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Savannakhet educators, students readied for uni relocation

The faculties of agriculture and food science are set to be the first from Savannakhet University to open at its new site as 1,500 students from these faculties prepare to study in brand new facilities.

Construction is in progress on a 300-hectare site in Nongpheu village, Kaysone Phomvihane district.

Hopes for an April unveiling for a Faculty of Agriculture building have since faded with October now the set date for the relocation.

The move is underway as Savannakhet University is set to become the country's first model university in business administration and economic studies. The university also aims to be a model in terms of buildings, libraries, curriculums and infrastructure with the help of funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The initiative is now underway with the goal of completion by 2020.

President of Savannakhet University, Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounpong Keorodom, spoke to Vientiane Times yesterday by telephone to discuss progress.

“During the visit by our Minister of Education and Sports Ms Sengdeuane Lachathaboun last weekend, she advised us to try to start by moving these two faculties,” Dr Bounpong said.

“We had planned for the agriculture faculty to be the first to move to this new area this month, but we could not complete preparations for the furniture and amenities.

“Therefore, before this October we again plan to relocate these faculties as advised by the minister.

“The two buildings housing these faculties are now 90 percent complete.”

A dormitory for faculty members and the university's official leadership must also be complete before October to house the 200 whose own family homes are located in different districts and provinces.

Two years ago the government approved a budget of 250 billion kip (US$31 million) through the National Assembly for the model university project.

Since then, infrastructure has almost been completed on the 300-hectare site in Nongpheu village.

Recently, the ADB provided a US$40 million loan of which US$23 million is grant aid and the remainder a loan.

The government has already signed a contract with the ADB.

The university will receive about US$28 million from the contract and the rest will be provided to other universities under the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Savannakhet University will not only strengthen its links to universities in Laos but will also link to counterparts in Asean and internationally.

The model university is expected to be finished in 2020, or if not, by 2025.

Currently the university has a total of 291 staff, of whom 258 are educators.

At present there are more than 4,120 students in six faculties studying 33 subjects and two subjects at master's degree level.

A master's degree course was offered over a year ago and will see a further three to five subjects in 2020 after completion of the model university project.

An IT Centre is included in plans for the campus.

Currently, the university is teaching over three timeslots in the morning, afternoon and evening. While more than 4,000 students finish upper secondary school in the province annually, the university accepts 750 undergraduate students to its ranks each year, including about 20 percent on scholarships.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update April 4, 2017)

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