Cambodia: Action-Learning goes East


In a short update on his recent project in Cambodia, international projects director David Lock, explains the leadership programme he delivered and how UK universities might like to get involved in future Leadership Foundation international work.

Last month the Leadership Foundation delivered its second programme to a group of 82 higher education leaders in Cambodia.  The 2-day programme for rectors, vice-rectors and ministry officials focused upon strategic planning, HR and stakeholder engagement.

The ASEAN integration [scheduled to take place in 2015] provides an imperative for Cambodia to raise its higher education game if it is to compete on equal terms with its neighbours. The World Bank had identified the development of leadership capacity as a priority and approached us to design and lead the work.

Leadership Foundation key associate John Fielden and I led the programme in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh. The original programme had been a five-day programme in Seam Reap, in the northwest of Cambodia  last autumn. While the content was important, it is the introduction to Action-Learning in this most recent run of the programme, that will leave the sustainable legacy.  The climax of the programme was a mass Action-Learning session with each group taking forward aspects of their emerging strategic plans. The technique, which was new to all the participants, was embraced well with one participant feeding back ‘It is wonderful; we learn from each other.’

Talks are on-going with the ministry about further engagements including a study visit to the UK for 15 -20 rectors or their deputies. LF member universities or higher education colleges interested in hosting such a visit, or providing a half or one-day presentation about aspects of ‘stakeholder engagement’, entrepreneuralisation or education for employment do please  contact me, at david.lock at

David Lock is the director of international projects.