Thailand

Profile Contributors

Tankoonsombut
Kriengkrai Tankoonsombut

Chulalongkorn University

Shibata
Wayne Shibata

National Institute of Development Administration


Country Context/Environment

> Cultural Attributes
> National Holidays
> Context of Higher Education
> Challenges/Opportunities
> Relevant, Unique Aspects of Context/Environment
> Common Faculty Models


Higher/Management Education Sector

> Glossary of Institution Types
> Award Types - General Information
> Award Types - Undergraduate Studies
> Award Types - Graduate/Postgraduate Studies
> Award Types - Doctoral Studies


Higher Education Regulation and Quality Assurance

Educational Authority Type: Centralized
> Higher Education Regulation
> Recent or Upcoming Structural Changes/Reforms


Internationalization of Higher Education

> Internationally Mobile Students
> Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
> Franchised/Validated and Joint/Dual-Degree Programs
> Foreign Branch Campuses
> Signatory to International Higher Education Accord


Links to Additional Information

Thailand and/or Region-Specific Higher or Management Education Media Sources:

> AsiaOne Education News

> Bangkok Post, Education Section

> British Council

> International Education

> NUFFIC

> Study in Thailand

> UNESCO International Bureau of Education – Thai Resources

> www.unescobkk.org/education/resources/resources/education-system-profiles/thailand/higher-tvet

> NESCO World Data on Education Database

> UNESCO International Association of Universities List

> University World News, Archived Selection of Education-Related News in Thailand

> WENR Education in Thailand

> wenr.wes.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CountryProfile_Thailand.pdf

> World Bank

List of Authorized Thai HEIs
As of 2013, The Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC) oversees altogether 171 higher education institutions. They are 13 limited admission public universities, 2 open admission universities, 15 autonomous universities, 70 private higher education institutions, 41 Rajabhat Universities, 9 Rajamangala Universities of Technology, 1 Pathumwan Institute of Technology, and 20 Community Colleges:

Limited Admission Universities
1. Kasetsart University (KU)
2. Khon Kaen University (KKU)
3. Maejo University (MJU)
4. Mahasarakam University (MSU)
5. Nakhon Phanom University (NPU)
6. Naresuan University (NU)
7. National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA)
8. Prince of Songkla University (PSU)
9. Princess of Naradhiwas University (PNU)
10. Silpakorn University (SU)
11. Srinakarinwirot University (SWU)
12. Thammasat University (TU)
13. Ubon Ratchathani University (UBU)

Open Admission Universities
1. Ramkamhaeng University (RU)
2. Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU)

Autonomous Universities
1. Burapha University (BUU)
2. Chiang Mai University (CMU)
3. Chulalongkorn University (CU)
4. King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL)
5. King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology North Bangkok (KMUTNB)
6. King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT)
7. Mae Fah Luang University (MFU)
8. Mahachulalongkornrajavidayalaya University (MCU)
9. Mahamakut Buddhist University (MBU)
10. Mahidol University (MU)
11. Princess Galayani Vadhana Institute of Music (PGVIM)
12. Suranaree University of Technology (SUT)
13. Thaksin University (TSU)
14. University of Phayao (UP)
15. Walailak University (WU)

Pathumwan Institute
1. Pathumwan Institute of Technology

Rajabhat Universities
In summary, originally developed (ranging from c. 30->100 yrs. ago) mainly as schools and institutes (known as “Teacher’s Colleges”) for local teacher training and development granting two year certificate of education degrees, then evolving into four year bachelor’s degrees in education programs. After being granted university status, most expanded, and as of 2014, offer fields ranging from sciences to hospitality primarily serving local needs:

1. Bansomdej Chaopraya Rajabhat University (BSRU)
2. Buriram Rajabhat University (BRU)
3. Chaiyaphum Rajabhat University (CPRU)
4. Chandrakasem Rajabhat University (CRU)
5. Chiang Mai Rajabhat University (CMRU)
6. Chiang Rai Rajabhat University (CRU)
7. Dhonburi Rajabhat University (DRU)
8. Kalasin Rajabhat University (KSU)
9. Kamphaeng Phet Rajabhat University (KPRU)
10. Kanchanaburi Rajabhat University (KRU)
11. Lampang Rajabhat University (LPRU)
12. Loei Rajabhat University (LRU)
13. Muban Chombueng Rajabhat University (MCRU)
14. Nakhon Pathom Rajabhat University (NPRU)
15. Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University (NRRU)
16. Nakhon Sawan Rajabhat University (NSRU)
17. Nakhon Si Thammarat Rajabhat University (NSTRU)
18. Phetchabun Rajabhat University (PCRU)
19. Phetchaburi Rajabhat University (PBRU)
20. Phranakhon Rajabhat University (PNRU)
21. Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya
22. Rajabhat University (ARU)
23. Phuket Rajabhat University (PKRU)
24. Pibulsongkram Rajabhat University (PSRU)
25. Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University (RMU)
26. Rajabhat Rajanagarindra University (RRU)
27. Rambhai Barni Rajabhat University (RBRU)
28. Roi-et Rajabhat University (RERU)
29. Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University (SNRU)
30. Sisaket Rajabhat University (SSKRU)
31. Songkhla Rajabhat University (SKRU)
32. Suan Dusit Rajabhat University (SDU)
33. Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University (SSRU)
34. Suratthani Rajabhat University (SRU)
35. Surindra Rajabhat University (SRRU)
36. Thepsatri Rajabhat University (TRU)
37. Ubon Ratchathani Rajabhat University (UBRU)
38. Udon Thani Rajabhat University (UDRU)
39. Uttaradit Rajabhat University (URU)
40. Valaya Alongkorn Rajabhat University (VRU)
41. Yala Rajabhat University (YRU)

Rajamangala Universities of Technology
Originally founded as a combination of agricultural/vocational schools, and have since evolved to university status:

1. Rajamangala University of Technology Isan (RMUTI)
a. Kalasin Campus
b. Khon Kaen Campus
c. Sakon Nakhon Campus
d. Surin Campus

2. Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep (RMUTK)

3. Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna (RMUTL)
a. Chiang Rai Campus
b. Lampang Campus
c. Nan Campus
d. Phitsanulok Campus
e. Tak Campus
f. Agricultural Cultural Technology Research Institute

4. Rajamangala University of Technology Phra Nakhon (RMUTP)

5. Rajamangala University of Technology Rattanakosin (RMUTR)
a. Bophit Phimuk Chakkawat Campus
b. Poh-Chang Campus
c. Wang Klai Kangwon Campus

6. Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya (RMUTSV)
a. Nakhon Si Thammarat Campus
b. Trang Campus

7. Rajamangala University of Technology Suvarnabhumi (RMUTSB)
a. Nonthaburi Campus
b. Wasukri Campus
c. Suphan Buri Campus

8. Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-Ok (RMUTTO)
a. Chakrabongse Bhuvanath Campus
b. Chantaburi Campus
c. Uthen Thawai Campus

9. Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi (RMUTT)

Private Universities and Institutions

1. Arsom Silp Institute of the Arts (ASIA)
2. Asian University (Asian U)
3. Asia-Pacific International
4. Assumption University (AU)
5. Bangkok Thonburi University (BTU)
6. Bangkok University (BU)
7. Chaopraya University (CPU)
8. Christian University of Thailand (CTU)
9. Chulabhorn Graduate Institute (CGI)
10. Dhurakij Pundit University (CPU)
11. Eastern Asia University (EAU)
12. The Eastern University of Management and Technology (UMT)
13. The Far Eastern University (FEU)
14. Hatyai University (HU)
15. Huachiew Chalermprakiet University (HCU)
16. Institute of Technology Ayothaya (ITA)
17. Kantana Institute
18. Kasem Bundit University (KBU)
19. Krirk University (KRU)
20. Learning Institute for Everyone (LIFE)
21. Mahachai Institute of Automotive Technology (MIAT)
22. Mahanakorn University of Technology (MUT)
23. Nation University (NTU)
24. North Bangkok University (NBU)
25. North-Chiang Mai University (NCU)
26. North-Eastern University (NEU)
27. Panyapiwat Institute of Management (PIM)
28. Pathumthani University (PTU)
29. Payap University (PYU)
30. Rajapark Institute (RPI)
31. Ratchathani University (RTU)
32. Rattana Bundit University (RBU)
33. Rangsit University (RSU)
34. Saint John’s University (SJU)
35. Shinawatra University (SIU)
36. Siam University (SU)
37. South-East Asia University (SAU)
38. Sripatum University (SPU)
39. Stamford International University (STIU)
40. Tapee University (TPU)
41. Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology (TNI)
42. Thonburi University (TRU)
43. The University of Central Thailand (UCT)
44. University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC)
45. Vongchavalitkul University (VU)
46. Webster University (Thailand) (WUT)
47. Western University (WTU)
48. Yala Islamic University (YIU)

Private Colleges
1. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi College (BSC)
2. Chalermkarnchana College (CKC)
3. Chalermkarnchana Rayong College
4. Chiang Rai College (CRC)
5. College of Asian Scholars (CAS)
6. Dusit Thani College (DTC)
7. International Buddhist College (IBC)
8. Lampang Inter-tech College (LIT)
9. Lumnamping College (LPC)
10. Nakhon Ratchasima College (NMC)
11. Phanomwan College of Technology (PCT)
12. Pitchaya Bundit College (PBC)
13. Ratchaphruek College (RC)
14. Saengtham College (STC)
15. Saint Louis College (SLC)
16. Santapol College (SPC)
17. Siam Technology College
18. Southeast Bangkok College (SBC)
19. Southern College of Technology (SCT)
20. Srisophon College (SSC)
21. St. Theresa International College (STIC)
22. Thongsook College (TSC)

  • National Holidays
    • There are sixteen public holidays in a year, but more may be declared by the Cabinet. Also, the Cabinet decides on the substitute holiday days, i.e. if a holiday falls on the weekend. Further, some of the holidays are based on the lunar calendar (based on the phase of the moon) so those holidays do not fall on the same dates every year. The holiday schedules of embassies in Thailand are an official source of information for public holidays in Thailand. 

      The Bank of Thailand usually posts a List of Legal Holidays to be Observed by the Bank of Thailand and Financial Institutions in Thailand (note that not all dates may be the same with public holidays) at: http://www.bot.or.th/English/Pages/BOTDefault.aspx. In 2014, Thai national holidays are as follows:1         

      [Insert Table Image] 

      See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_holidays_in_Thailand 

      1. Thaiall.com. (2013). Holiday 2557. www.thaiall.com/calendar/calendar57.htm, accessed April 1, 2014.


  • Context of Higher Education
    • Typical Academic Year:
      Currently, Thailand’s higher education system is on a different academic year cycle from many other countries. Thai HEIs run on either the bi-semester or tri-semester system and each will have its own academic calendar system. The tri-semester system typically consists of two 15-week semesters and one 8-week summer session. For example, the first semester typically begins in June; the second semester begins in October; and Summer semester begins in March. A typical academic year runs from June to May, the following year. 

      Some public institutes and/or those with government funding have typically set their academic calendars to coincide with the government’s fiscal calendar (which ends at the end of September), while others may have changed their calendars to coincide with schools from the global West, most likely to reduce conflicts in scheduling international activities such as faculty and student exchanges as well as other international cooperative activities. As a consequence, Thai HEIs with international programs and initiatives tend to set their academic semesters to match those of schools in the global West because, overall, it facilitates international activities. 

      However, for the last couple of years, many universities have begun to adjust their academic year to be aligned with the international academic year in order to prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) agreement in 2015. Example of new adjusted academic year for Academic Year 2014 can be found at Chulalongkorn University’s website.1 

      Typical Student Demographics/Trends:
    • [Insert Table Image] 

      Number and Percentage of Youth (Age 18-24 Years) Attending College or University by Age Group, Sex, Area and Region: 20083 

      [Insert Table Image] 

      Common Language(s) of Instruction
      The Thai language is the medium of instruction in most cases in Thai HEIs, though there is a growing push for English-language instruction in concert with internationalization efforts in the higher education sector. In 2008, both public and private HEIs offered a total of 884 international programs using English as the medium of instruction at undergraduate and graduate levels, i.e., 296 undergraduate programs, 350 master’s degree programs, 215 doctoral degree programs, and 23 other degree programs.4

      1. Chulalongkorn University. (2014). Opening and Closing Dates for Academic Year 2014. Electronic document, www.reg.chula.ac.th/calendar_en.html, accessed April 1, 2014.

      2. National Statistical Office. (2012). Number of Students in Public and Private Institutions: Academic Year 2008-2011. Electronic Document,
      service.nso.go.th/nso/web/statseries/statseries06.html, accessed April 1, 2014.

      3. National Statistical Office. (2009). Number and Percentage of Youth (Aged 18 – 24 Years) Attending College or University by Age Group, Sex, Area, and Region: 2008. Electronic Document, service.nso.go.th/nso/nso_center/project/search_center/23project-th.htm, accessed April 1, 2014.

      4. Thai Commission on Higher Education. (2008). International Programs in Higher Education Institutions. Electronic document, inter.mua.go.th/main2/article.php?id=6, accessed September 9, 2010.
  • National Holidays
    • There are sixteen public holidays in a year, but more may be declared by the Cabinet. Also, the Cabinet decides on the substitute holiday days, i.e. if a holiday falls on the weekend. Further, some of the holidays are based on the lunar calendar (based on the phase of the moon) so those holidays do not fall on the same dates every year. The holiday schedules of embassies in Thailand are an official source of information for public holidays in Thailand. 

      The Bank of Thailand usually posts a List of Legal Holidays to be Observed by the Bank of Thailand and Financial Institutions in Thailand (note that not all dates may be the same with public holidays) at: http://www.bot.or.th/English/Pages/BOTDefault.aspx. In 2014, Thai national holidays are as follows:1         

      [Insert Table Image] 

      See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_holidays_in_Thailand 

      1. Thaiall.com. (2013). Holiday 2557. www.thaiall.com/calendar/calendar57.htm, accessed April 1, 2014.


  • Context of Higher Education
    • Typical Academic Year:
      Currently, Thailand’s higher education system is on a different academic year cycle from many other countries. Thai HEIs run on either the bi-semester or tri-semester system and each will have its own academic calendar system. The tri-semester system typically consists of two 15-week semesters and one 8-week summer session. For example, the first semester typically begins in June; the second semester begins in October; and Summer semester begins in March. A typical academic year runs from June to May, the following year. 

      Some public institutes and/or those with government funding have typically set their academic calendars to coincide with the government’s fiscal calendar (which ends at the end of September), while others may have changed their calendars to coincide with schools from the global West, most likely to reduce conflicts in scheduling international activities such as faculty and student exchanges as well as other international cooperative activities. As a consequence, Thai HEIs with international programs and initiatives tend to set their academic semesters to match those of schools in the global West because, overall, it facilitates international activities. 

      However, for the last couple of years, many universities have begun to adjust their academic year to be aligned with the international academic year in order to prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) agreement in 2015. Example of new adjusted academic year for Academic Year 2014 can be found at Chulalongkorn University’s website.1 

      Typical Student Demographics/Trends:
    • [Insert Table Image] 

      Number and Percentage of Youth (Age 18-24 Years) Attending College or University by Age Group, Sex, Area and Region: 20083 

      [Insert Table Image] 

      Common Language(s) of Instruction
      The Thai language is the medium of instruction in most cases in Thai HEIs, though there is a growing push for English-language instruction in concert with internationalization efforts in the higher education sector. In 2008, both public and private HEIs offered a total of 884 international programs using English as the medium of instruction at undergraduate and graduate levels, i.e., 296 undergraduate programs, 350 master’s degree programs, 215 doctoral degree programs, and 23 other degree programs.4

      1. Chulalongkorn University. (2014). Opening and Closing Dates for Academic Year 2014. Electronic document, www.reg.chula.ac.th/calendar_en.html, accessed April 1, 2014.

      2. National Statistical Office. (2012). Number of Students in Public and Private Institutions: Academic Year 2008-2011. Electronic Document,
      service.nso.go.th/nso/web/statseries/statseries06.html, accessed April 1, 2014.

      3. National Statistical Office. (2009). Number and Percentage of Youth (Aged 18 – 24 Years) Attending College or University by Age Group, Sex, Area, and Region: 2008. Electronic Document, service.nso.go.th/nso/nso_center/project/search_center/23project-th.htm, accessed April 1, 2014.

      4. Thai Commission on Higher Education. (2008). International Programs in Higher Education Institutions. Electronic document, inter.mua.go.th/main2/article.php?id=6, accessed September 9, 2010.