Overview of Education System in Thailand

Thailand is one of the most progressive Southeast Asian nations in the world. It has a rich cultural heritage and unique natural beauty apart from quality educational institutions. It is ideal for students who want access to brighter career opportunities and reasonably priced education. 

Overview of Education in Thailand

Thailand is home to 67.01 million people (2013-2014) and the official language spoken here is Thai. Expenditure on education as percentage of GDPOverview of Thai education system was 7.57% in 2012 in Thailand, according to UNESCO Institute of Statistics/UIS. It was 0.21% for pre-primary education, 2.87% for primary education, 2.68% for secondary education and 0.71% for tertiary education. Expenditure of education as percentage of total government expenditure was 31.33% for education in 2012 in Thailand according to UIS. It was 4.31% for pre-primary education, 11.88% for primary education, 11.10% in secondary education and 2.94% for tertiary education, in 2012, as per UIS. Government expenditure per student in Thailand as percentage of GDP was 38.3%, according to an estimate by UIS.

Statistical Snapshot : Quick Facts and Figures About Thai Education System

Number of Institutions: In the Thai education system, around 37,000 educational institutions and close to 20 million students are present, as per official Ministry estimates. Thai education system comprises 12 year free basic education comprising 6 years of primary education P-1 to P-6/prathom and 6 years of Mattayom of secondary education from M-1 to M-6. 

Education System: Enrolment in basic education system commences at the age of 6. Thai education system provides 9 years of mandatory education with 12 years of free basic education. Of the millions of students enrolled in the Thai education system, both formal as well as non formal educational options are available.  
There are 185 education service areas in 76 provinces and each has close to 200 schools covering three hundred thousand to five thousand students in an ESA. 
Overview of Thai Education System
Thailand has close to 170 educational institutions of higher education as per ministry sources. Of these fifteen universities are autonomous and there are sixty five public universities. Remaining are private institutions, institutes or community colleges. 

Gross Enrolment Ratio:Gross enrolment ratio for pre-primary education was 118.52% in Thailand in 2013, according to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics/UIS. For males, the gross enrolment ratio in pre-primary education was 119.90% while for females, the gross enrolment ratio in pre-primary education was 117.07% for the same year, according to UIS. The institute also estimates that primary education gross enrolment ratio in Thailand was 92.85%, and that it was 90.55% for females and 95.06% for males in 2013. 

In 2012, gross enrolment ratio for secondary education was  86.98%. It was 89.40% for females and 84.63% for males, as per UIS. Gross enrolment ratio in Thailand for 2013 was 51.23% for both genders, according to UIS. For females, the gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education was 58.72% while it was 43.80% for males. 

Total gross enrolment ratio from primary to tertiary education in Thailand was 79.03% in 2012. Among females, the gross enrolment ratio from primary to tertiary education was 81.46% while it was 76.66% for males during the same year, as per UIS.

Net Enrolment Rate: Net enrolment rate in 2011 was 99.92% in Thailand for pre-primary education. It was 99.84% for females and 100% for males in the same year, as per UIS. Net enrolment rate for primary education in Thailand in 2009 was 95.61%, as per UIS. Net enrolment rate for Thailand’s secondary education sector was 79.47% while it was 81.72% for females and 77.29% for males, in 2012, as per UIS. 

Literacy Rate: Literacy rate in Thailand as per National Estimation according to the UIS was 98.24% among youth aged 15 to 24 years in 2015. In the current year, female literacy rate was 98.17% while male literacy rate was 98.30%.
Adult Literacy: It was 96.67% for both sexes and 96.68% for females as well as 96.65% for males in the year 2015, according to national estimation as per UIS.

Why Study in Thailand?

Affordable Education: Cost of Living in Thailand is extremely reasonable and students who want affordable education of high quality should opt for the Thai system. Living costs are so low that for USD 1, you can get a meal. 
Cultural Heritage: Cultural richness of Thailand is another reason why it is such a major draw for students. International students who want to absorb the ancient rich cultural heritage and legacy of this nation opt for higher studies here. Around 95% of the country follows Buddhism and the rich cultural legacies of Thailand are especially suited to those looking for professional as well as personal development through education.
Development: Thailand is perfect for those interested in studying ecology, biology or human community and global development. 
Economic and Career Considerations: Thailand has one of the most robust economies in the southeast Asian region. Thailand is an eclectic blend of modern and ancient which will appeal to students who want well rounded educational development. 


Thailand is the perfect choice for students who want to access world class education. It is a notch above many other nations in the region and across the globe. Thailand has a unique cultural legacy which makes it ideal for those who value rich learning experiences.

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