Graduate and Employment in the Republic of Korea and Cambodia: Prospects and Challenges

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2006

65 Pages




1. Introduction

2. Higher Education and Student Expectation

3. Students’ In and Out-Campus Lives towards Education and Employment Prospects

4. Graduate and Employment Challenges
Image of University in the Labor Market
The Role of Gender in the Labor Market
English Language and Employment
Well-Known Major or Skill Contribution in the Labor Market
Military Joining versus Employment Prospect

5. Graduate’s Access in the Labor Market
Graduate’s Access in the Private Sector
Graduate’s Access in the Public Sector

6. Conclusion




Graduate and Employment in the Republic of Korea and Cambodia: Prospects and Challenges



The transition of graduates across the world from higher education attainment to working life is questionably still uncertain and failed to be investigated, with which set as the objective of this study. The purpose of this work is to explore the prospects and challenges of graduates in both the Republic of Korea and Cambodia on their routes from stepping into university to landing jobs in the labor market upon graduation. With this sense, the quality of higher education which if prepare students well for their future employment and the barriers hampering graduates in hunting jobs were comparatively discovered in this paper. By employing in-dept interview with senior students and graduates, and searching through document study, it could be drawn from the paper that the success or failure of graduates in the labor market can be distinctively yielded from the nexus of such factors as higher education outcome, personal endeavor, the image of university one derived from, gender performance, work experience, one ’ s English proficiency, the match or mismatch between their majors and job demands, and people networks, based on the different cultural, social, political and economic contexts of both the Republic of Korea and Cambodia.

1 Introduction

The International Labor Organization (ILO) (2005) estimated that youth unemployment rate is persistently soaring across the world, most recently approximated at 88 million young people or 47 per cent of 186 million globally unemployed people. Young people lack the chances to perform their economic active roles in the society due to such factors as the surplus of human resource productivity over aggregate labor demand, education and training outcomes, work experience, the potential goals of young people themselves and few more other distinctive challenges closely relevant to the cultural, social, political and economic contexts of each nation in the world (ILO, 2004a). The aforementioned therefore paves the way to be set as the objective of this study.

The transition of graduates throughout the globe from higher education attainment to working life is questionably still uncertain and failed to be investigated. They have to, contemporarily, walk or even run in the more perilous, hazardous and elongated road of labor market to meet their employment prospects (Paul Ryan, 2001), though the youth employment challenges has aroused numerous interests from policy makers since the addition of youth employment in the Millennium Declaration and as a Millennium Development Goal (MDG) (ILO, 2004b). Since the world has been turning to the era of globalization and modern technologies, the route transiting to jobs among graduates is quite narrower from the previous to the present or even predictably twice more tapered in the future generation. Many constraints and challenges thus have been hindering or interrupting in the middle of graduates’ ways to decent 1 and satisfied work.

Although the decent and satisfied work is critical for graduates’ lives, this report is not intended to deal with such an issue since it is hard to measure. With regards to the economic labor market, one majors in particular field may work in another definite type of job; not strictly limited to the major they received like what argued by John N. Gardner et al., (1997) that one majors in Nursing, History, Engineering, or English might become a bank manager, sales representative, career counselor, production manager, or any other careers. This report instead mainly concerns with the prospects and challenges of students during their undergraduate studies towards education and future employment aspirations, and those of graduates during their search for jobs with the focus on the Republic of Korea and Cambodia.

The researcher is not ashamed to admit that the scope of research is already broad and hard to achieve since it seems like a long story dealing with the arrays of challenges of students from their higher education attending to the labor market participation. However, this work is just roughly discussed all the main challenges of graduates on their routes in seeking a chance to get involved in the workforce.

As the paper can be somewhat accomplished bases largely on the investigation of individual experienced narrative along with the real circumstances, the outcome exploration can be yielded as dual from both interview and literature review. In the Republic of Korea, the interview with 10 students and 7 graduates was conducted during the field work of researcher as a Visiting Research Fellow at Seoul National University; while in Cambodia, the field work was done in two distinctive phases. The first was implemented with 5 students and 5 graduates during the period of researcher’s involvement in the research program of the Center for Khmer Studies, the leading international organization operating in Cambodia aims at enhancing Cambodian young scholars the capacities of carrying out research, between February and July 2005. The second step, with 2 students and 3 graduates, was just followed up the vague information gained in the first stage during April 2006. Sometimes the personal communication was used. The senior students and graduates were chosen since they were considered more knowledgeable enough in providing the information about the quality of university they have attended or are attending and the obstacles they are going to encounter or hampering their employability in the entrance to the world of work, and ultimately appropriate for the purpose of this study.

The snowball sampling was employed to initially recruit the participants through the author’s informal networks in both the Republic of Korea and Cambodia. The interview was performed in various locations ranging from university campus, cafeteria, restaurant, to partaker’s house. Rather the university campus is the most frequent place to catching up with the interview. The interview questions were prepared in both the local language and English. Interview in English was conducted only with those demonstrated a proficiency in English; while the one in Korean or Cambodian was implemented in the case that the participants do not familiar with English. As the Korean knowledge of researcher is limited, the interview questions and interview process were translated and assisted respectively by the researcher’s Korean friend whose English knowledge is high-recognizable.

The present paper is an attempt to address some of the issues concerning to the debate of graduates’ challenges on their route in hunting jobs. This paper thus is split into four parts as it firstly discusses if higher education prepare students well for the world of work, secondly explores the students’ activities performing during their undergraduate studies toward education and employment prospects, thirdly discovers all the challenges encountered by graduates in their employment-seeking route, and last but not least, examines their accesses into the labor market both public and private sectors.

2. Higher Education and Student Expectation

Higher Education is persistently recognized as the forefront to developing the human resources and producing the labor forces necessary for socio-economic development, and by sending them out into the world of work for the sake of contribution to the economic growth. It is viewed as the creator of manpower, producer of leaders, the engine of the economy, and the builder of nation’s well-being (Newman, F. & Couturier, L.K., 2002). Universities, further, are the vital objects in social stratification and globalization to implicitly allocate the social and economic rewards and prosperities (Simon Marginson, 2004) by producing the human capital filled with knowledge, skills and competences in order to constitute a crucial asset in supporting economic growth and reducing social inequality (OECD, 1998).

The World Bank (2002) defines that sustainable transformation and the economic growth cannot be seen in a positive way without the capacity-building contribution of a qualitative higher learning institution system. What, thus, brings the quality of higher education? The quality of higher education is heavily based on such inputs as curriculum2, educators, students, educational materials, and facilities and equipments (JICA, 2003). As Jeanne Ballantine (1989) argued, the higher education systems around the world have the same purpose is to train individuals to seek a secure job and play a key role in the society; however, the difference is just that how students can be educated and trained.

Enhancing employability of people would impossibly be done without the attendance of education involved. Education is thus crucial for one’s comfortable life as it seems like a vehicle delivering people to achieve the place desired, with which analogously corresponded to the statement disseminated by the ILO (ILO, 2001, p. 17, quoting ILO, 2000) that:

“Education and training are a means to empower people, improve the quality and organization of work, enhance citizens’ productivity, raise workers’ incomes, improve enterprise competitiveness, promote job security and social equity and inclusion. Education and training are therefore a central pillar of decent work”

As developing human resources through education contributes to increased productivity in the economy, and reduce skill mismatches in the labor market (ILO, 2003), this chapter is hence going to discuss if the quality of higher education prepare students well in empowering their employability for the world of work.

In the Republic of Korea (hereafter Korea), the quality of higher education3 has been better regenerated through such subsequent reformations of higher education4 as the New Academic Division (Hakbu) System (1995), Educational Credit Bank System (1997), Brain Korea 21 (1999-2005), and MOE to MOEHRD (2001) (Han Youkyung, 2004). Also, the curriculum reform5 has been made on distinctive periods such as the 1952 Presidential Decree for Implementation first period of Education Act enacted in 1949, which adopts the 180 credit-hour basis, is the first period (1945-1954), the Presidential Decree for Establishment of College and University Standards promulgated in 1955, which employs the 160 credit-hour basis, is the second period (1955-1972), and what so-called pilot universities, which accepts 140 credit-hour system, is the last one existing till the present-day society (Kim Jongchol, 2002).

As Kim Jongchol (2002) noted, the contemporary curriculum system consists of general education courses, and specialization courses, both divide into required and elective courses. The elective courses can be meant different things for different universities. Those differences are the courses selected in the general and specialization programs which are not compulsory, the courses selected from any field or area outside formal requirements, or the ones that students can take as minors and professional education not directly involved in the specialization or major. Moreover, he argues that the curriculum structure is still complicated by some factors such as the minors, double majors, and additional requirements for certain specialization programs (e.g. medicine, law, teacher training etc.), so it is hard to measure or make any exact generalization in the curriculum standard and operation in Korea as it is the unfinished and borderless task. Nonetheless, although the Korean government has been playing a significant role in reforming and upgrading the quality of higher education, some problems still remain which have been retaining the autonomy and diversity of the university since higher education is heavily bureaucratic, centralized, and uniformed by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (Lee, Jeongkyu, 2004).

Cambodian higher education6 is not only an exception but also shaped by more chronic problems than Korea since, on the one hand, the government, even little has been attempted, does not pay much attention for the upgrading of the quality of higher education, and on the other hand, there is no cooperation or interrelationship between the academics and stakeholders for curriculum development and upgrading, and the quality assurance of curriculum is still poor due to the lack of accountability, organization and willingness to implement of the parties involved in education (Neth Barom, 2002).

Cambodian present-day higher education curriculum is a result of financial assistance and advisory from educational expatriates and advisors from France, other western countries (Thomas Clayton, 2005), and Australia, America, and other leading international organization like UNESCO/UNICEF, WB, ADB (Stephen J. Duggan, 1997). What, however, the difference from Korean higher education curriculum is that Cambodian higher learning curriculum consists of only the general education and the major or specialization courses; there is no elective courses offered in the universities. The curricula and content of textbooks even there is a bit changes, but still, were directly adopted such foreign models as French, US or Soviet which could not be adapted well to the Cambodian contexts (Stephen J. Duggan, 1997). This, practically, could not be responded to students’ expectations for their future employment. Therefore, Korean students could better benefit from their own curriculum than Cambodian students do as they may choose other courses supplemented to their majors courses in order to broader their access in the labor market.

However, the quality of curriculum is strongly depended on the high-qualified professors or educators. The same curricula might be diversely implemented and presented by different professors to the students based on their own knowledge, experiences, believes, values and understandings (Asher Shkedi, 1998). A high and well qualified faculty member is critical to the high quality of higher education. Faculty play a very crucial role in imparting the knowledge to the students and creating active atmosphere in the class that could help improve students’ capability to access the existing and innovative knowledge and ideas.

Thus what is defined the role of good quality professor? As Kelly Ward (2005) and Cushman E. (1999) noted, faculty roles can be interpreted as teaching, research and service which support the public good, but the research conducted by the Central Educational Research Institute of Korea in 1967 reveals that the roles expected from university professor can be classified in such five categories as research worker, course instructor, guide of students, community server, and administration participant7. Clark B. (1997) clearly stated that a modern university cannot exist without the combination of teaching and research, and they are the complementary roles and activities of each faculty member in order to survive in the daily lives of academia (Mary Frankfox, 1992). Overall, the main roles of professor can be precisely reported as solely the teaching and research. With the responsibility burden in their occupations, faculty members must have adequate qualifications, receive ongoing training opportunities, have a system set up where they can conduct enough education and research activities, and be provided with suitable incentives and support, including the emotional and financial support.

In Korea, higher education was oriented in both teaching and research (Esther E. Gottlieb et al. 1997), and traditionally or presently, the teaching profession in Korea is regarded as one of the most respected occupations in terms of job security, more autonomy, higher wages, and better working conditions (Yum, Y., 2000; Yeom Minho, 2005). Research orientation has been encouraged among faculty members by the government through the reformation of higher education in order to build the world-class university and compete with other universities in the world beyond the local competition.

In April 5, 1998, the Brain Korea 21 (BK21) (1999-2005)8 was set up and designed to advance the higher education quality, particularly in research incentives among academic members (Han, Youkyung, 2004; ME&HRD, 2004; Moon, Mugyeong et al. 2001).

After one and a half year of launching BK21, 2,202 research articles published in SCI journals in 2000 by Seoul National University (SNU) can rank SNU the top 55th, for instance (Kim, K.S., 2002).What is to be further considered, as of 1993, is that “Centers of Excellence”, found by the Korean Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) under the umbrella of the Ministry of Science and Technology on the purpose of improving the research capacities among faculty members and constructing partnership between universities and industries, have been established amidst main 30 universities (Ryu, Mi-kyung, 1998).

Most of professors in Korea are well-trained or high-capable; crucially hold Ph. D degree overseas, in which the United States of America is the top country that most of doctorates in Korea derived from, and Ph. D candidates from abroad are the preference of each university to be employed as teaching positions to those from domestic institutions (Song, Hokeun, 2002; Linda K. Johnsrud, 1993). For instance, the university academic profession in Korea is formed of 82.9 percent of doctorates and approximately 40 percent of them earned PhDs overseas, particularly from the US. This phenomenon has been becoming the tradition of Korean higher learning institutions since 93.3 percent, 81 percent, 81.3 percent, and 80.2 percent of American doctorates can be sought in Pohang University of Science and Technology, Yonsei University, Seogang University, and Ewha Women’s University respectively (Kim, Terri, 2005).

This, however, contrast to the case of Cambodian higher education as there are solely few professors that hold the MA or Ph. D degree abroad. Cambodian professors have not been trained to upgrade their knowledge or skills in order to enhance their professional development since the management or organizing system of Cambodian education is weak in some such components as lacking of resources, funding, and implementation willingness (Heng, Samnang, 2002). Further, they also lack the research encouragement and financial support from the government to improve their capacities of research beyond teaching (Neth Barom, 2002), and as we recognized, to be a good educator is to teach a very high quality of education to the students, and with such an implementation, they must do research of every kind of knowledge, significantly relevant to their own skills as much as possible for the sake of upgrading the quality of teaching.

How, thus, can Cambodian professors’ capacities be enhanced if without research incentives and fund allocations from the government? As a result, teaching methods are often outmoded as professors have not sacrificed enough to their responsibilities as an educator.

“Most of professor teach students depend on their own individual methods; there is no highly motivation and commitment of teaching from them...they teach only just the theories, no discussion or debate environment occurred in the class at all”9

These passive teaching approaches are not considered to be a good way of teaching at all as now every higher education in the world turns to reach a high standard of teaching quality which innovation, creativity, and flexibility are at a premium.

Interviews with Cambodian students reveal that the majority of outdated teaching strategies usually emerged from the old professors rather than the young ones as most of them still keep the old way of teaching. Some students with a positive feeling proclaimed that the minority of faculty members are creative in approaching to the way of teaching, more significantly the ones obtained degree from such abroad as America, Japan, France, and so on, since they are attempting to employ the innovative knowledge and methods of teaching they gained from the countries studied to impart to the students and set up in the class, where the environment of discussion and debate could be obviously appeared. Besides, as Cambodian higher education system is still kept in bureaucracy, the discordance and idea-contrasting can be often traced, especially in public institutions.

This situation, needless to say, could also be found in Korean higher learning institutions. Lee, Jeongkyu (2002) argues that authoritative attitudes based on age-ranking system and male dominant Confucian principles are the main indicators causing the disagreement between the young and the old faculty members that particularly the young who earned degree from the United States or Europe.10 Owing to Confucian ethical values and principles, the interaction in decision-making or administration is rarely happened between administrators and faculty members or students, and students strongly obey their professors (Lee, Jeongkyu, 2001; Lee Jeongkyu, 2000). Hence, the gap of communication between professor and students is wider.

“...there are not many interactions between students and them (professors) because according to a Korean custom, we regard them as a top person that we are hard to come along with, for example some old saying like we should always respect our teachers following the Confucius saying. It controls students’ attitudes to professors strongly. As a conclusion the way of learning is quiet one way like top to bottom”11

Although the majority of professors in Korean higher education are good at both teaching and research, but still, some are not competent enough as they mostly devote their time for research; not for teaching which is reflected to the argument of Esther E. Gottlieb et al. (1997) that research orientation has been proclaimed by the high proportion of Korean associate professors. “The good professor is the one who is good at both teaching and researching; while the one good at only researching, not well at teaching is considered to be not good professor.and I prefer the one who is good at teaching to research as they scarify their time with the students” (Interview with Mr. Jung Hunmock, January 16, 2006).

Similarly, interviews with students in both Korea and Cambodia share the same situation as students encounter difficult conditions for study due to the severely overcrowded classes. One class consists of numbers raged from 40 to 70 students except some classes consisted of around 30 students. This overwhelming class cannot provide a very good environment for study as the interaction between professor and students are seldom stretched to everyone in the class, so some students still stay beyond the discussion or debate atmosphere. Active teaching and learning process can no longer exist unless every one in the class is able to expressing the ideas for discussion.

Apart from this, a further glance to the reality of Cambodian higher education, combined with the information gained from interview with students reveal that the poor quality of teaching strategies of academicians due to the very low salary provided and not being paid on time for faculty members. This is responded to the fact that all of civil servant educators from primary school up to higher learning level are low paid or underpaid and all of them, naturally, cannot survive in Cambodian current economic situation based on such insufficient and unsatisfied salaries. The basic salary for upper secondary school educators is 92,400 Riel (USD 22.81), and 5,500 Riel monthly can be allocated to a male educator with wife and a child (Yos, E., 2003). Just recently, Cambodian government strives to increase educator salary, but by and large, it is still not adequate to survive. Interview with Cambodian graduates shows that the salary for faculty member in higher education is around USD 60 per month. Pich Sophoan (2001) argues that the procedure of state salary providing for educators is very complicated and frequently has been delayed. For example, the salary of faculty at the Royal University of Phnom Penh is not only low paid but also is not paid on time as faculty members have to wait two years to receive a pay checks (Karen Knight et al., 2004).

Due to the grossly insufficient salary, indeed, the faculty members do not even can afford to buy books, documents, or other materials for enhancement their teaching; they play very little or no role in imparting the knowledge to students and concentration on their teaching strategies and plans improvement as they, intentionally or unintentionally, have to keep their consciousness as an educator apart from their lives, and in turn, hold the second jobs to supplement their living standards; otherwise they are forced to live from hand to mouth (Heng Samnang, 2002; David M. Ayres, 2000). With reaction to such salary allocation, some critics complain about the corruption in education system that the government does not intend to allocate the entire budget to the upgrading of education (Lor Chandara, 14, 15 December 2002).

Completely contrast to the salary scale allocated for educators in Cambodia, the faculty staff in Korean higher education can receive approximately around USD 40,000 to 60,000 per year, equal to about USD 4,000 per month12. With such amount of money, the educators in Korea can not only comfortably survive but also sufficiently support his or her whole family, as to the best of my knowledge, one Korean need at least USD 1,500 to adequately live in contemporary Korean society. Consequently, all the faculty members do not worry about their daily living standards; they frequently dedicate their time for students as they always appear in their offices, which is quite convenient for students to drop by their professors’ offices at anytime as they wish. Besides, faculty staffs in Korea no need to seek a second job to supplement their living; thus they have time for the convenience of students.

Another thing to be considered when making the assessment of the quality of education is academic resources, materials and equipments. One of the problems involving Cambodian higher education is rooted in a lack of academic resources, materials and equipments. Its impact is affecting the advancement of students’ capabilities as both quantity and quality of books and documents are seldom existed, particularly the resources in Khmer language. It is often alleged by the very large degree of students and graduates interviewed that their knowledge is set at a standstill or hard to be improved as there are no adequate documents to read, significantly the ones in Khmer language. This situation causes students not to reach a real world of up-to-date knowledge; or to put it in another word, their brains are still getting stuck once they begin discussing or debating something further. Cambodian libraries are small in size which is not provided enough documents and space for readers and they are hard to be upgraded in both quantity and quality as Cambodian people lacks a tradition of reading (Margaret A. Bywater, 1998).

On the contrary, Korean libraries are much bigger than that in Cambodia if we compared, and through the researcher’s observation, there are so many different various kinds of books, documents, journals, magazines, newspapers, CD-Rom and so on in both Korean and English, mostly. All the titles of books, documents, journals and so forth have been inserted and orderly categorized in the online database system of computer, which is quite convenient for inspired learners to get access to those quickly. Thus, students can keep their knowledge posted with the change of technological world.

Furthermore, internet access has been put in almost every corner of campus buildings, with which students can drop by those equipments anytime and it is become the tradition of Korean higher learning institutions as Korea is one of the top-class countries in the use and delivering of internet in the world. Totally different from Korea, Cambodian higher learning institutions are not equipped with those technological equipments, especially in the state or public universities. As internet providers are few in number and internet fees are charged very high in price, crucially Cambodia is regarded as the highest cost country in internet services among Southeast Asian countries, Cambodian students rarely use internet (Men Saravuth et al.,), and only those who live in the capital city, Phnom Penh, or other major cities that can have access to internet as Cambodia is filled of remote areas, and most of Cambodian people are poor that cannot afford to or even have knowledge in internet usage.

The lectures in Korean higher education have been equipped with new technological equipments such as LCD projectors, OHPs, computers and so on, which is considered as the new model of teaching process that every industrialized countries have reached. This kind of teaching process could enable students to contentedly catch up the knowledge and skills; while this circumstance is rarely happened in Cambodian higher education. This is the rooted problem that Cambodian higher learning institutions come across, yielded in many consequences affecting the students as their capacities are poor since they cannot acquire such kinds of competencies of technological world to facilitate them in the labor market, which is pervasively treated that it is very fundamental and compulsory for the job global market today (Heng Samnang, 2002).

All of higher educations in Korea are very big in campus13, which provide a very convenient environment and atmosphere for students to acquire knowledge; while they are small or even too small in Cambodia by the international comparison (Mak Ngoy, 2005).

3. Students’ In and Out-Campus Lives towards Education and Employment Prospects

This chapter seeks to explore the habits and activities of students towards education and employment prospects. The habit of oneself- study, extra-curricular activities, internship and part-time job, and other activities sacrificed by students for the sake of their education and employment prospects are going to be discovered. Supplement to the quality of education addressed in the first chapter, what also contributes to the quality of education is through the attributes of graduates (Simon C. Barrie, 2006). The property of graduates can be defined upon their activities done since they begin campus life as freshman till they graduate.

Once students can be admitted to study in the university, they have to strive for themselves in order to challenge for their education and employment prospects. In Korea, education is not free (Kim, Kisu, 1999), and almost all expenditures spent for higher educations is depended largely on private subsidiaries. The share of public for higher education is in small proportion, which is less than other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, as it is just about 16.7%, while it is averagely stood up at 77% among other OECD countries, and most of private universities can survive relied on students’ tuitions (Kim, Sunwoong et al., 2004). But there is more slightly different of tuition between public and private university. In the private, students have to pay around 80% of their total educational expenses; while in the public, they can pay around only 50% (Han Youkyung, 2004), and about 80% of students are enrolled in private institutions (Francis A. Steier, 2003).

To challenge with this heavy pressure on paying for higher education, though some students are supported by their parents, some are trying to seek part-time jobs such as tutor, part-time seller, or waiter/waitress and so on for supplementing their educational expenses. It is very common to see Kwa wae (the announcement paper of tutor) of the university students posted on the university or school bulletin boards, walls, columns, electric light poles, street lamps, and other places for being a tutor of upper secondary school students who are preparing for the national high school examination.

“I have a difficulty in paying tuition fees by myself, and my father and mother are so poor that they can’t pay for it.. .and you know; I have to teach math to high school students to earn money to pay for my tuition at university. I can earn around 1,200,000 to 1,500,000 won per month with individual teaching to 4 students. One student I teach 4 hours for two days per week, so I totally teach 16 hours for 4 students per week. Hmm. it is a bit hard and exhausted to teach students during my study time, but I have to.. .have to do for paying for my tuition”14


1 Decent work was defined by ILO as “work that meets people’s basic aspirations, not only for income, but for security for themselves and their families, without discrimination or harassment and providing equal treatment for women and men” (Eugenia Date-Bah, 2001).

2 Curriculum is diversely defined by many various scholars. For various definitions of curriculum, see Kenneth T. Henson (2001), and Jon Wiles (1999).

3 Korean higher education was influenced by both the Eastern (Japan) and Western (America) sides, and since the liberation of Korea from Japanese occupation (1910- 1945) on 15 August 1945, the Republic of Korea was established in 1948 under the U.S military rule (1945-1948) and simultaneously the Basis Education Law also was promulgated on 31 December 1949 in order to set up a new educational system by introducing the American education and curriculum system (Lee, Jeongkyu, 2000).

4 For the main reform on higher education systems in Korea, see Lee, Jeongkyu (2000).

5 Various approaches and theories have been given to reform and improve the curriculum. Those approaches and theories can be found in Josef A. Mestenhauser et al. (1998), Allan A. Glatthorn (2004), and Clifton F. Conrad (1978).

6 Upon recovering from the Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979), Cambodian higher education system has been evolved with the evolution of the regimes. During The People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979-1989), which was called the Vietnamese occupation, the communist curriculum intended to produce the so-called “new men and women” was introduced in Cambodian higher education controlled by the Vietnamese, and after the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from Cambodia in 1989, the curriculum has been slightly changed, particularly after the changing from central economy to free-market economy of Cambodia in 1993, the curriculum has been changed to the market-oriented system (Thomas Clayton, 2005).

7 Below is the nexus of teaching, research, and service, which defined as the roles of faculty member given by Cushman E. (1999): Teaching: can contribute to research through classroom-based research. This may include being methodical about generating field notes, collecting class assignments, and taping class sessions and using these artifacts as forms of data. Teaching connects to service through involving community organizations in the classroom and through service learning. Research: has synergy to teaching through curriculum and course assignments that address class objectives, student learning, and community needs. Research can also reinforce a faculty member’s involvement in service through extending research expertise to emerging community problems and by communicating the outcomes of research to not only academic audience but community audience as well. Service: relates to research by faculty that addresses problems with political and social salience to local communities. Service contributes to teaching by providing ne"> venues for faculty and students to “test” the utility of existing research in light of the everyday problems and challenges that communities face.

8 The majors objectives stated in the BK21 are (1) fostering world-class research universities which function as infrastructure in producing original knowledge & technology, and promoting specialization of local universities; (2) Introducing professional graduate schools to cultivate professionals in various fields; and (3) Transforming the higher education system to facilitate competition among universities based on the quality of their students and academic outcomes (Han, Youkyung, 2004). Also, 3 main areas have been advocated in the second phase of BK21 as raising graduate schools to a global level, creating top class graduate schools in regional universities, and establishing specialized graduate schools in business management, medicine and dentistry, and approximately 13,000 researchers in the areas of IT, NT, and BT, 16,000 researchers in basic science & technologies, 1,000 graduate students in the professional service areas including medicine and dentistry, and 3,000 graduate students in humanities & social sciences are going to be supported (Admin., 2006).

9 Interview with Mr. Pheaktrea, graduate of history from RUPP, June 2005

10 Through various scholarships or even own-paying, Korean students went abroad significantly the US for study or advance their knowledge. By 1963, Korea was already sending 5,797 students overseas and doubled by the late 1960s. In 1978, the number reached 6,438. Most of the young academic members or Ministry of Education and Human Resources Management nowadays are those who received degree from abroad during that time, particularly during the 1970s and 1980s. Furthermore, Korea has been reported as one of the leading countries in terms of sending students to the American higher learning institutions (Yeom Minho, 2005; Choi Hyaeweol, 1999; Linda K. Johnsrud, 1993; William K. Cummings, 1984).

11 Interview with Ms. Lee Jungah, Senior of Business Administration at Soegang University, March 2006

12 Interview with Mr. Jung Hunmock, Graduate of Material Science Engineering of Seoul National University, 16 January 2006

13 By international comparison, Korean higher learning institutions are still smaller than those in the United States (Choi, Hyaeweol, 1999).

14 Interview with Mr. Cho Wonsang, Senior of Economics at SNU, February 2006

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Graduate and Employment in the Republic of Korea and Cambodia: Prospects and Challenges
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