11th Biennial Comparative Education Society of Asia, CESA 2018



11th Biennial Comparative Education Society of Asia, CESA 2018

May 10, 2018 - May 12, 2018 , 07:00 am - 04:00 am

Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

Theme: “Education for social progress? Insights from comparative perspectives”

  1. Suggested Conference Theme & Sub-Themes

Education is supposed to equip youth with cognitive and non-cognitive skills needed for tomorrow’s world. Yet the ways in which social progress can be assured — the “correct” pedagogical practices, funding structures, governance mechanisms, quality assurances, gender safeguards, et cetera — are highly debated. How can education policy makers guarantee social progress? Are there any best practices that exist within Asia and beyond that point to successful ways of achieving social (and economic) progress?

More broadly, is social progress even attainable through education? Scholars in comparative and international education have challenged melioristic approaches to education ever since Marc-Antoine Jullien proposed a science of educational comparison based on supposed “facts” in 1817. As such, how should scholars in Asia and beyond think about the idea of social progress through education?

With this context in mind, we propose the theme for the biannual conference of the Comparative Education Society of Asia in 2018 as “Education for social progress? Insights from comparative perspectives.”

The proposed sub-themes include:

  • 21st century teaching and learning: the roles of technology and other innovative models in enhancing teaching and learning: ICT, particularly mobile technologies, has influenced higher education learning and teaching in many ways and that interactive mobile technologies have the potential to enhance traditional school- and teacher-based learning. In Cambodia, ICT is recognised by the Education Ministry to have ‘significant’ roles in enhancing learning and teaching including ‘making educational outcomes more relevant to the labour market, in transforming educational content and in enhancing information literacy’. How do young adults learn and how can ICT enhance their learning experience? Similarly, how can we enhance and supplement the traditional teaching methods of teachers in higher education institutions? What strategy can we adopt to raise awareness and knowledge of using blended learning (i.e. Massive Open Online Courses) and Inquiry-based Learning among leaders and faculty members of higher education institutions?
  • University-industry relation and public private partnership in education: What could be the roles of public-private partnerships (PPP)? What can we learn from elsewhere in our region on effective quality assurance and funding models?
  • Governance and financing of higher education: In the context of developing countries, while some higher education institutions seem to be over-regulated (spider system), some others are barely regulated at all (starfish system). A major focus is on the quality standard of private higher education institution. Is there a need to bring about a better balance between these extreme models of governance for the two segments of the higher education system and how can we achieve that balance? What are the most feasible and effective funding models for higher education in Asia if higher education institutions are to be of high quality and sustainable?
  • Quality assurance of higher education in an increasingly integrated region: Recent research findings indicate that “it is imperative….that higher education leaders establish and strengthen an institutional QA [quality assurance] framework based on best national and regional practice” Forty-three higher education institutions in the ASEAN countries have made it to the list of the top 300. What strategies and policy initiatives would be appropriate and feasible for stepping up the overall quality of higher education in region? What roles should the government and private sector play in achieving this? Who currently determines HE curriculum development and what content is and is not included currently in courses or programmes? Is course development a function of the institution, or is each lecturer left to his/her own devices? How should this be addressed?
  • Women and education: As we focus more on gender equity and equality in education, it is timely to rethink the various facets of the region’s education, including vocational education and training (VET) system. Papers should be aimed around efforts that lead to more girls getting and staying in school, pursuing higher education or VET. All of these should ultimately result in higher skilled Asian women, with local and regional employment opportunities, who can both contribute to and benefit from the region’s sustained growth, development and integration.
  • Entrepreneurship: research, development, innovation and skills for industrial development: In almost all the eight categories of skilled labour allowed freer movement across national borders as part of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), Cambodia is ranked at the lower end of the ASEAN spectrum – in terms of both quality and quantity of graduates in these fields. Which of these eight areas should less developed members of ASEAN prioritize for policy focus and what kinds of policy initiatives will be required in those priority areas to enable the country to adjust smoothly to the AEC-led skilled labour movement across national borders and compete effectively in areas of the economy where it has some existing and potential regional comparative advantage? How can higher education institutions support the Industrial Development Policy (IDP) by providing quality programmes and graduates with relevant skills? How can research and innovation be enhanced at HEIs particularly in fields relevant to regional integration?

2. Hosting Institutions: CDRI and Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC)_Siem Reap

The Cambodia Development Resource Institute (http://www.cdri.org.kh) is a leading independent policy-related research institute in Cambodia. Its mission is to advance inclusive and sustainable development through independent policy research and developing capacity of local researchers. The CDRI maintains excellent and long-standing working relationships with academic institutions, educators, government departments and institutions, NGOs and development partners. CDRI’s research reports influence government policies and practices.

CDRI has a dedicated research unit for Education as well as a Higher Learning Hub (HLH) to serve as a platform for discussion of innovative and creative concepts and practices in higher education. The institute and its Higher Learning Hub is led by a prominent international scholar on education, Dr Rethy Chhem and supported by a group of local and international education scholars and practitioners. CDRI has produced and published over 100 Working Papers, dozens of Policy Briefs and Cambodia Development Review quarterly. In March 2015, CDRI published a major edited volume on “Cambodia Education 2015: Employment and Empowerment” which covers topics from early childhood to primary, vocational training and higher education. Currently, several types of articles on the “Political Economy of Primary Education Sector Reform” are being finalized for publication.

The CDRI has ample experience with hosting large international conferences and workshops involving academic institutions and think-tanks across the Asia Pacific Region and beyond. The CDRI holds two major conferences annually. First is the Cambodia Outlook Conference, which had been presided over by the Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, and relevant ministers during the past six years. Second is the Development Research Forum, one of the largest research forums in Cambodia that brings together over 300 participants from academia, think-tanks, NGOs and government agencies. In 2014, CDRI hosted an academic conference on “Competing Hegemonies – Foreign Dominated Process of Development in Cambodia”. The two last events involve submission and screening of research articles and panel discussions to be presented at the conference. One example of CDRI’s regional engagement is its long-established Greater Mekong Subregion Network (GMS-NET, formerly GMS-DAN) that involves partner from China, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Thailand and Myanmar. In this capacity as a regionally relevant institution, the CDRI is well positioned to host the conference.


Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC)

Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC) is one of the few private leading universities in Cambodia with curriculum designed to promote “Research and Development” activities in teaching and learning. One particular institute, the Paññāsāstra Institute of Academic Research and Development (PIARD), was established in July of 2012 to help realize the PUC Mission of “Becoming a leading Institution for Research and Development Study in Cambodia and in the regions, recognized for the high quality of faculty, students, and contributions to the peace and development of the region.”

Established in 1997 and officially opened in 2000, PUC is the first higher learning institution in Cambodia that provides English based education in all courses, and adopts international standard curriculum generally used by American and other developed countries’ colleges and universities. This academic model assures that credit units and degrees earned at PUC will be recognized by and equivalent to those of other accredited universities abroad. Currently, PUC offers courses in Education, Arts and Humanities, Business and Economics, Law and Public Affairs, International Relations, Mathematics, Sciences and Engineering and other Social Sciences in both undergraduate and graduate levels.

PUC’s education programs aim to contribute to the development and enhancement of Cambodia’s human capital, and play an active role in the “nation building” process for future generations and to integrate its graduates into the ASEAN and international community. As such, the university has made a strong and concerted commitment in developing its under graduate and postgraduate programs by instructing English as a primary vehicle of learning, integrating research relevant courses into all disciplines, offering well-refined clusters of specialist courses, and promoting internationalization on-and-off campus through partnership universities abroad and international student exchanges (e.g. in Asia, Europe and the United States). Within more than ten years, PUC is very well known in the region, and is recognized as the most competitive higher learning institution in Cambodia for degree seekers.

In this context, the upcoming conference will connect with the university’s mission and programmes. The university’s mission in internationalizing its education is a prime example that positions it well for hosting this conference. Its overarching education programs specifically offer relevant and critical input to the hosting of this conference.

The Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC) Siem Reap, has experience in organizing the first IAUP Southeast Asian Regional Conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia on November 3-5, 2016, which involved various key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), local and international NGOs, educators and development partners.

On top of this, in collaboration with CDRI and Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC) Siem Reap, the university has the capacity to manage all the logistic arrangements to make the conference a success. CDRI and PUC Siem Reap are most confident that, given our expertise in education and experience in hosting major conferences, we are a natural fit for hosting the CESA Conference in 2018.

Why Cambodia?

In its 2014-2018 national strategic development plan, Cambodia prioritizes education sector and strengthening education quality on top of the government’s reform agenda. A new Minister of Education, Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, was appointed and his reform efforts to meet the country’s vision for a capable and skilled human resource have been generally well received by teachers, the public and development partners. “The future of our country depends on what we can do now to provide a good education to the next generation”, said Naron. He also emphasizes that research is a key indicator of quality education, particularly in tertiary level. The first Cambodia Education Research Forum (CERF) in 2014 which was organized by Cambodian Higher Education Association (CHEA) with 492 national and international participants is one of the indications that the time is ripe and Cambodia is ready to perform a regional role in promoting dialogue, debate and research on education. CESA has the potential to contribute to Cambodia’s efforts in strengthening education quality and policy formulation based on the evidence from the latest research studies and experiences from neighboring countries.


Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

Situated in the northwest and next to the Tonle Sap Lake of Cambodia, Siem Reap is famous for its UNESCO’s World Heritage Angkor Archaeological Park. The province, which has hundreds of other temples besides the Angkor Wat, was once a capital of the Khmer Empire and one of the largest, if not the largest city in the ancient world.

Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world which attracts millions of international visitors. The 12th century temple is ranked a top landmark in the world in 2015 in both the TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Landmarks and Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist.

Beyond temples, Siem Reap offers other cultural and ecological experiences. The floating villages along the Tonle Sap, the biggest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia and ecotourism sites offer unique experience of Cambodia’s everyday life and rich natural and cultural heritages and traditions. Visitors to the historical city may find an enriching experience by visiting Angkor National Museum, Land Mine Museum, Cambodia Cultural Village, Night Markets and Pub Street.

3. Basic information of the conference venue

The proposed venue for the conference is Apsara Angkor Resort & Conference (http://www.apsaraangkor.com/) in Siem Reap. The hotel is situated on airport road, with the distance of just 10 minutes from the Siem Reap International Airport, five minutes to downtown Siem Reap, and 15-minutes to the world heritage site Angkor Wat complex. Resonating Khmer architecture, the hotel provides a unique charm of glorious Angkorian era while equipped with today’s luxury to ensure comforts during stay and productivity for an event.

Conference and banquet facilities

Apsara Angkor Resort and Conference has one of the largest and best conference facilities in Siem Reap. It offers four large conference rooms that can accommodate up to 350 participants (classroom setup) and two additional meeting rooms that can accommodate at least 50 participants each. From a recent experience of hosting a national conference at the hotel in late 2014, the hotel provided excellent services with many positive feedbacks from the conference participants.

Room Types Total Areas (m2) Setup Styles and Capacities
Cocktail Theatre Classroom Board Room U-shape
1. Apsara Conference I 607 600 450 350 280 250
2. Apsara Conference II 180 170 150 100 60 55
3. Angkor Conference I 448 400 350 250 200 180
4. Angkor Conference II 50 55 60 35 25 20
5. Rendezvous Room I 99 90 80 50 45 40
6. Rendezvous Room II 175 150 120 60 50 40
7. Garden View Room 96 50 60 40 30 25
8. Grand View Room 96 85 70 45 40 35

Floor Plan for the Apsara Conference Room I.

Equipment and facilities

The conference rooms are equipped with state of the art equipment, ideal for international conferences or seminars, large banquets and commercial exhibitions. The conference room facilities include:

  • Conference room with daylight and soundproofing wall
  • LCD & overhead slide projector with large screen and two mobile screens
  • Conference microphones, FM microphones and clip-on microphones.
  • Language earphones with optional bands for international conference
  • Computer, printer, copier machine, VCR, VCD/DVD and monitor
  • Large meeting backdrop, white board and flip chart
  • Built-in quality audio- visual equipment
  • Professional teleconferencing system (telephone interface)
  • Built-in network ports for broadband Internet access (at meeting room) + WiFi Access
  • Press Conference venue, side meeting and bilateral discussion rooms
  • Secretariat rooms and VIP waiting lounge with direct IDD phone/fax

4. Accommodation

Participants to the 2018 CESA Conference may choose to stay at one of the following hotels:


We will provide more accommodation options (to meet a range of budget needs from students to government officials) as we work on negotiating a special corporate rate for the conference participants.

5. Registration fee and budget of the conference

The budget below provides estimates based on a projected attendance of 300, broken down as follows by types and number of participants) (It is hoped that attendance will exceed 300, but for the purposes of estimating registration fee income we are using this relatively conservative figure.)


Participants   Registration Fee
Foreign participants New CESA Members US$250/ *20 persons
Existing CESA Members US$200* 40 persons
Foreign students US$120/* 80 persons
Local participants Normal participants US$85/* 60 persons
Local students US$50 * 100 persons


Note: The registration fee covers:

– Entry to all Conference sessions, including the opening and closing ceremonies

– A bag containing Conference materials

– Refreshments and lunches during the conference

– Receptions according to the program

– Complimentary visits to local universities

– Two years’ CESA membership (for those who have not already paid their membership fee)

6. Contact Us

For registrations or enquiries, please write to:

Mr. KEO Borin,

CESA 2018 Conference Coordinator

Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI)

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Email: CESA2018Cambodia@gmail.com

Website: www.cdri.org.kh