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Cambodian Graduates Make History as Masters of Architecture

PHNOM PENH: On Saturday, July 15th, the first eight students to ever receive a Master’s Degree in Architecture in Cambodia presented their final thesis projects to an international panel of expert judges at Limkokwing University. Their projects aim to contribute to the development of the national landscape and export their knowledge abroad. Their unprecedented achievements in education are a milestone in their own academic journeys and the Cambodian architectural industry at the same time.

Limkokwing University Cambodia, a trailblazer since its inception in 2008, is set to make history with Cambodia's first master's degree graduates in architecture. With its head office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the renowned institution has made waves across continents, with campuses stretching from Africa to Europe and Asia.

Hundreds of talented individuals have already been awarded prestigious bachelor's degrees in architecture. And now, with the arrival of the master's degree program, the possibilities are endless. EAC News was at the thesis presentations to find out more about the students and their projects. We also spoke to the Director of Limkokwing University, Jean-Franois Brulet, who explained the importance of the new master’s program for aspiring Cambodian architects. “I am very proud of them and they should be very proud to become Masters in Architecture. Since we [were founded here] in 2008, lots of students have graduated with a bachelor in architecture,” said Mr. Brulet. “But it's the first time in history, I would say, that [Cambodian]students have the opportunity to get a master's degree. No other university in Cambodia does this. Only Limkokwing University does this.”

He highlighted the pride that can be gained from being an expert in one’s field and stressed the importance of having Cambodians capable of developing their own country, rather than relying on foreign expertise. “I think, in terms of pride, [they can] say, ‘We are Cambodian, we have master's degree as well. We can develop and contribute seriously to the development of Cambodia: not only foreigners.’ It’s very important for them,” he said.

We asked graduates how they felt being the first in Cambodia to graduate with a Master of Architecture. “It’s really fantastic for me and I’m proud of myself to be the first one to have a master’s in architecture in Cambodia. This master’s make me really more confident on my job and on my field,” said Hen Darin.

Chanthy Many Roath said, “I feel really proud because this is the master’s degree in Cambodia. And I joined as well so feeling proud for that and feeling proud looking forward to the future as well.” He said his architectural inspiration is Cambodia’s own Vann Mollyvann. “My dream is I want to be like Vann Molyvann, my idol,” he said. “To be like him I would be proud, and of course, this is my dream to be a professional architecture and be known by everybody.”

 “It very excited for me and very proud of course and it will be a great course that I can graduate from Limkokwing University,” said Pich Sok. “To me, architecture is a very simple word: living in a beautiful world.” He has aspirations to spread his passion for beauty in architecture by one day establishing his own Cambodian design school. “I would like to create a school that can promote architecture in Cambodia,” he said. “We should learn more about how architecture affects our lives, how we can we can promote better living and how we can make our lives better.”

Limkokwing University and their lecturers are very proud of the first batch of graduates from their Master of Architecture program and wish them the best of luck in their bright future.

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