Top Best Universities in Cambodia

Over the past decade, Cambodia has focused on improving its higher education. It’s one of the top priority of the Cambodian government to revitalize the education system and human resources to keep up with countries in Southeast Asia and the world. Most of the best universities are situated in the heart of Phnom Penh, Camboda’s largest capital city. How many universities in the Kingdom of Cambodia? There are about 100 universities (both public and private) in Cambodia.

And which one is the top best? Now let’s start with top 3 and the reason why:

  • Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP)
  • Institute of Technology of Cambodia Phnom Penh
  • Paññasastra University of Cambodia

Must-Read Books about Cambodia

The most prestigious university in Cambodia

Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP)

Probably the oldest university in the heart of Phnom Penh, RUPP is simply one of Cambodia’s Ivy League. Established in 1960, it’s also the nation’s largest university. Its own Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) is also well-known among Cambodian high school students for offering high class foreign languages. IFL focuses on French and English language education. In addition to this, next to IFL is the Cambodia Japan Cooperation Centre, which offers Japanese and Korean language courses.

As part of the regional recognition, RUPP is a member of the ASEAN University Network (AUN). Between, 1960-1970, it was formerly known as Royal Khmer University. With the Royal University of Phnom Penh, located on the Russian Boulevard, presently there are 7 faculties:

  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Development Studies
  • Faculty of Education
  • Institute of Foreign Languages
  • Silk Research Centre

If you’re a foreign student (non-Cambodian national) interested in studying abroad, in a country like Cambodia, then your easy choice is at the RUPP. The university has both fee-paying (private) and non-fee paying (scholarship) students.

Why RUPP is top of the list: According to Edurank, “The Royal University of Phnom Penh ranked 1st in Cambodia and 5299th in the World 2021 overall rankings with an acceptance rate of 5% enrollment.”

Most of RUPP students continue to study abroad through awarded scholarship.

[Experience in Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia by Samath]

Institute of Technology of Cambodia

RUPP’s neighbor is Institute of Technology of Cambodia (known locally as Sala Techno). ITC is great for those who want to embrace high quality education in the fields of engineering sciences and technologies. Is it another Cambodia’s Ivy League? Yes. Notably, at least there are two alumini who have become Cambodia’s ministers, Phoeurng Sackona (Minister of Culture and Fine Arts), Veng Sakhon (Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), Hang Chuon Naron (Minister of Education).

In 1964, with the support of the soviet cooperation, it’s formerly known as The Institut Technique Supérieur de l’Amitié Khméro Sovietique (ITSAKS). That’s why you can see its campuses and buildings, located on the intersection of Russian Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard, were designed by Russian architects and built with Soviet funds.

ITC is best known for high quality education in the fields of engineering sciences and technologies. It’s Cambodia’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The Cambodian university has a selective admission policy based on entrance examinations and students’ past academic records. Entrance is through tuition and scholarships.

The university continues to improve is quality offerings thanks to generous efforts made by staffs and students and alumni from one generation to another.

ITC’s offerings:

  • Higher education, Continuing education, Research and Development
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Chemical engineering and food technology
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Georessources and Geotechnical engineering
  • Water and Environmental engineering

Coming up new: Paññasastra University of Cambodia (PUC) is a more private, American standard university founded by the former Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Dr. Kol Pheng. Established in the new millennium, it’s the youngest among the three. So it’s the reason why PUC provides only an English-based education in all subjects. The school motto is interesting: Morality, Concentration, Wisdom.

The PUC Faculties:

  • Architecture & Design
  • Arts, Letters, and Humanities
  • Business and Economics
  • Law & Public Affairs
  • Education
  • Mathematics, Sciences and Engineering
  • Communication & Media Arts
  • Social Sciences & International Relations
  • Graduate School of Management & Economics

University of Economics and Finance

Also, among some of the best universities in Cambodia is University of Economics and Finance.

How about other universities in Phnom Penh, Cambodia? Well, there are some more higher education institutions growing their prominence, especially those established in partnership with Western and the United States. In 2013, The American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP) open a campus in Cambodia. AUPP offers four-year American dual degree programs as well as stand-alone Bachelor’s and MBA programs.

Good to know: How much does it cost to study in Cambodia? About $3000 USD for a bachelor’s degree.
According to Cambodia’s ministry of education, “A number of key policy actions have been taken including the approval of the Research Policy Master Plan, a Royal Decree on Professor ranking and the preparation of the Higher Education Vision 2030.”

Also: Phnom Penh’s Top International English Schools

A list of public universities in Cambodia

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