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3 Thai Universities Named Among 100 Best In Asia


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3 Thai universities named among 100 best in Asia
Wannapa Khaopa,
Chuleepon Aramned
The Nation

BANGKOK: -- Three Thai universities have been named among the top 100 research universities in Asia by the Times Higher Education magazine.

King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) was ranked 55th, Mahidol University 61st and Chulalongkorn University (CU) 82nd in the first-ever Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings.

The top three were University of Tokyo, National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of Hong Kong.

The rankings were released in London yesterday.

"King Mongkut's has a strong score for its research impact, which explains its top place in Thailand. It also seems to have strong levels of income from industry, demonstrating its strength in knowledge transfer," Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education Rankings, told The Nation.

"Mahidol's best score is in its international outlook, so there are encouraging signs there that it is appropriately outward-facing, and keen to recruit globally and [make progress on] international collaborations," Baty said.

"Chulalongkorn has no one area of outstanding strength, but benefits from a relatively solid performance across the indicators. What stands out about Chulalongkorn's performance is its reasonable score for its income from industry."

Focus on skills

KMUTT's vice president, Assoc Prof Chaowalit Limmaneevichitr said he was glad that the university's direction, focusing on enhancement of students' capabilities as well as research and innovation, was in line with the ranking's criteria, placing it in 55th place in Asia.

"KMUTT has produced effective research output that can be used for citations and also a private sector that can buy our knowledge, and has brought that knowledge to commercial production. We also try to produce graduates capable of working locally and internationally," he said.

CU President Prof Pirom Kamolratanakul said the staff at CU, ranked 82nd in the top 100 universities in Asia, would dedicate themselves to enhancing graduates' capabilities so they could contribute to society.

He said the university focused on outcome-based learning and encouraged its lecturers to conduct research that leads to improvements in people's quality of life.

"I believe that more Thai universities will appear in this list of Asian universities, as every university is trying to improve students' and lecturers' capabilities, research, curriculum and educational technology towards internationalisation," Pirom added.

According to Baty, the Asia rankings are based on the same trusted and established methodology as the annual Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The Asia rankings used 13 separate performance indicators to examine each university's strengths against all its core missions - teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. All data are collected, analysed and verified by global data provider Thomson Reuters.

"You have to be relatively strong across the board to really make the top of these tables. But the single most influential performance indicator is one of research impact: we look at how influential each university's research output has been in pushing the boundaries of knowledge in world class research journals. Each of our top three do well there. In addition, the top three also have a strong international reputation for their research, and enjoy a strong research income and productive research output," he said.

He advised Thai institutions that in order to place highly in these rankings, they need strong funding, whether public or private. Universities need money to pay competitive salaries to attract top academic talent from all over the world, to retain their local talent, and to build the facilities needed for world-class teaching and research, Baty said.

"The world's leading universities also usually benefit from freedom: academic freedom for their staff to pursue 'blue skies' research and to truly innovate, but also institutional freedom to manage their affairs as they see fit, and to respond to a rapidly changing world," he said.

Universities from 15 countries comprise the Asia top 100. This is out of a possible 25 countries in Asia that have representative institutions in the Thomson Reuters database.

Visit www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings for full results and analysis.

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-- The Nation 2013-04-11

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I imagine many of the foreign teachers living in Thailand have children that they plan to send to university so these figures are relevant to many of us. Personally, I'll probably send mine to one of the campuses of a reputable Western university, such as James Cook, in Singapore. Singapore is safe and just a couple of hours away from Chiang Mai. At Chula they will learn the importance of having the most expensive designer clothes and accessories - not something I want for my kids.

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Most of my ex-students speak highly of Mahidol. Irt contrast many of Chula's courses seem quite academic. If they took out 'funding' they might rank much lower. Nice to see KMUTT ranking so highly. Kind of a slap in the face to all the famous universities in Thailand.

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Slap in the face for Thammasat! Thailand' best ranking university doesn't even rank in the top 350 worldwide. Also noted that no Arabic Universities, bar 1, were in the top 50, and no Southeast Asian countries other than Singapore and Thailand.

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my wife likes to claim chula is the best in thailand, but why is it lower than the 2 others? anybody ?

A friend of mine is lecturer at KMUTT, he said to me a little while ago about Chula being believed to be the "best" by the Thai's and then went on to tell me a bit of Chula's history. So, it could be because it was the 1st institute of its kind here in Thailand (as apposed to Siam) and the fact that Rama V has very strong ties with it. Also, did she study there?

Edited by Psych01
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my wife likes to claim chula is the best in thailand, but why is it lower than the 2 others? anybody ?

From the journalist who isn't allowed to exist on TV:

"A newspaper story about how the director of Thailand’s ‘National

Innovation Agency’ allegedly plagiarised his PhD thesis and an academic

paper about organic asparagus production from other academics, has been

given new life in the British'Times Higher Educational' this week.

In a story of intrigue, machiavellian legal cases, and journalistic

ethics, Britain's most prestigious higher education magazine, formerly

known as the Times Educational Supplement is asking why nothing has been

done.

Supachai-Lorlowhakarn.jpgThe

magazine, says that concerns continue to be raised into why

Chulalongkorn University has failed to take any action against Supachai

Lorlowhakarn, Director of the NIA, who has been accused of plagiarising

both his PhD thesis and an NIA sponsored academic paper about organic

asparagus production."

Google for source

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Come on, these results are appalling.

The results are encouraging for the Thais, and as it was an independant survey it's more believable, but we all know that the universities here have a "no fail" strategy. We have thousands of graduates every year proudly telling us they have a degree in English. Ask them a question other than "How are you?" and you receive the blank look of.................. <deleted> did they say?

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I've seen that KMUTT turns out some excellent food engineering students who have good commercial and technical experience - and it's one of the reasons for the strong processed food industry in Thailand.

And all Thais are interested in food!

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Come on, these results are appalling.

The results are encouraging for the Thais, and as it was an independant survey it's more believable, but we all know that the universities here have a "no fail" strategy. We have thousands of graduates every year proudly telling us they have a degree in English. Ask them a question other than "How are you?" and you receive the blank look of.................. <deleted> did they say?

Wrong - Thai Universities do fail students.

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my wife likes to claim chula is the best in thailand, but why is it lower than the 2 others? anybody ?

A friend of mine is lecturer at KMUTT, he said to me a little while ago about Chula being believed to be the "best" by the Thai's and then went on to tell me a bit of Chula's history. So, it could be because it was the 1st institute of its kind here in Thailand (as apposed to Siam) and the fact that Rama V has very strong ties with it. Also, did she study there?

Many Thais I know regard Chula and Kasetsart as the Thia equivalent of Oxbridge. This is more to do with the fact that they are not "private" univesties and therefore open to anyone with ability (in theory, the same as Oxbridge).

They are more circumspect about the private universities which may be more inclined to focus on those with ability to pay only.

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my wife likes to claim chula is the best in thailand, but why is it lower than the 2 others? anybody ?

Because she understands what most educated westerners do not; that the true value of college lies in the contacts you make there and the perceived value of the degree in the market where one plans to work.Locals are not interested in education, only credentials.

What is amusing is that there is so much enthusiasm for having three universities placing in the lower half of the top 100 rankings. How many bonafide universities are there in the region anyway? If Thailand ever learns to value winning instead of just being in the game they will follow in the footsteps of Los Angeles, who threw the Rams out of town because the city refused to be associated with losers.

Edited by unanimosity
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What some of the posters here, not to mention the headline writer, seem to have missed is that this is not a ranking of the 'best' universities.

Hint: the article mentions the word 'research' no less than 15 times.

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I think a place like Mahidol could truly go through the roof if they simply started paying good salaries.

Their academics, and academics everywhere in this country, need to start publishing in reputable international journals....of course this is difficult for most, due to the advanced writing skills needed (noting that most westerners do not know how to write such publications), and original, non plagiarized thinking is required. The standard of research skill and methodology is often not up to par also. When Thailand allows itself international criticism of it's research work, then it will move forward more rapidly, both as a member of AEC and Internationally.
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I think a place like Mahidol could truly go through the roof if they simply started paying good salaries.

Their academics, and academics everywhere in this country, need to start publishing in reputable international journals....of course this is difficult for most, due to the advanced writing skills needed (noting that most westerners do not know how to write such publications), and original, non plagiarized thinking is required. The standard of research skill and methodology is often not up to par also. When Thailand allows itself international criticism of it's research work, then it will move forward more rapidly, both as a member of AEC and Internationally.

I agree with what you have said. You essentially expanded on my point a little, but what I am saying is get some good foreign researchers in there, and pay them well (100k and up). These people DO exist in Thailand, I assure you. HOPEFULLY, and that is a big hopefully :), the Thai staff can learn from what they are doing, and things would work from there. Part of the job description could even be helping Thai staff with getting published etc, or bonuses based on this. The problem is, Thai people don't like to listen to foreigners. I have no idea how Thais are going to evolve with that mind set; they need to get over that hurdle one day. It is just a hard point to understand on all sides.

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I think a place like Mahidol could truly go through the roof if they simply started paying good salaries.

Their academics, and academics everywhere in this country, need to start publishing in reputable international journals....of course this is difficult for most, due to the advanced writing skills needed (noting that most westerners do not know how to write such publications), and original, non plagiarized thinking is required. The standard of research skill and methodology is often not up to par also. When Thailand allows itself international criticism of it's research work, then it will move forward more rapidly, both as a member of AEC and Internationally.
I agree with what you have said. You essentially expanded on my point a little, but what I am saying is get some good foreign researchers in there, and pay them well (100k and up). These people DO exist in Thailand, I assure you. HOPEFULLY, and that is a big hopefully smile.png, the Thai staff can learn from what they are doing, and things would work from there. Part of the job description could even be helping Thai staff with getting published etc, or bonuses based on this. The problem is, Thai people don't like to listen to foreigners. I have no idea how Thais are going to evolve with that mind set; they need to get over that hurdle one day. It is just a hard point to understand on all sides.
Thanks I agree with you - the low university salary is one reason why I prefer to work in a high school. There will be the occasional good professor from overseas who will work here, but the ones I know are already retired in their home countries and don't really need the salary. From my point of view, 100K would be a good salary, but still not enough to attract many who have debts to pay back home. Thais who have studied overseas, such as my wife, have no problems asking for help editing their work; as that's what they were used to from their overseas experience. The problem seems to be the local academics who are the ones too proud to ask for help. Hence, their work is rarely published in overseas journals.
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All this Reasoning, years have past and still they cant they speak English properly.?. Ive met hundreds of Uni Kids, and bar girl English leaves em standing. Cant just be Me that's noticed it. You get Introduced to a Thai English Teacher here and hes useles as well..coffee1.gif

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I think a place like Mahidol could truly go through the roof if they simply started paying good salaries.

Their academics, and academics everywhere in this country, need to start publishing in reputable international journals....of course this is difficult for most, due to the advanced writing skills needed (noting that most westerners do not know how to write such publications), and original, non plagiarized thinking is required. The standard of research skill and methodology is often not up to par also. When Thailand allows itself international criticism of it's research work, then it will move forward more rapidly, both as a member of AEC and Internationally.
I agree with what you have said. You essentially expanded on my point a little, but what I am saying is get some good foreign researchers in there, and pay them well (100k and up). These people DO exist in Thailand, I assure you. HOPEFULLY, and that is a big hopefully smile.png, the Thai staff can learn from what they are doing, and things would work from there. Part of the job description could even be helping Thai staff with getting published etc, or bonuses based on this. The problem is, Thai people don't like to listen to foreigners. I have no idea how Thais are going to evolve with that mind set; they need to get over that hurdle one day. It is just a hard point to understand on all sides.
Thanks I agree with you - the low university salary is one reason why I prefer to work in a high school. There will be the occasional good professor from overseas who will work here, but the ones I know are already retired in their home countries and don't really need the salary. From my point of view, 100K would be a good salary, but still not enough to attract many who have debts to pay back home. Thais who have studied overseas, such as my wife, have no problems asking for help editing their work; as that's what they were used to from their overseas experience. The problem seems to be the local academics who are the ones too proud to ask for help. Hence, their work is rarely published in overseas journals.

I looked into university work too. Mahidol did attract me, I must say, until I saw the salaries. I would be qualified, and I am not trying to make this about me, just a point. I too work with high schoolers now, on a pretty decent salary. It isn't my ideal job, but I am going to go where the money is; it's that simple.

Based on your post, maybe the key is for these places to start hiring only Thai researchers educated overseas? I must reiterate, I do try to stay culturally understanding, but this point about them not wanting to learn from or accept expertise from other countries often mystifies me. It is not good, and there is just nothing that we can do about it (confused).

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Many Thais I know regard Chula and Kasetsart as the Thia equivalent of Oxbridge. This is more to do with the fact that they are not "private" univesties and therefore open to anyone with ability (in theory, the same as Oxbridge). They are more circumspect about the private universities which may be more inclined to focus on those with ability to pay only.

Actually, Chula and Thammasat have traditionally been regarded as the Thai equivalent of Oxbridge and are the oldest and second oldest universities in Thailand respectively.

Edited by somchai jones
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Many Thais I know regard Chula and Kasetsart as the Thia equivalent of Oxbridge. This is more to do with the fact that they are not "private" univesties and therefore open to anyone with ability (in theory, the same as Oxbridge). They are more circumspect about the private universities which may be more inclined to focus on those with ability to pay only.

Actually, Chula and Thammasat have traditionally been regarded as the Thai equivalent of Oxbridge and are the oldest and second oldest universities in Thailand respectively.

I've found that SIIT at Thammasart really have lowered the bar for entrance the last couple of years. A couple of students who failed physics/maths at school told me smugly how they got into SIIT to do engineering of all things! If SIIT has any standard at all these students will not get through first year, based on the school performance.
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