes: the Institute for Continuous Learning for upgrading the capacity of Cambodian Public Service toward the strengthening of Cambodian State Institutions and the Institute for International Relations which will be mandated to upgrade the capacity of Cambodian staff in charge of international relations.

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