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The American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP)

AUPP was established in 2013 as a Cambodian university (license) with an American curriculum. There were three founders who envisioned a new university that would meet international standards and be based on the US educational system.

AUPP began operations in May 2013 in a temporary facility in Toul Kork. It was grounded on several principles: senior managers were to be highly qualified, experienced western administrators with administrative skills and experience in academic affairs; faculty must have terminal degrees from U.S. institutions or other western countries, and teaching experience in western institutions; an undergraduate curriculum that meets U.S. accreditation requirements for a balance between liberal arts education and appropriate coursework for a major; and the recruitment of students who aspire to high levels of achievement.

A Board of Trustees (BOT) was formed to direct the course of the University and oversee its development. The Board is composed of American educators, executives of higher education institutions in the U.S., and business executives from Cambodia and around the globe. It is dedicated to making AUPP a leading higher education institution in Cambodia, fostering socially responsible behavior, lifelong learning, academic and professional excellence among students; and to producing students who are critical thinkers, innovators and ethical leaders to serve Cambodia and the ASEAN Economic Community.

AUPP’s new modern facility was finished in October 2017 and has been designed to enhance and support a model academic teaching and learning environment, incorporating the newest technologies, a learning center, library, and student services that will complement academic offerings. This environment will allow students to develop their potential and acquire the education necessary and relevant for 21st century competitiveness.

The students attending AUPP are impressive. They have a strong desire to improve Cambodia and to make a mark on its development. They are bright; they have a mission and they are drivers of change. They come from all over Cambodia, with an increasing number from other countries in the region. AUPP provides scholarships for students based on merit and financial need.

In the summer of 2016, AUPP signed agreements for dual degrees with the University of Arizona and with Fort Hays State University. The University of Arizona dual programs are Business Administration and Law. The dual degrees with Fort Hays State are Tourism and Hospitality Management and Computer Science.

AUPP received full institutional accreditation (certificate) from 2019. During the Accreditation Committee of Cambodia visit in August 2023, the officials were impressed with the AUPP progress. We are currently preparing for the national accreditation renewal.

The history of AUPP is short, the accomplishments are enduring. This sets AUPP on a trajectory of meeting its mission and being a model University to assist Cambodia in its human resource development.