Koemhong Sol - MA Leadership and Management (Education)

Tell us about the process applying for the Chevening scholarship? Was it a difficult process?
The process of applying for the Chevening scholarship was like a milestone; it took me almost one year. It was not too easy and too difficult either. The process of applying for the Chevening scholarship has always been very well-structured and made clear to all applicants. However, there might be some stress, pressure, and anxiety which we need to overcome throughout the process. It was always a combination of excitement, panic, nervousness, and disappointment from one process to another, but that was just a test. Stay positive and keep patient, and bear in mind that those who were selected will have gone through those challenges.

Why did you choose to study at USW?
My choice to study at USW was not an accident. The course content was one of my top priorities. I remember that I was searching for different courses at a range of universities across the UK, but my final choice was USW where I could find several modules that best fit with my future career plans. Moreover, I went through the profiles of each lecturer on the course, and I learned that they are very well-experienced and knowledgeable in their respective field of specialty.

What has been the highlight of your time at USW so far?
I would describe my experience so far at USW as exciting and life-changing. Quality teaching, highly professional support from my lecturers and USW staff, and access to the latest technology and facilities have always made me proud of my choice.

What do you think of life in Wales generally?
To be honest, Wales is quite cold and wet for me, but has many things to offer, for example stunning castles, beautiful parks, a good range of shops and restaurants, etc.

What do you think of the course/lecturers/facilities?
The course is well organised and designed with a good variety of reading resources and handouts. Multiple lecturers offer lectures on different topics in a module; in addition to this, external practitioners are usually invited to deliver lessons on particular topics, along with visits to several schools which make learning and teaching more practical, fun, productive and effective. Equally importantly, great access to the university’s library catalogues and ongoing support from my lecturers really make my study at the university more convenient.

Where do you live? Do you like living there?
I live in a city centre of Newport. Newport is just 15 minutes by train to Cardiff which is the capital city of Wales. To me, Newport is a peaceful, breathtaking and relaxing city surrounded by nature. Newport has a good connection with other cities in the UK which makes travelling easy either by train or bus. More importantly, I can make Cambodian food because I can find most of what I need here. Living in Newport is a joy!

What do you plan to do when you graduate?
When I graduate, I will return to work for an education NGO in Cambodia and contribute to the development of the Education Program of that NGO. Because I’m interested in curriculum development, student assessment, school administration and teacher professional development, I will work to make improvements in these areas.

Moreover, I will try to network with as many NGOs as possible so that I can get involved in many educational projects across the country. Many NGOs in Cambodia are now implementing various educational projects across the country, but a major challenge is the limited number of skilled and qualified human resources. To fulfill this gap, there will be door opened for me to get myself involved in a wide range of educational projects related to the areas of my educational interest through volunteering work, staff exchange program, joint professional development for teachers and educators, regular experience sharing, and mutual observation for good practice and feedback giving.

Finally, I will look for an opportunity to become a part of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia so that I can make bigger changes to the country’s education system. This will provide me with platforms to participate in meeting, discussion and planning, and to talk about the educational issues in the country, suggest solutions and provide recommendations to authorized government officials.

Would you recommend USW to other Chevening scholars?
Without hesitation, I would strongly recommend USW to other Chevening scholars from all eligible countries in the world. If you want your one-year study in the UK to be a life-changing, exciting and memorable experience, then USW would be one of the best choices you could make in your life.

You can contact Koemhong at [email protected]