The Royal University of Phnom Penh
(RUPP) is Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...
’s oldest and largest university located in the capital Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation's center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security,...
. It hosts more than 10000 students across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. It offers degrees in fields such as the sciences, humanities and social sciences, as well as vocational courses in fields such as information technology, electronics, psychology and tourism. RUPP also provides Cambodia’s foremost degree-level language programs through the Institute of Foreign Languages. RUPP has full membership of the ASEAN University Network (AUN).
RUPP has over 420 full-time staff. All of its 294 academic staff hold tertiary qualifications, including 15 PhDs and 132 Masters degrees. They are supported by 140 administrative and maintenance staff. In addition, the university maintains vast linkage networks with Cambodian and international NGOs, universities and government ministries. As a result, various international and non-government organizations and government offices regularly contribute adjunct faculty members to help expand RUPP’s capacity.
The Royal University of Phnom Penh began as the Royal Khmer University in 1960. It opened during a period of intense growth in Cambodia and expanded rapidly to include a National Institute of Judicial and Economic Studies, a Royal School of Medicine, a National School of Commerce, a National Pedagogical Institute, a Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, and a Faculty of Science and Technology. The language of instruction during this period was French.
With the growth of Cambodia's economy and an assertion of its historical role, modern buildings for that time were constructed in the style of the New Khmer Architecture
New Khmer Architecture was an architectural movement in Cambodia during the 1950s and 1960s. The style blended elements of the Modern Movement with two distinctly Cambodian traditions: the grand tradition of Angkor, and the vernacular tradition of ordinary people's houses...
, which has influences of Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...
, European post-modern architecture and traditions from Angkor
Angkor is a region of Cambodia that served as the seat of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries. The word Angkor is derived from the Sanskrit nagara , meaning "city"...
With the establishment of the Khmer Republic
The Khmer Republic or République Khmère, was the republican government of Cambodia that was formally declared on October 9, 1970. The Khmer Republic was disestablished in 1975 and was followed by the totalitarian communist state known as Democratic Kampuchea.-Background:Formally declared on October...
in 1970, the Royal Khmer University became the Phnom Penh University. Between 1965 and 1975 there were nine faculties, namely the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Higher Normal College), Letters and Humanities, Science, Pharmacy, Law and Economics, Medicine and Dentistry, Commerce, Pedagogy, and the Languages Institute.
The Democratic Kampuchea
The Khmer Rouge period refers to the rule of Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen, Khieu Samphan and the Khmer Rouge Communist party over Cambodia, which the Khmer Rouge renamed as Democratic Kampuchea....
period of 1975-1979 saw the closure and destruction of schools, the decimation of the teaching service and the cessation of formal education. During this period the Phnom Penh University, as well as all other educational institutions in Cambodia, were closed down. Under this regime an education was perceived as a dangerous asset - hence the educated were targeted, and most of the University's faculty were killed. Of the educated people who survived, few remained in Cambodia once the borders reopened. Deserted for almost five years, the abandoned campus became another victim of the grim civil war. This period was a dark time for education and progress in Cambodia and produced many repercussions that are still being felt today.
In 1980, the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Higher Normal College) reopened, again teaching predominantly in French. In 1981, the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) began, initially training students to become Vietnamese and Russian teachers. The purpose of both colleges was to provide surviving graduates of primary school or above with crash courses in teaching.
In 1988, the college and the IFL merged to create Phnom Penh University, and in 1996 the name was changed to the Royal University of Phnom Penh.
During the past decade, the University has grown and now includes the Faculty of Science, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the Institute of Foreign Languages. In 2001, the University began its first postgraduate degrees with the Graduate Diploma and Master's Courses in Tourism Development.
Co-operation with Royal Government of Cambodia
The support of the Royal Government of Cambodia, particularly the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports
(MOEYS) is critical to the life of RUPP. All degrees and course programs at RUPP have been recommended and supported by the Government, which also covers electricity and utility costs, provides staff salaries (approximately US$100/month), and provides important resources such as computers. The Prime Minister and other government representatives have also participated in the University's graduation, cultural and opening ceremonies.