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Smart Axiata launches inaugural University Student Development Program

Phnom Penh, 2nd October 2018: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) and Smart Axiata signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding to develop future talents and digital corporate leaders over the next three years.

Smart aims to partner with both ministries in developing top-talented and well-rounded individuals who are eager to actively contribute towards the Kingdom’s growth in the new digital era. As part of the MoU, Smart commits to invest 1.5 million USD into two programs – the SmartEdu Scholarship Program and the SmartEdu University Student Development Program (“USDP”). A portion of the investment will be from Smart’s contribution towards the Royal Government’s Capacity Building and R&D (CBRD) Fund.

“As we enter the age of the 4th Industrial Revolution, digital mindset and awareness are critical to transform the Kingdom into a knowledge-based society. Smart has continued to be a strong development partner in introducing education and tech innovation initiatives, including the SmartEdu Scholarship Program and SmartStart Young Innovator Program. I am particularly intrigued by the USDP’s comprehensive learning framework that will not only provide knowledge but also encourage ‘learning by doing’,” explained H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport.

Thirty undergraduates have already been benefiting from the SmartEdu Scholarship Program which was launched in 2016 and which targets financially challenged Grade 12 graduates with good academic results. The program has been enhanced this year with the inclusion of Discovery Days, half-day development workshops for high school students and an Induction Camp for this year’s twenty selected scholars.

“In line with the Royal Government’s Rectangular Strategy IV, MPTC will further accelerate its efforts in finding new measures to develop Cambodian ICT talents. We are excited that the CBRD Fund has been utilized effectively by Smart with its partners to expand the SmartEdu brand to cover leadership development programs with a digital spin,” shared H.E. Sarak Khan, Permanent Secretary of State, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

During the MoU signing ceremony, Smart Axiata also officially launched the SmartEdu University Student Development Program, which emulates the successful Axiata Young Talent Program conducted in Malaysia.

Under the USDP program, 48 top Cambodian university students will take part in a 13-day stay-in Bootcamp that will provide participants with theoretical, experiential, personal and relational development opportunities through workshops, business simulations as well as coaching, centered around various industries. The winning teams will receive cash prizes while the top five participants will receive a fully-sponsored 2-month work exposure at Axiata Group in Malaysia.

The MoU and the newly launched SmartEdu University Student Development Program form part of Smart’s commitment to advance Cambodia through education and innovation, in partnership with MPTC and MoEYS, explained Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt.

“Nurturing talent, both internally and externally, is an essential part of Smart’s business philosophy. The SmartEdu University Student Development Program is a holistic program that was devised to provide Cambodian university students with essential corporate skills in the highly challenging digital era. This annual program will be immersive and exciting; I am certain it will unlock many future digital leaders and CEOs!”

University students can apply to join the USDP before 22nd October 2018, while application for the next Scholarship Program cohort closes on 10th October 2018. For more information, follow the ‘Smart for Cambodia” Facebook page at or visit

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