Application Process for Higher Educationl Institutions in Thailand
Higher education in Thailand is offered at technology institutes known as Rajamangala institutions, universities, technical and vocational colleges, Rajabhat universities or teacher training colleges, nursing colleges as well as police and military academies. OHEC managed the regulation and overseeing of state universities as well as private higher educational institutions and specialised training institutes fall under the particular ministry they are associated with.
Admission Procedure in Thailand
The open universities in Thailand account for a major of two million students in Thailand in the year 2009. The largest higher education institution is the open university Ramkhamhaeng University, which has around 525,000 students as a part of distance learning or regular courses at one of its 34 campuses.
In the year 2011, OHEC has identified 9 institutions to be developed and engage in international collaboration. Many state universities also have autonomy from control by the government. This has led to a rise in tuition fees. A credit based system is employed in higher education with one credit for each hour of class time at the semester
Admission Requirements for Associate Degree Programs: Such courses are offered by community colleges and technical institutes as well as universities. Programs generally last for around 2 years in duration along with national admission tests declared through the Central University Admission System/CUAS. Major programs centre around technical or vocational education. Associate Degree as well as Diplomas both offer access to undergraduate programs. Students must be high school graduates to opt for these courses.
Admission Requirements for Bachelor’s Degree Programs: The duration of these programs is around 4 years and a total of 120 to 150 credits while 30 credits are considered the standard full time land. Architecture, pharmacy, art and graphic art require around 150 to 188 credits and involve a study duration of five years. Basic training in medicine, vet medicine and dentistry need six years of study leading to award of a doctorate.
For applying to undergraduate programs, students must have completed close to 30 credits in general education namely humanities, science, math and social sciences. Students can reach the second or third year of a bachelor’s degree program through an associate degree course, diploma in technical and/or vocational education as well as a teacher training program of two years duration. Diplomas must be gained with GPA of around 2.0.
Admission Requirements for Graduate Diploma: This type of academic program lasts one year in length and equals around 24 to 36 credits. It needs a bachelor’s degree for admission and is designed to promote specialisation in higher education.
Admission Requirements for Master’s Degree: This course requires two more years of study following a bachelor’s degree and certain programs can be finished in one year with at least 36 credits. Students must have attained undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 for admission. Studies involve course-work as well as an academic dissertation through some programs are research based. Minimum GPA of 3.0 is needed for graduation.
Higher Graduate Diploma Admission Requirements: This requires a minimum of one year and at least 24 credits building on the master’s degree and is most commonly associated with medical science specialisations.
Doctoral Degree Admission Requirements: This requires between 2 to 5 years of study which is around 48 credits after a master’s degree and 72 following a bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree with GPA of a minimum of 3.5 is needed for admission though brilliant undergraduate degree holders with a proven academic record can enter directly into doctoral programs.
Standard Exams for Higher Studies in Thailand
Admission to higher studies involves completion of a minimum of upper secondary education, whether vocational or general. CUAS or the Central Admission University System has provided weightage to the GPA of students as well as their scores on certain exams as a determinant of ease of admission.
O-NET: Two fresh entrance tests were introduced in the year 2006. The O-NET or the (Ordinary) National Education Test is needed by vanities and requires basic knowledge of higher upper secondary subject areas. A-NET or Advanced National Education Test is a more subject specific test whereas students only take on wanted program tests.
GAT and PAT: While the initial weightage was 70% for these tests and 30% for the GPA, there were further changes in 2010 and 3 top university programs now have to be taken namely O-NET with a weightage of 30% and GAT or General Aptitude Test for English Proficiency and PAT or Professional Aptitude Test like the A-NET exams. These account for 50% of the final admission score while 20% is based on the grade point average of students.
The Ordinary National Education Test is taken after completion of upper secondary education but GAT and PAT can be taken as many times as possible. Students report test scores to CUAS and many institutes also hold admissions exams, leading to a profusion of private tutoring classes for these.
Application Deadlines for Higher Education in Thailand
In Thailand, the semester commences in August for all courses. Therefore admissions generally fall in the months of June and July. Admissions are either direct or through entrance exams for which dates are set by the concerned institutions.
Each institution follows certain common and specific admission procedures. Higher educational institutions such as universities and colleges either offer direct admission or exam based admission. International students must have SAT scores at bachelor’s level and GRE/GMAT scores at higher levels. Admission to doctoral programs is based on holistic assessment of the student.