Phnom Penh, 4th October 2017: Smart Axiata and the National Institute of Posts, Telecoms and ICT (“NIPTICT”) have solidified an agreement to support Cambodia’s bright young minds in the ICT space. Presided over by H.E. Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Smart pledged to fully fund the education of 10 students aiming for a university degree in an ICT-related field at NIPTICT.

In a demonstration of support for the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Cambodia’s (“MPTC”) desire to develop the nation’s ICT sector and digital economy, Smart has committed 360,000 USD for 30 scholarships as part of this three-year MoU with NIPTICT.

At the signing ceremony, H.E. Minister congratulated both Smart and NIPTICT for this partnership: “I am pleased to witness this latest milestone between both parties. Smart has always been a strong development partner of MPTC through the numerous initiatives in the ICT sector. Through this new collaboration, we will further develop more talents and experts as envisioned in the Telecom and ICT Development Policy 2020.”

The 10 ICT scholarships up for grabs are part of the 20 total available spots under this year’s SmartEdu Scholarship Program, which is also endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. The special allotment for ICT has been created this year in line with MPTC’s vision of enhancing ICT skills in Cambodia.

“We are delighted that Smart has expanded their SmartEdu Scholarship Program and dedicated 10 ICT scholarships annually to financially challenged students who would like to study at NIPTICT. Through this program, scholars will also gain access to a host of initiatives and workshops that Smart is developing for our young Cambodians,” said Dr. Sam Sethserey, Vice President of NIPTICT.

In early 2016, Smart donated more than 350,000 USD to build a dormitory for NIPTICT to home at least 100 students, some from rural areas, allowing them access to ICT resources as part of developing globally competitive skills. Smart is also the key partner of NIPTICT’s Cambodia ICT Volunteers Program and the Cambodia ICT Awards.

“As Smart continues to be a leader in the mobile telecommunications industry and a strong advocate for community development, it is only natural that we encourage ICT development through education. That’s why we decided to expand SmartEdu this year! I hope this unlocks more opportunities for our young talented Cambodians as they continue to study hard and smart,” explained Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt.

SmartEdu was launched in 2016 specifically to assist underprivileged Cambodian students. Beyond sponsoring annual tuition fees, Smart also provides a monthly allowance for the entire duration of their degree program, which all together totals up to 15,000 USD per scholar. Applicants for the SmartEdu scholarships are subject to the criteria of being financially disadvantaged, having achieved at least a Grade B in the recent National Grade 12 Examination and agreement to pursue a tertiary degree at any public university including NIPTICT.

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