UP VOICE VOL.47 – September 2020

The Official Newsletter of the University of Puthisastra (UP)-Vol.47 September 2020 Download


We are very excited to announce that UP labs will open on 7th September.

We will be 100% ready for the reopening including best practice on stopping the spread of COVID-19 to keep students and staff safe. The UP Leadership Team has been working hard on this ever since the campus closure in March.

The reopening process has been a collaborative one that has involved the Deans, Heads of Departments and the whole UP management team, consulting with professionals at Ministry level, including the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS). Our plans are comprehensive indicating UP’s expertise when it comes to ensuring the safety of everyone.

Deans will be sending out schedules to staff and students very shortly. We are looking forward to welcoming our students back!


Last Friday, UP’s parent company, SOMA Group, organized their first charity event at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal, which raised funds to improve clean water access in rural areas, especially for the most vulnerable families who cannot afford the water connection fees. For just $75, one rural family can be provided with a clean, long-term water supply.

UP was represented by Dr. Chea Sin (Dean of Pharmacy), Mr. Sos Kamaroudin (Dean of ICT) and Professor Callum Durward (Dean of Dentistry). The event attracted a large number of prominent people who generously opened their pockets. Highlights of the event were a welcome speech by the CEO of SOMA, Ms. Krasna Cham, an informative PowerPoint presentation about the issue of clean water internationally and here in Cambodia, two wonderful dance performances from the HE Royal Highness Princess Norodom Buppha Devi Foundation, and a jazz performance by a young Dutch singer accompanied on the piano by a talented local artist.

The event was enjoyed by all and succeeded in raising thousands of dollars for a very good cause. UP was very happy to join with the SOMA Group Family in this event, and hopes that this charity project will make a positive impact on our local communities!

WHAT’S UP ON CAMPUS -16-17-18 September 2020, pchum ben days                              -24 september 2020, constitutional day


The event was enjoyed by all and succeeded in raising thousands of dollars for a very good cause. UP was very happy to join with the SOMA Group Family in this event, and hopes that this charity project will make a positive impact on our local communities! All medical students need to pass an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) exam at the end of their Internship in MD Year 8. The OSCE examination tests clinical skills and students’ knowledge. In the presence of the examiners, students take histories and do physical examinations, propose investigations/tests, interpret results, make a diagnosis, propose an appropriate treatment and management plan and finally educate the patient about the disease and its prevention. The Faculty of Medicine has prepared educational videos on OSCE exams in Pediatrics, Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Surgery to provide MD students with a clear picture of the setting and processes involved in the exams.

The video is an initiative of the Faculty of Medicine who would like to thank the volunteer medical students and alumni currently working in hospitals for assisting in this initiative.


This week was the Future Forum’s Annual Networking Event, hosted by the Australian Ambassador HE Mr Pablo Kang at his official residence. The event, co-hosted by University of Puthisastra, the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace and Paragon International University, was attended by the Ambassador of Sweden, representatives from the Asia Foundation and USAID, and a range of other local and international organizations. The event was designed to celebrate the graduation of a group of emerging researchers from Future Forum, all of whom spoke during the meeting about their research, their work and what they had learned from Future Forum.

UP was represented by previous Future Forum Policy Lab graduate and UP Emerging Researcher Ms. Eng Muyngim (lecturer in the Faculty of Pharmacy), along with Professor Callum Durward (Dean of Dentistry) and Dr. Chea Sin (Dean of Pharmacy). Speeches included those from Dr Sin (UP), H.E. Mr. Pablo Kang, Mr. Ou Virak (Chair of Future Forum), H.E. Pou Sothirak (former Cambodian Ambassador to Japan), and the representative of Paragon University.

UP is working closely with Future Forum to help develop young researchers, particularly in the area of national policy (including health), which will contribute to Cambodia’s future development. Future Forum is currently looking for capable and motivated young people to join its next cohort of young researchers who will develop the skills to lead the country into the future. If you are interested please contact UP Director of Research, Dr. Tineke Water, for more information.


UP is heavily involved in developing Covid-19 guidelines for Dental Clinics in Cambodia. Represented on the MOH committee were Professor Callum Durward and Assistant Professor Soeun Sopharith, along with representatives from the Ministry Of Health (MOH), the Dental Council, the Cambodian Dental Association, the University of Health Sciences and two hospitals. UP was able to contribute significantly to the drafting of the final document.

The new manual was signed off last week by the Minister of Health, HE Mam Bunheng, and printed copies will be sent to all dental providers. UP’s own guidelines are of a high standard so were already very much in line with the new national guidelines, so few changes are needed in order for UP to conform. Dr. Bich Sothea and Dr. Horn Sereybot are responsible for implementing the guidelines in the Dental Clinic and this week will undertake training of dental students and staff to ensure everyone understands what is required.

UP Dental Clinic is one of the safest places to receive dental treatment in Cambodia.


COVID-19 has rapidly altered the daily routine of Cambodian citizens. One of the major changes for children, teenagers and young adults has been the educational transition from physical class learning to remote learning or online learning. The new learning context of Academic Year 2019-2020 was very challenging, particularly for students with limited internet connectivity. UP uses Google Meet and UPOP – its very own online platform – as part of synchronous and asynchronous learning and assessing, which represented a new challenge for some of our lecturers who had not been previously trained in online teaching or who had previously used other online systems such as Google Classroom, Google Forms, Zoom etc. Nonetheless, the result of online learning and teaching has been very good, based on the feedback and surveys undertaken by both lecturers and students alike.

UP has strengthened assessment in many ways with multiple methods of assessment being conducted online and have included both formative and summative assessments to successfully measure levels of cognition and understanding. At the beginning of each semester, lecturers submit their assessment plans based on the criteria stated in UP’s Assessment Policy. Each Faculty reviews and gives 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 each semester. With assistance from other supporting departments and offices, each Faculty completes online assessments using UPOP.

We are very proud that during this challenging period while many schools in Cambodia are closed UP has been able to keep delivering an excellent academic service to our students. Here at UP, our journey is one that focuses on quality, and our students being in the best position to receive a great education when compared to our neighboring countries in ASEAN. This is an achievement that we share in, alongside our hard-working colleagues across UP. We believe that the quality of our online deliver will continuing to improve as we enter our next Academic Year, in 2020-2021. And of course, we are ready to reopen our physical classes as soon as we are allowed.


The International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) was founded in 1949 by eight pharmacy student associations in London, United Kingdom. The Federation now represents approximately 500,000 pharmacy students and recent graduates in 92 countries worldwide. IPSF is the leading international advocacy organization for pharmacy and pharmaceutical science students. They promote improved public health through the provision of information, education, and networking opportunities as well as a range of publications and professional activities. IPSF facilitates several projects within our three focus areas, which are pharmacy education, professional development, and public health. Through these projects, they aim to contribute to the development of members’ skills and abilities and assist in reaching individuals within communities.

UP Pharmacy students worked very hard to create Cambodian Pharmacy Student Alliance (CamPSA) a representative organization for all pharmacy students in Cambodia. CamPSA started its process to be an IPSF member in November 2019. Finally, CamSPA was accepted to become a member of IPSF on 15th August 2020. Special thanks to the efforts of Ms. Srey Pich, Ms. Uth Khemary, Ms. Sun Nuka, and the team with support from the Faculty of Pharmacy. UP is proud that our pharmacy students are developing their leadership and pushing themselves to become visible on the world stage.

They are not only representing UP but all pharmacy students in Cambodia. CamSPA will welcome members from other Faculties of Pharmacy in Cambodia in the future, so we can work together to develop their leadership and management skills, as well as contributing to worldwide public health.

CELEBRATING UP STAFF Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery

Mr. Leab Phana: Program Assistant in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Bridging Programme

I graduated with an Associates Degree of Nursing at Kampong Cham Regional Training Center in 2011. Since then I gained most of my postgraduate clinical experience within the specialised area of Pediatrics at the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap. As well as my clinical experience, I have also been responsible for carrying out teaching for continuing professional development of nursing colleagues, as well as teaching and coaching students in practicum. Research activity has also been part of my work responsibilities over 8 years at the Angkor Hospital for Children. In 2015, I wanted to extend my teaching expertise and gain more experience so I commenced lecturing in Nursing at the University in Siem Reap.

I started my new position here at the University of Puthisastra only 3 weeks ago, on 10th August 2020. I have wanted to work in the Faculty of Nursing at UP for a while now and I’m really happy to now have this opportunity, as UP is a high quality health sciences university in Cambodia. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge with my new colleagues, learning the new position’s responsibilities and also contributing to helping the Nursing students in their goals to become professional nurses.

Ms. Sinn Srey Rany: Senior Midwifery Officer

My name is Sin Srey Rany and I was born in Kampot Province. In 11th grade my family moved to Phnom Penh and so I graduated high school from Sorn Thormok High School in Phnom Penh. Following high school I went to Norton University and graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor in English.

In 2013 I started work at the University of Puthisastra, in the Midwifery Department. In the seven years I have been working at UP, I have continually updated my knowledge and skills so I could continue to contribute to the support and learning of the midwifery students. In 2014 I decided to pursue a Masters in Hospital Administration at the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH). This gave me great insight into health services management and I have been able to apply this knowledge with students’ practicum, particularly in community services, health centres and research.

In 2016 I received a Certificate of Appreciation at the 8th International Conference On Public Health Among The Greater Mekong Subregion Countries. My current activities include teaching and supporting midwifery students enabling them to succeed in their studies and I continue to really enjoy my work and the opportunities in the Midwifery Department at UP.


Mr. Toch Seyha, Assistant Director for the Centre for Health Counselling is one of leading national counsellors and psychologists from UP. He recently delivered a series of webinars on ‘Stress Management’, ‘Work-Life Balance’, ‘Challenges of E-Learning and Mental Health’.

Why should students pay the utmost attention to mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic? During school closure, many students around the world have been experiencing different forms of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors. This is understandable, but these symptoms have serious negative impacts on individuals’ quality of life, wellbeing, happiness, work, and learning performance if not diagnosed, treated and managed properly.

This webinar played a very significant role in enriching the public message regarding the importance of offering professional Health Counselling services and the relationship between Health Counselling and Medical Sciences.

UP is the only University in Cambodia to have a professional counselling service for its students and staff. The University of Puthisastra also provides a FREE online counselling service for its staff and students to ensure that everyone in the UP family is well taken care of, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, or for an appointment, please contact our Counsellor, Mr. Toch Seyha via email at tseyha1@puthisastra.edu.kh.


Take a positive step to stay healthy! Share your concerns with a professional counselling and lighten the burden a professional counselling will really listen to what you are saying.