Dewey International University

By Dr. Raymond Zepp, | 2018-11-28 12:49:38
Dr. Raymond Zepp Dr. Zepp holds a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics from Oberlin College, a Master's Degree in Mathematics from the University of Cincinnati, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the Ohio State University. He has taught in developing countries for the past 30 years, including 12 years in Africa, and ten years in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Zepp has authored over 40 books and has written over 100 journal articles, research papers, and international conference presentations.

Most of the renowned educationists around the world are advocatesof ‘learning by doing', a great theory expounded by the American philosopher, John Dewey.Indeed, it is considered to be the need of the hour today, where students have been proven to learn and understand concepts better. This not only provides them clarity of the subjects, but also enables them to apply their knowledge throughout life. Established on the foundation of this approach, Dewey International University (DIU), Cambodia, is bringing a remarkable change in the way education is being imparted, bestowing their students with an educational experience, which is empowering and fruitful. The students of DIU are encouraged to go out of their comfort zone and work on several community service projects with local NGOs and charity organizations. Learning at DIU happens in the field, rather than sitting in a closed classroom, and this makes the students of DIU unique among the crowd.

"DIU also engages in locally relevant research projects through which our students at times get the opportunity to interview local residents about health, climate change, environmental resources, and many other topics. These kinds of activities eventually instill the confidence in them to survive in the long
run," shares Dr. Raymond Zepp, President, DIU. The research and practical aspects of the University are so robust that, both the faculty members and the students regularly keep on participating in varied activities. Dr. Zepp adds, "In 2019, DIU students and faculty will participate in a major environmental research project with Kent State University (USA), investigating water resources and management in the region." The University offers arrays of programmes, ranging from UG, PG, Doctoral and Employment Oriented programmes to Professional short courses. The fully government-accredited, English-language degree program (Bachelor's and Master's) however is quite preferable amongst the international student community.

While designing the curriculum of all the programmes, special focus is given to maintaining a standard that allows transferring credits internationally. "DIU believes in creating an environment, which will be suitable for students from different nationalities. Understanding the adjustment turmoil of the international students, we have included a strong team of international faculty members in our board, who are equally committed to gifting bright careers to the students," points out Dr. Zepp. The University also, on the other hand, boasts of having initiated cooperation agreements with many foreign universities. Dr. Zepp adds, "Recently, adding another association to our list, we have signed anMoU with Kent State University to establish an annual Kent State Summer Institute every May here at DIU." Owing to such rapport with businesses and other organizations, DIU students get access to an easy route to local jobs coupled with getting equipped with globally employable skills.

"DIU is located in Battambang, Cambodia’s second city that annually attracts a number of international students who feel the land is a perfect place to study as it is consists of both history and tradition"

Emphasizing Participation

When it comes to talking about the country Cambodia, one cannot just skip mentioning Angkor Wat, one of the largest religious monuments in the world.
And, DIU is located in Battambang, Cambodia’s second city that annually attracts a number of international students who feel the land is a perfect place to study as it is consists of both history and tradition. "Battambang is a city which offers a very vibrant lifestyle to its students whether in terms of accommodation or food (including Indian food), which are readily available and quite cheap," opines Dr. Zepp. The international students are welcomed and provided a home-like atmosphere inside the campus of the University, where the faculty members always remain available to them for necessary assistance.

Given the rise in acceptance of the approach of 'learning by doing', DIU has evolved as one of the favorite destinations to study for overseas students. The University also is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that each student is treated equally and is facilitated with avant-garde facilities throughout their stay at DIU. "Apart from the classroom sessions, we strive to expose our students to real-life situations and learn from those. Taking a step forward, we also take the onus to create locally relevant materials. For instance, we have produced the book "Jataka Stories", which uses stories of the Buddha's previous lives as English language teaching materials, and our students were asked to visit the WatPachaa in Battambang to see paintings of the Jataka stories mentioned in their book," proudly says Dr. Zepp.

Likewise, students of DIU learned about community development by working with the NGO HELPAGE International in Old People's Associations in rural villages. "Everything at DIU revolves around handing over the students' optimum first-hand experiences. The past successful batches of DIU are a testament to the proven outcome of learning by doing. Our alumni are doing immensely well in their workplaces and were found job-ready from day one by the recruiters," shares Dr. Zepp. In the coming years, DIU is looking forward to hosting a sizeable number of learners from India with an assurance of granting a quality, fully-accredited education which is considered appropriate for entering into the international employment marketplace.