As the heat of the day dissipates and the nice afternoon breeze begins to blow just outside in the AUPP Garden, Dr. Martha C. Merrill and Dr. Mark Kretovics are heading back home to Kent State University in Ohio. The two scholars have been on a research trip to AUPP for about 1 month to learn about AUPP’s potential for receiving American accreditation.

After 3 weeks of being in Cambodia and AUPP, the two scholars were impressed by the excellent students and faculty. They believed that there was a very strong amount of commitment and friendship between the staff and faculty at AUPP. They also noted that AUPP is headed in the right direction towards accreditation but would need to measure the success of its first graduating class which is due to graduate in 1 years time. “Evidence for carrying out the universities mission is visible but the success of alumni is not yet present” due to not having any alumni yet, stated Dr. Merrill. Both scholars believed that AUPP was doing a great job of improving the education quality for Cambodia and giving some excellent opportunities to less privileged students. AUPP is a young institution that has been working hard to develop education quality and standard. It recognizes issue such as the shadow education system and the post civil war generational issues in terms of educational development and works to help Cambodia overcome them.

Both scholars thought that overall Cambodia was a very nice country with pleasant and welcoming people. Dr. Kretovics said that he was amazed “that even in very chaotic situations, how peaceful and calm the people tend to be.” Both scholars were very happy with their trip and the amount of research they were able to accomplish and they plan to return again next year to see the changes and improvements AUPP has made.

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