News & Events

Narratives of Academic Mobility of Disenfranchised Youth in Cambodia

Event Details
Executive Briefing Centre, Level 2, Building 100, Curtin University Bentley campus
28 April 2016 12:34 am

The National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education invites you to attend a presentation by Professor Alexander Jun from Azusa Pacific University, California.

About the presentation

The Kingdom of Cambodia is a country still recovering from the impact of policies implemented by the Khmer Rouge. During Pol Pot’s oversight in the 1970s, much of the educational infrastructure was eradicated. Although Cambodia has made considerable political and economic progress in recent years, years of suffering has impacted the impoverished Khmer families in many ways.

In this presentation, Alex will discuss his qualitative study, which utilised ethnographic and narrative inquiry approaches, exploring the lives of a dozen Cambodian students’ educational and life experiences.

The significance of this study lies in understanding factors that lead to the educational mobility and resilience of these students in the face of manifold challenges within Cambodia’s society in general, and its educational system in particular.

Findings from this study document not only the life experiences of Khmer youth on their journeys from an orphanage to college, but also highlight the key components of academic preparation, college access, and scholarship. This research provides an honest critique and recognition of the challenges of comparative international educational aid work.

About Professor Alexander Jun

Professor Alexander Jun is a TED speaker and the author of From Here to University: Access, Mobility, and Resilience Among Urban Latino Youth (Routledge Press, 2001). He has published extensively on issues of postsecondary access for historically under-represented students in under-served areas, and recently completed a three-year narrative inquiry research project on the educational mobility and academic resilience of Khmer orphans, which he’s completing a book about. Professor Jun conducts research on issues surrounding higher education globalisation in the Pacific Rim, and while studying at the University of Southern California, he earned a Ford Foundation Fellowship to conduct research on college preparation programs for urban youth. At Azusa Pacific University, Professor Jun teaches courses on diversity and social justice in higher education, comparative higher education, and qualitative research methods. He joined the university after 15 years as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Southern California.

To attend this event, RSVP via email to by Monday 25 April 2016. Spaces are limited, so registrations are essential.

For those of you who may be unable to attend, this session will be recorded, transcribed and published to our website.

Posted 11 April 2016