UP VOICE VOL.42 – June 2020

The Official Newsletter of the University of Puthisastra (UP)-Vol.42 June 2020 Download

Providing health education on appropriate hand hygiene, and mask wearing to orphans in Takeo

For Children’s International Day, Dr. Chea Sin, together with UP colleagues joined Soma Group representatives to visit Takeo Orphanage in Krong Daun Keo. One of the objectives of this activity was to encourage the children to study hard for their future. During the visit, Soma Group donated a lot of materials to the children such as rice, water, soft drinks, noodles, hand sanitizers, healthcare products, study materials, toys, clothes and more.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Chea Sin also provided education on appropriate hand washing and mask wearing. Finally, H.E. Sok Puthyvuth Secretary of State for the Ministry of Post & Telecommunication and Chief of UYFC-Takeo Province, gave advice to the children about the importance of unity and about their role and vision for the future of the nation. Everyone involved felt that it was a great activity which allowed both UP and the Soma Group to make a real and
substantial contribution to Takeo Orphanage.

Emergency Medicine online lectures for UP Internship students delivered by Dr. Adrian Kerner

Dr. Adrian Kerner, Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor at UP, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Waitemata Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand and Australasian College of Emergency Medicine Global Emergency Care Network Country Liaison Representative for Cambodia, is delivering online lectures to medical students in Years 7 and 8. His interactive lectures examine current guidelines and best practice in Emergency Medicine and are greatly helping to improve students’ skills. The online training started on 13th May 2020, and takes place every Wednesday.

WHAT’S UP ON CAMPUS -01 JUNE, Children’s Day                                                 -18 June 2020, Queen Mother’s Birthday

Dr Chea Sin has started the South East Asia
International Dean’s Course for 2020/2021
with other Southeast Asia Deans via Zoom

Dr Chea Sin won a DAAD scholarship to join the International Dean’s Course, Southeast Asia 2020/2021. This course was jointly organised by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences and the Centre for Higher Education (CHE).

This intensive training course is part of the DIES programme (Dialogue on Innovative Higher Education Strategies) which is coordinated by DAAD and HRK and which aims to strengthen higher education management structures in developing countries. It was originally aimed to be held in three countries: Indonesia, Vietnam, and Germany, but due to COVID-19, it is now being held online via Zoom for the first and second parts, while the third part will be be held in Germany in 2021.

From June 13th to June 25th,Dr. Sin will join the first part of the course with 31 Deans from ten countries across Southeast Asia. This course will provide him with opportunities to further develop his knowledge and skills in higher education management and leadership.


UP warmly welcomes Dr Jatin Chambhir BDS MSc (Orthodontics) as a part-time specialist in orthodontics at the UP Dental Clinic. Dr Jatin’s Masters obtained his Masters degree from the Philippines.

He joins our other two orthodontists (Assistant Professor Anand Marya and Assistant Professor Adith Venugopal) who provide our orthodontic service three evenings per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) from 5pm to 8pm.

The UP prices for orthodontic treatment (which usually takes about 2 years) are very competitive with outside clinics and we also welcome new patients for a FREE consultation.

If you want to have a dazzling smile, please contact our clinic receptionist on 098 414 563 or 012 414 563 for an appointment.

Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery


Mara spent her younger years growing up in Phnom Penh and then moved to Sihanoukville for over 10 years. It was while she was living in Sihanoukville that she was awarded a scholarship that enabled her to achieve her dream of becoming a Midwife. Upon graduation, she returned to Phnom Penh and not surprisingly, Mara now feels she has two home provinces! With the focus and determination it takes to continue on a successful professional pathway, Mara applied for a position at UP in the Midwifery Department and she has worked here since 2014. Mara has always been a hard-working, thoughtful team member and a positive role model for both her UP colleagues and the many students she works with. She is always happy to take on a new challenge and so over her time at UP she has covered many different roles within the Midwifery Department. The culmination of this hard work was in 2019 when she was promoted to her current position as Deputy Head of Midwifery.

Mara commenced teaching when she was still an undergraduate student at Life University, in a role as a Teacher’s Assistant. This experience was formative for Mara and his enabled her to follow her midwifery career within the education sector. She is now a skilled and experienced teacher and someone who is unafraid to take on new teaching challenges, especially in this time of emergency closure and restrictions due to coronavirus. She also contributes to midwifery education on a national level, as a member of the Technical Working Group for Midwifery Curriculum Review.

Mara is actively involved in research, and is a UP research champion, representing midwifery in a range of research projects, both internally and externally. Last year she attended a Policy Boot camp with Future Forum, where emerging researchers were challenged to present ideas in the form of proposals to be reviewed and represented for publication as a policy brief. Mara also received an Outstanding Research Presentation award as part of a UP team at The First Biennial Conference of Comparative Education for Shared Community and Prosperity (CESCam 2019)

Outside of work, Mara is a bit of an adventurer. Travelling is her passion and she loves to plan trips that have some sort of adventure included. She often has to persuade her friends and family to join her in these adventures so she has company, but invariably, they are really happy they joined her after lots of great experiences.


UP has been given permission by the Ministry of Health to open its dental clinic to final year dental students again. The clinic will open to students on Wednesday 17th June. Groups of students will attend the clinic every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to treat patients.

Students are greatly looking forward to returning, so that they can complete their clinical requirements and competencies. On Tuesdays they will continue their on-line learning at home. Before starting back in the clinic, all students, staff and tutors will undergo training on new Covid-19 cross infection control guidelines, so that everyone can stay safe.

The new guidelines, based on international recommendations, cover areas such as:

  • Patient screening on arrival;
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – such as use of masks, gowns, eye protection etc.;
  • Disinfection and sterilization procedures;
  • Aerosol reduction and protection.

We have invited our NGO partners to return to the clinic, and we will also welcome back our private patients, who can receive high quality care from our dentists, alongside our senior dental students. We also have two special offers, for free check-ups and X-rays. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Roles of clinical pharmacists by
Clinical Pharmacy Club

With the purpose of providing pharmacy students the opportunity to gain clinical knowledge and skills from different cases in hospitals, pharmacies and laboratories, the Clinical Pharmacy Club (CPC) has introduced new training on the main roles of clinical pharmacists in ensuring patient safety, efficacy, and economy during in a week-long session. With 38 members being coordinated by Mr. Tan Chantrea, the CPC aims to illustrate the process of care for clinical pharmacists (identifying problems, assessment, education and counseling, and monitoring).

Clinical pharmacists’ roles are important in all health care settings as they must:
– Assess the status of patients’ health problems and determine whether the prescribed medications are optimised to meet patient needs.
– Evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of patient medications.

Resolve untreated health problems with appropriate medication and therapy.
– Follow patients’ progress to determine the effects of medications wider health.
– Consult with patients’ physicians and other health care providers in selecting the medication therapy that best meets the patient’s needs while contributing effectively to overall therapy goals.
– Advise patients on how to best take medications.
– Support the health care team’s efforts to educate patients on other important steps to improve or maintain health, such as exercise, diet, and preventive steps like immunization.
– Refer patients to their physicians or other health professionals to address specific health, wellness, or social services related concerns as they arise.

The role of clinical pharmacist is very challenging, particularly in developing countries due to the shortage of qualified pharmacists, lack of guidelines in prescribing and dispensing medicines and the wider regulatory challenges within health systems.

Student Support Unit donates 37 muscial
instruments to Cambodian Children’s Fund Orphanage

Kong Sambathireach from UP’s Student Support Unit recently delivered 37 Melodica musical instruments to the Cambodian Children’s Fund at Neeson Cripps Academy in Stueng Mean Chey, Phnom Penh. As you can see from the photographs, melodicas have similarities to the pump organ and harmonica, with a musical keyboard on top. It is played by blowing air through a mouthpiece that fits into a hole in the side of the instrument. Pressing a key opens a hole, letting air flow through a reed.

UP’s Melodicas had rested, unused, in a cupboard for many years, and as Reach noted, “It was so inspiring to see them being used and appreciated by young people who may otherwise not have had the opportunity to enjoy playing an instrument.” Reach researched many charitable organisations in Phnom Penh before making a recommendation that the Melodicas be donated to the CCF. As he noted from its website, CCF “’transforms the country’s most impoverished kids into tomorrow’s leaders, by delivering education, family support and community development programs into the heart of Cambodia’s most impoverished communities.” Reach noted that this mission complemented UP’s vision of Honour Self, Respect Others and, perhaps most importantly, Serve Society.

Reach has spent some time with the Cambodian Children’s Fund organisation, and has learnt a lot through his interaction with the children, their personal life experiences and their bright hopes for the future. He has learnt that CCF works not just with children, but with families to build plans for escaping debt, educating children and the developing job skills for parents and older children. Working at a grassroots level, CCF sees the effects of poverty firsthand and develops targeted solutions. It is very inspiring to see the work CCF does.

Ms. Hem Len, CCF’s Volunteer, Partnerships and Donor Relations Coordinator wrote a letter of thanks to UP, and we hope that, together, we can find other ways to continue to serve the community together.

Faculty of Pharmacy
Strengthens its Online Assessment

Lecturers or instructors use different methods to assess to what extent students have achieved learning outcomes. There are a variety of assessments and lecturers manage these options differently. Although physical classes are temporarily postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the educational activity still continues via online learning. Simultaneously, methods of assessment are being conducted online. The Faculty of Pharmacy has started to strengthen assessment in several ways. At the beginning of the semester, lecturers are now required to submit their assessment plans based on criteria stated in UP’s Assessment Policy.

The technical working group of the faculty will review and give feedback on the assessment plan. After the assessment plan is approved, the academic staff and course coordinators will follow up the assessment activity with lecturers throughout the semester. With the assistance from other supporting departments, the faculty will conduct online assessments using UPOP.

At the same time, a number of lecturers have been teaching via Google Classroom and using Google Forms as an assessment tool. During virtual classes, students are also provided with case studies so that they can work individually and in groups. Their presentations and reports are used as assessment reports for grading. The faculty has also recommended that pharmacy lecturers attend training on how to develop MCQs. These activities as a whole, should go a long way to ensuring that the quality of assessments continues to improve within the Faculty of Pharmacy.

Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Life University, Sihanoukville in 2011. Much of my clinical experience after graduation was gained in private hospital and clinic settings.

After a few years, I decided to pursue a Masters in Nursing Science and achieved this in 2014, from Chung Ang University, one of the leading universities located in Seoul, South Korea.

While in Korea, I attended a Medical Educators program with education leaders from five countries including Cambodia. This was an amazing experience and it’s where I received a lot of encouragement and motivation to become a nurse educator. After returning to Cambodia, I obtained a position as a Project Assistant with Australian Volunteer International (AVI) working in a hospital staff continuing education program.

2015 was an exciting year for me, as I gained a full time lecturer position at UP. I have progressed happily in this adventure, working as part of the nursing team, continually developing more knowledge and skills. One of the more important things in my role is the nurturing and support that is required for students to overcome academic and personal difficulties, enjoy the fun times at university and celebrate their successes.

Being required to be flexible and have problem solving skills is something that I enjoy immensely in my role. I strongly believe there’s always a solution out there! Be passionate in whatever you do and strive to be a champion in an area you love. Being passionate about being a Nurse is to care for your patients in the same way that you would want you and your family to be cared for. And being passionate about being a Nurse Educator is about passing it all onto the next generation of nurses coming through!

Thank you to the Cambodian Nurses Associations who support Cambodian nurses by raising the profile and professional educational activities of nursing. Nurses are the heart of health care systems!


The University of Puthisastra takes pride in delivering excellent learning experiences for our students. UP’s students and staff are active and engaged members of our vibrant learning community. As part of our commitment to our values of Honor Self, Respect Others and Serve Society, UP has enthusiastically responded to the challenges and opportunities presented, most recently, by the temporary closure of our campus as part of Cambodia’s CoVid-19 pandemic response

We accelerated and expanded the use of our University of Puthisastra Online Platform (UPOP). We also rapidly trained many of our staff and students to use Google Meet and Gmail, as well as UPOP, in order to support and continue students’ learning even though they cannot come to the campus.

One of our important responses to the challenges and opportunities of a rapid transition to online learning was our recent Survey of Students. We want to understand their experience of online learning, so that we can make informed decisions that support further development of our blended and flipped learning practices. Now UP’s Research Department, in partnership with the Department of Quality, Learning and Teaching, and Students (QLTS) has created an additional Survey: Staff Perceptions Of Online Learning At UP.

Our aim is to investigate the perceptions of our staff and lecturers in respect of online teaching. For many of our academic colleagues, the temporary closure of the campus in March precipitated their first experience in delivering teaching online. Our observations to date are that online learning has been very well accepted by most lecturers, but there is no doubt that it has been a steep learning curve with a few challenges along the way. With the teaching of many classes likely to continue online, our lecturers continue to actively respond to ensure that students’ learning is disrupted as little as possible.

UP has been fortunate to have our QLTS team provide leadership and training in online best practice learning and teaching. Led by Boy Vibol and Chin Chanthy, supported by their colleagues in the Learning Centre and Learning and Teaching, QLTS was pivotal in getting things off to a good start, and their whole-hearted support has continued. QLTS researches contemporary online Learning and Teaching practices, particularly those arising from rapid deployment of online teaching in response to COVID-19, and shares its knowledge and enthusiasm at both formal and informal drop-in sessions.

Lecturers needing to understand more about using UPOP, Google Meet and Gmail to teach, and how best to adapt to online assessment practice, can find the advice and support they need to ensure delivery of great learning experiences for our students.

The Perceptions Of Online Learning At UP – Staff Survey offers staff and lecturers the opportunity to identify successes, and tell us what improvements and additional training is required. As part of our determination to continue delivery of best practice learning and teaching, we intend to continue online teaching as part of our programs wherever appropriate. UP has been a strong leader in online learning among Cambodian universities, and is very much in-line with world-wide trends in this regard. Flipped and blended learning provide additional opportunities for our teaching staff, as well as for our students, so getting feedback from both teachers and learners at this time is really important.

We hope that all our lecturers will complete the online survey! It will be sent out early this week. We look forward to receiving lecturers’ candid and considered feedback so that we can continue to improve learning and teaching at UP for the benefit of our students and for the wider community.

Pathways to Success by
two special speakers in PharmaCareer Club

A pharmacist is a scientifically trained graduate healthcare professional who is an expert in all aspects of the supply and use of medicines. Pharmacists assure access to safe, cost-effective and quality medicines and their rational use by individual patients and healthcare systems. In Cambodia, the national pharmacy curriculum requires students to complete at least 199 credits equal to 3,960 hours to become a pharmacist.

This 5-year program was basically designed to focus on seven tracks: industrial pharmacy, community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, biological sciences, basic pharmaceutical sciences, environment and foreign languages. Education is incomplete without extracurricular activities, study clubs in particular. During the last 2 weeks, the PharmaCareer club has invited two honorable speakers to share their experiences in the academic field. Dr. Chea Sin, Dean of UP Faculty of Pharmacy who completed his Doctor of Specialized Pharmacy in Hospital Pharmacy from France had presented the Pharmacy Skill Package required in the 21st century to the club members.

The second speaker was Dr. Keo Samell, Director of the Center for Education and Training (ACET) who completed his Ph.D in pharmacy from Korea shared his more than 10 years of experience in local, regional and international research. Each speaker specifically stressed key messages from their personal experiences in academia. These two presentations were an opportunity for students to see the world of pharmacy from the perspective of experienced and successful professionals

CS CUP 2020 Coding Competition: Round 2

Over 63 students have competed in Round 2 of the CS Cup 2020 Coding Competition. Three UP students are still in the race.

Round 2 topics: Topics for Round 2 included: Game Theory, Number Theory, Combinatorics, Dynamic Programming, Greedy Algorithms, Graph Theory and Bitmask.

Round 3 started on the 12th June with these topics: Combinatorics, Dynamic Programming, Graph Theory, Bit manipulations and Matrix.

Round 3 results are expected soon. The last round (Round 4) will be on 20th June.

Cambodia CS Cup is an annual competitive programming competition organized by several Cambodian universities (Paragon International University, University of Puthisastra and Royal University of Phnom Penh) and partners (KhmerCoders Community, Slash, Mango Byte) include high school and university students who compete against each other as individuals rather than in teams.

This 2020 edition is hosted on the Hackerrank platform (https://www.hackerrank.com).


Dr Horn Sereybot has been at UP since November 2016. He is currently co-manager of the UP Dental Clinic, with Dr Bich Sothea. Dr Sereybot agreed to do an interview this week about the dental clinic. Here are the highlights from the interview:

1. Why did you decide to come and work at UP?

Because of my passion to work at an educational organization and improve dental education in Cambodia. UP is the place where I can contribute with that passion and help to achieve my career goals.

2. What have been the highlights over the past few years?

We have seen a big increase in the number of patients coming to the clinic to be treated by our students and dentists. We have also been able to offer FREE basic dental treatment to orphanages/NGOs and disadvantaged groups, so we are giving back to the community. We have been getting good feedback from the patients and our NGO partners about our services, which is very pleasing. Our first and second batches of students are really very competent to work and run their own clinics after graduation, thanks to our fantastic team of specialist and general dentists – who include some of the top dentists in Cambodia.

3. What have been some of the challenges?

Recruiting enough patients for 100 students is not easy, and takes a lot of effort. And we have to work hard to help students to finish their clinical requirements, competencies and case presentations. But we have a good team and we meet regularly to solve problems. We demand high standards of patient care, so that students graduate as competent and ethical dentists. We believe we are achieving this. Just recently there have been concerns about Covid-19 – however we have addressed this issue and are one of the few clinics in the country with new evidence-based protocols to prevent cross-infection in the clinic.

4. What are your perceptions of the quality of the clinical tutors who work in our clinic, both supervising students and providing dental treatment for private patients?

Our clinical tutors are performing well in supervising our students. Treatment plans have to be discussed before treatment starts. All steps during treatment have to be closely checked, and students have to work hard in order to complete their cases. Our dentists treat private patients with a high level of ethics and quality of care, and offer patients options, so they can choose.

5. Do you think the UP Dental clinic is well equipped compared with other clinics in Cambodia?

UP Dental Clinic has a lot of modern equipment that can help us provide an international standard of treatment. We are the only university dental clinic to have a dental microscope and laser. All our students are trained in new technologies such as apex locators, rotary endodontics and panoramic and cephalometric radiography.

6. How does the clinical training of UP dental students compare with other schools?

Each session we have 3 clinical tutors including specialists in periodontics, oral surgery, endodontics, prosthodontics, restorative dentistry, and pediatric dentistry. It means that 1 tutor supervises only 5-6 students so they have enough time to check each step of treatment carefully. In cases of difficult surgery, 1 tutor will closely supervise only 1 student. We believe our clinical training is the best in Cambodia.

7. How has Covid-19 affected the dental clinic?

Covid-19 is affecting almost everyone around the world, and of course dentistry also has its risks. For almost 2 months in March and April we saw only emergency patients and took special precautions to prevent any transmission. Now we have implemented a new protocol for all staff and students to follow which will make sure patients, as well as staff and students, can work and be treated safely.

8. What plans does the clinic have for the future?

Our future plans are to keep recruiting more patients for both students and our dentists, to continue to employ the best dentists in Cambodia, to keep improving our quality of care, to have more postgraduate programs, and one day to have an additional new dental clinic.

First implant placed in the UP Diploma of Dental Implantology course

The 18 dentists involved in the Diploma of Implantology course led by lecturers from Australia and Cambodia are required to provide implants for at least 6 patients over the two years of the program. The first patient to receive implants was treated last week by UP graduate Dr Sao Soksan, supervised by imminent implantologist Dr Chav Bunhean DDS, MSc (implantology).

The case involved placement of two immediate implants with immediate loading in the anterior region of the upper jaw. The treatment went according to plan. This opens the way for other student dentists to begin their clinical cases in the UP Dental Clinic.

UP is providing the facilities and instruments required for candidates to complete their cases, however we are still looking for patients who require implants to come forward. These patients will be given first class treatment, using high quality implants, at a much reduced price. For enquiries please call Dr Horn Sereybot, Clinic Manager, on 077 268278.