Embassy in Phnom Penh Lauds Silliman; 4 Potential Partner Universities Identified 

Embassy in Phnom Penh Lauds Silliman; 4 Potential Partner Universities Identified 

Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia H.E. Christopher B. Montero expressed his full support for the initiative of Silliman University to reach out to schools and universities in Phnom Penh for both student recruitment and linkages. 

During the courtesy call on August 5 made by Mr. Mark Raygan E. Garcia, Director of the Office of Information and Publications, the Ambassador lauded Silliman University. He said Silliman’s efforts to formally engage higher education institutions in Phnom Penh was the first from a Philippine university.

He shared that it was also an opportunity for the Embassy to learn more about the educational landscape in Phnom Penh, and assess how relations in the area of education and culture can be further strengthened between the Philippines and Cambodia. 

The Embassy, through First Secretary and Consul Ms Myca Magnolia M. Fischer, was with Silliman as it visited schools and universities in Phnom Penh. It was an arrangement that allowed for the better promotion not just of Silliman but the country as well, with the Embassy also sharing its thrust in the area of cultural appreciation and exchange. 

As Silliman undertakes student recruitment and linkages with reputable higher education institutions in the ASEAN region, it closely works with Philippine Embassies. This provides the University an official presence in the host country and assists it in the identification of partner schools. 

A major component of the schedule of Silliman in Phnom Penh were exploratory meetings for linkages with presidents and members of management teams of top universities. These universities were the Paññasastra University of Cambodia, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Build Bright University and University of Cambodia. Discussed were potential areas of collaboration in disciplines of common interest, and programs related to student and faculty exchange and joint research and publication. 

When materialized, the partnership with these four prestigious universities will be the first for Silliman in Cambodia.

On August 10, Silliman will make a courtesy call on Philippine Honorary Consul General in Ho Chi Minh Atty. Le Thi Phung. The University considers this an opportunity to introduce to the Honorary Consul General Silliman’s plans in Vietnam and seek guidance on how it may pursue student recruitment and partnerships in Vietnam. 

Two months ago, a similar trip was made to Myanmar where Silliman was also warmly received by Philippine Ambassador to Myanmar H.E. Alex G. Chua and Consul General Maria Lourdes Salcedo. In the next months, the University will complete its visits to its priority countries in the ASEAN. The remaining two of the total of five countries where the University is focusing its efforts in are Laos and Timor-Leste. 

Silliman hosts more than 200 students from around 45 countries every school year. With the drive for ASEAN integration, it envisions to bring in more students and institutional partners in the ASEAN region, especially from countries where there is perceived demand for affordable but high quality education in other Asian universities. 

In the 2014 QS Asian University Rankings, Silliman was placed second in the Philippines in the international students category. It enjoys the reputation as among the country’s Top 10 premier universities, with it being among few granted the highest distinction of Full Autonomous Status by the Commission on Higher Education. 

Meanwhile, Silliman also turned over a total of eight books authored by Sillimanians and published by Silliman University to Ambassador Montero for the Embassy’s Sentro Rizal Phnom Penh, a center in all embassies containing collections and undertaking programs that promote Philippine life and culture.

A Silliman alumnus also holds a key position in the Embassy. Master Sergeant Judy G. Bajarias, who studied high school and completed a degree from the College of Administration, serves as Administrative Assistant at the Office of the Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attache (OPDAFA) in Cambodia. He and his superior, Defense and Armed Forces Attache Col. Pablo M. Lorenzo, were the ones who established the first OPDAFA in Cambodia.