19 October 2023

Transforming Cambodian Education: the CALOHEA's Authentic Assessment Ignites Higher Education Evolution across ASEAN and Garnered Ministerial-levelled Interest in Cambodia

Ninnart Ratanasukhon
AUN Programme Officer;

From 9-10 October 2023, the 11th CALOHEA National Meeting was held at Svay Rieng University, Svay Rieng, Cambodia, marking a significant milestone in the quest for more effective and holistic learning outcomes in Cambodia's higher education landscape. Coinciding with CALOHEA Capacity Building activities under the theme “Implementing  Authentic Assessment for more effective and holistic learning outcomes in Cambodia’s higher education”, this two-day hybrid event served as a platform for CALOHEA experts to share with the meeting participants the three recognition tools of CALOHEA that would set ASEAN higher education institutions for better programme compatibility and degree recognitions. The 11th CALOHEA National Meeting garnered the attendance of nearly 150 participants, including  the key figures of Cambodian higher education; industry experts; academic staff; and student representatives from across Cambodia.



The  national meeting was kicked off with a knowledge-sharing session from Dr. Maria Yarosh, Tuning Academy, University of Groningen. In her presentation, Dr. Yarosh enlightened the audience about the aim of the CALOHEA initiative which is to catapult ASEAN higher education onto the global stage. The cornerstone of CALOHEA lies in its vision to bolster the internationalisation of higher education institutions through the reformation of curriculum design. This endeavour, as emphasised by Dr. Yarosh, was critical for fostering a truly global community of academics and students.

"ASEAN Network of Champions of Internationalisation," she declared, "will serve as the key uniting institutions across the region in their pursuit of excellence and recognition on the international stage."

In addition, her presentation captured the essence of the three Recognition Mechanisms (RMs), the core of CALOHEA's arsenal in designing academic programme and curriculum fits for international recognition:

  • RM 1: Regional Subject-Specific Qualifications & Assessment Reference Framework. One of the key elements of CALOHEA was the creation and utilisation of Regional Subject-Specific Qualifications and Assessment Reference Frameworks. These frameworks promised to revolutionise the landscape of higher education, offering a common language for institutions to communicate the depth and breadth of their degree programmes. This, in turn, would facilitate greater comparability and recognition on an international scale.
  • RM 2: Student Workload Measurement. This Recognition Mechanism emphasised the need for a measuring tool that would recognise the dynamic learning environments of the students and their inputs along the way.
  • RM 3: Authentic Assessment of Program Learning Outcomes, or the “Quality Control.” This Recognition Mechanism outlined the clear destinations and objectives for student learning outcomes, ensuring that the education provided was not only rigorous but also aligned with global benchmarks. 

Following Dr. Yarosh’s knowledge-sharing session, the Meeting welcomed a panel of key figures in Cambodian higher education who honoured us with their insights on the challenges of implementing authentic assessment in the context of student mobility, degree recognition, and internationalisation in the vibrant policy dialogue sessions. The speakers who illuminated our session with their insights included:

  • H.E Mak Ngoy, Director General of the Department of Higher Education 
  • Dr. Rath Chhang, Acting Director General of the Accreditation Committee of Cambodia
  • Mr. Chan Sopheap, Director of Asian Institute of Cambodia
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Serey Mardy, Head of International Relations Office at Svay Rieng University
  • Dr. Hap Phalthy, Director of Graduate Program at Royal University of Law and Economics
  • Asst. Prof. Vong Chorvy, Head of IQA at Royal University of Phnom Penh


H.E. Mak Ngoy, as the keynote speaker who set the tone for this vibrant session, shed light on the Cambodian Higher Education Roadmap 2030 and Beyond, a big step forward for the country’s education. This roadmap aims to bolster academic mobility for students and faculties, and facilitate academic cooperation both within Cambodia and with other countries.

One of the key ideas of this roadmap is to create educational programmes that are recognisable and compatible among neighbouring countries, allowing Cambodia to become a potential partner for international research and an international academic hub.

Following the informative knowledge-sharing and policy dialogue sessions of Day 1; academic staff, industry experts, and student representatives delved into the practical aspect of the CALOHEA’s Recognition Mechanisms in the hands-on workshop session of Day 2, where they explored the utilisation of the Recognition Mechanisms in real-life setting.

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The AUN Secretariat would like to extend its appreciation to Svay Rieng University, the host, for the success of the 11th CALOHEA Meeting. This two-day event served as a bedrock for a future in Cambodia where education is not just a means of learning, but a catalyst for transformation and growth, hopefully with the CALOHEA Project working together with Cambodian HEIs to make it possible.

If you are interested in the CALOHEA Project and the CALOHEA Recognition Mechanisms, the 13th CALOHEA National Meeting is coming to Souphanouvong University's Donemai Campus,  Luangprabang, Lao PDR on 31 October-1 November 2023.

Please visit this website to learn more about this CALOHEA Capacity Building program: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vGmOaYy1CyJubvlVhQIA8NGLfT2b5U_c/view

To register for the CALOHEA National Meeting at Souphanouvong University, please visit: https://forms.gle/V72Meta9BuN7YiCY6

Read more about the previous CALOHEA National Meeting and the CALOHEA Capacity Building at: