Privet - Students Perceptions toward Private Sector Higher...

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Students' Perceptions toward Private Sector Higher Education in Cambodia A thesis presented to the faculty of the Center for International Studies of Ohio University In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts Phirom Leng June 2010 © 2010 Phirom Leng. All Rights Reserved.
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2 This thesis titled Students' Perceptions toward Private Sector Higher Education in Cambodia by PHIROM LENG has been approved for the Center for International Studies by John R. Schermerhorn, Jr. Charles G. O'Bleness Professor Emeritus of Management Systems Drew McDaniel Director, Southeast Asian Studies Daniel Weiner Executive Director, Center for International Studies
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3 ABSTRACT LENG, PHIROM, M.A., June 2010, Southeast Asian Studies Students' Perceptions toward Private Sector Higher Education in Cambodia (100 pp.) Director of Thesis: John R. Schermerhorn, Jr. A breakthrough in the modern history of Cambodian higher education is the introduction of the privatization policy in the mid-1990s. It allowed public universities to offer fee-paying programs and private universities to open. In just over ten years, private higher education institutions have been mushrooming, reaching 45 to this point. The rapid growth of private higher education has generated both positive and negative opinions among the public. This thesis joins the discussion by exploring the reasons why increasing numbers of students are gravitating towards the private higher education sector and how they view their experiences there. Data was collected, through surveys and interviews, at three private universities in Cambodia. The study employed the constant comparative method of qualitative analysis. Nine key themes emerged in relation to private higher education in Cambodia, including quality of faculty, extensive use of English, reasonable and affordable tuition fees, various class schedules, easier and fewer entry requirements, weak school policies on student behavior, limited degree recognition, rich library resources and family influence. The study offers several directions for future research about the role of the private higher education sector in Cambodia. Approved: _____________________________________________________________ John R. Schermerhorn, Jr. Charles G. O'Bleness Professor Emeritus of Management Systems
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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to acknowledge the following persons, to all of whom I feel forever indebted. Without them, I would not have had the opportunity to complete this study. First, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my advisor, Dr. John Schermerhorn, for his assistance, advice, guidance, motivation and patience throughout my study and research. My heartfelt thanks is also extended to Dr. Brett Noel for his constant guidance and support in getting me to the point where I became capable of conducting a qualitative research study.
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