For the rest of the world, the mention of Cambodia elicits images of the Angkor Wat temples, Asian elephants, and the colorful markets of Siem Reap. Yet, the humble country makes a promising study destination as well. Cambodia may not be widely recognized in academics, but it is one of the best countries to learn about nature, culture, traditions, and humanity. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Cambodia for international students.

Is Cambodia good for international students to study in?

Cambodia offers a range of programs in the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral levels. Their universities are best known for courses in Economics, Management, Accounting, Education, and Tourism. Since it is a largely agricultural nation, studies in this area are popular as well. Cambodian universities also have a strong focus on English studies, making it an excellent destination for those learning the language.

Cambodia admits international students from western countries and several from ASEAN member countries. Study and living costs in the country are also among the most affordable in the world, so students can enjoy quality education on a small budget.

Besides affordable academic programs, however, what really makes Cambodia attractive to international students is the chance to explore a unique culture. Students with diverse interests will always find something to do in the country, from visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites to learning about traditional medicine. Furthermore, you’ll find locals more than willing to teach you their customs, beliefs, and the Khmer language.

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Can international students work in Cambodia while studying?

While there are no specific guidelines for international students engaging in part-time work, there is a general rule in Cambodia for foreign national workers. They must hold a work permit and an employment card which can be issued by the country’s Ministry of Labour before becoming eligible to work. Hence, foreign university students are expected to abide by these regulations as well.

Can international students stay in Cambodia after graduation?

International students who resided in Cambodia may want to start a career in the country. Fortunately, they have satisfied some of the conditions for this move, starting with a valid residence permit. All that’s left to do is obtain a job offer from a Cambodian company that is compliant with the country’s foreign national guidelines.

Best Universities in Cambodia

1. Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP)

Established in 1960, the Royal University of Phnom Penh is the best university in Cambodia for international students. It pioneered many specialist degrees in the country, especially in the fields of electronics, information technology, tourism, social work, and psychology. RUPP also spearheaded degree-level language programs that have led them to be a reputable international university in the ASEAN and the world. Hence, the university receives various contributions from international academic institutions that strengthen their quality of education.

Today, RUPP is one of the largest higher learning institutions in Cambodia, welcoming over 20,000 students across a wide selection of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Its main campus in Phnom Penh boasts modern architecture, while its Campus II was inspired by ancient Khmer temples. Altogether, RUPP makes a conducive environment where students can focus on studying while appreciating culture.

2. Institute of Technology Cambodia (ITC)

The Institute of Technology Cambodia, locally known as Sala Techno or Techno School, is a higher learning institution in Cambodia specializing in science, technology, and engineering. This top university in Cambodia was founded in 1964 under the Soviet Union until it was developed and co-supported by the French government and the Royal Government of Cambodia. Thus, education and research activities at ITC are offered in English, French, and Khmer.

The ITC presently manages eight departments surrounding engineering, including a Foundation Year Department and a Graduate School. International students can also seek the services of the English and French language center, a Centre for Multimedia, and a center for Distance Education.

3. National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia

The National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia is a young and promising university established in 2005. It is a leading provider of technical-based and career-oriented education. The university’s active collaboration with the government, international, and industrial sectors undoubtedly helps students achieve fulfilling careers whether in Cambodia or anywhere in the world.

As one of the top universities in Cambodia, the National Polytechnic Institute of Cambodia presently prepares graduates in various technical disciplines, including Electricity, Computer Science, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, and Electronics and Communication. The institute offers these programs and more at the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as several Short Skills Training programs on hospitality and tourism.

4. Paññasastra University of Cambodia (PUC)

The Paññasastra University of Cambodia is a private higher learning institution in Cambodia that opened in 2000. It is the first university to offer all English-based education in all programs and adopt an international standard curriculum. Hence, its academic model assures greater flexibility for international students and globally recognized degrees for all enrolled. Furthermore, PUC is known to cooperate with universities in Australia, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and many others.

The PUC main campus is located in Phnom Penh, while branch campuses are in Battambang and Siem Reap. Altogether, the university receives a large enrollment range of over 20,000 students across various disciplines, including Architecture & Design, Social Sciences, Sciences & Engineering, Law, and Education.

5. University of Cambodia (UC)

Since it first opened in 2003, the University of Cambodia has been one of the most reputable higher learning institutions in the country. It boasts a supportive learning environment that nurtures a new generation of professionals that will contribute to society’s growth. Today, the university is organized into six colleges and four schools across the sciences, humanities, creative arts, foreign languages, technology, and business. These programs are based on the American credit-based system and are delivered in English as well.

This top university in Cambodia proudly hosts a culturally diverse academic community, from the students to the faculty and staff. With an impressive international outlook, the UC is affiliated with over 75 institutions around the globe, including the Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific (AUAP) and the World Economic Forum.


We hope that this article on the best universities in Cambodia for international students was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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