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A University in Southern Thailand Striving to Become an Education Hub in ASEAN

February 15, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

Prince of Songkla University, in the southern province of Songkhla, has set a target to develop itself as an education hub in the lower ASEAN region.
1441120052pPresident of Prince of Songkla University Associate Professor Dr. Chusak Limsakul said that the university has set a vision to become one of the top ten universities in this region.

With the coming of the ASEAN Community in 2015, he said, Prince of Songkla University has received a budget of about 190 million baht in the 2014 fiscal year to carry out six major projects, in preparation for the establishment of the ASEAN Community.

The first project seeks to develop the university as an education hub in the lower part of ASEAN, comprising four countries, namely Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. These countries have a combined population of about 300 million. Altogether ASEAN consists of 10 countries with a population of 600 million.

In order to attract students from other ASEAN Members to Thailand, Prince of Songkla University plans to offer scholarships for applicants wishing to study at bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctoral levels. A total of 50 scholarships will be provided for each level. Moreover, a student exchange program for ASEAN students will also be introduced. Prince of Songkla University and a university in Malaysia are joining hands in developing a course of study in the field of food technology. The course will require participating students to study in Thailand and Malaysia for one year each. It is expected that this course will be opened in August 2014.

The second project involves health service development. There are currently three health centers under the supervision of Prince of Songkla University. The largest one is Songklanagarind Hospital, located within the Hat Yai campus of the university. This hospital provides medical care for one million outpatients a year. Among them are a number of Malaysian nationals. The university is accelerating the development of its health personnel and acquiring more medical equipment to cope with the growing number of patients.

The third project seeks to educate students, university personnel, and members of the public in ASEAN culture and history. In this regard, free seminars will be arranged for them. The fourth project seeks to develop teachers at various schools by providing them with knowledge about social, religious, and cultural studies in connection with ASEAN.

The fifth project involves readiness in terms of science and technology at the Pattani Campus. In the sixth project, university personnel and students will be equipped with English-language skills. More than 30,000 passwords have been given to them for a self-learning English program online.

Prince of Songkla University, established in 1967 as the first university in southern Thailand, consists of five campuses offering various programs of education consistent with the needs of their communities.

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