International Perspective of Thailand as Study Destination

Thailand as a Global Education Destination
Thailand is an attractive study destination. Well qualified teachers, professional skills, personal development and cultural growth are just some of the reasons why Thailand is a preferred educational destination. Thailand is the best option for students who want to excel in academia or industry.

Why Study in Thailand?

  • There are several reasons why Thailand is the preferred educational destination. Its geographical location is of strategic significance. Thailand is situated at the centre of the ASEAN and Greater Mekong Sub-region 
  • MasterCard Index of Global Destination Cities has found Bangkok to be the world’s most popular destination by air 
  • It is home to the most sought after travel locations across the globe from tropical island systems to mountain ranges 
  • Bangkok is also a hub for several industries. It has a low cost of living compared to other global cities. According to estimates it is around 5% cheaper than  Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, 100% cheaper than Tokyo, Singapore or Hong Kong as well as Western Cities such as London and NY
  • There is also a high exchange rate for major international currency. Around 30THB equals USD 1 and around 40 THB equals a single Euro
  • Thailand has an educational atmosphere that is suitable for global education seekers from high schools to universities and higher education providers. Many schools across Bangkok also offer Western curricula. 
  • Thailand had around 19,052 global students in 2010 up from 16,361 in 2009, as per the UNESCO Global Education Digest in 2012 
  • Statistics from the University Affairs Ministry has pegged the 2011 total at 20,309 with the top countries of origin for international students in Thailand being China, Myanmar and Laos. From a regional perspective, around 17,287 students were from Asia. Most popular field of study is business management.
  • At present, Thailand has student-instructor ratio of 20 to 1 down from 38 to 1 around 10 years ago. 
  • During the 1990s, legislation was enacted by Thailand for permitting universities to engage in mobilisation of resources 
  • Thailand is home to 98 public, 71 private and 2 foreign universities. It is also home to the largest proportion of doctorates (around 5) per 100,000 inhabitants 
  • Enrolment at the graduate level has risen from 193,000 in the year 2007 to 196,000 in the year 2012. This is more so at the level of doctorates. 

Thailand’s Ranking or Position in World as Popular Study Destination. 

  • Size of undergraduate enrolment will not rise in the future. Government as well as universities focus more on graduate enrolment in this country. Presently, existing higher education institutions are characterised into 4 types namely research/postgraduate educational institutions, specialised universities, 4 year varsities and colleges of liberal arts and finally community college.  
  • Thai universities are also equipped with a wider resource base and considerable autonomy in administration than Malaysian counterparts
  • Financialsupport is only received from the government and in universities such as Thailand and Vietnam, gender parity has been bridged. 
  • Three top ranking systems used in the educational sector are as follows:
  • Academic Rankings of World Universities, 
  • QS World University Rankings 
  • Times Higher Education World University Ranking
  • More Asian nations and universities have appeared in the 2012 QS rankings than ARWU Leading 500 educational destinations. The Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia are most prominent in QS rankings than other nations. 
  • Office of Commission of Higher Education in Thailand has just put across the Project for National Research University and applying universities will be ranked in THE or QS World Ranking.  
  • In the year 2015, Southeast Asian nations will promote regional integration through formation of the ASEAN Economy Community. Growth of the International Mobility for Students (ASEAN) program is another student mobility initiative which is promoting Thailand as a top ranking educational destination. Many Thai universities are implementing this program. 
  • ASEAN Common High Education Area has included the development of regional system for credit transfer and enhanced collaboration between agencies of national quality assurance. Thailand is located at the administrative heart of international efforts to promote the ASEAN Network for Universities and Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Regional Centre for Higher Education and Development. 
  • OHEC has turned Thailand into an international education hub. 

Advantages of Thailand, Quick Facts, Statistical Data and Main Reasons

Thailand as an International Educational Destination
Around 1017 global courses have been offered at Thai universities. Around 344 are for bachelor’s degree courses while 394 are for master’s degree and 249 are for doctorates. Around 30 courses are for programs for training.  Expenditure on education as a proportion of the GDP was around 7.57% in Thailand in the year 2012. It equalled 0.71% for tertiary education. Expenditure of education as a proportion of total government expenditure in the year 2012 was 31.33% in Thailand. 

The Thai education system comprises around 37,000 educational institutions and around 20 million students. There are 185 ESA or Education Service Areas in 76 provinces and close to  200 schools with 3000 to 5000 students in each of these areas. Ministry sources have pegged the number of educational institutions of higher education as being close to 170. 15 universities out of these are autonomous while 65 are public universities. The rest are community colleges or private higher educational institutions. 
Some of the main reasons why Thailand is the preferred education destination are as follows:

  • World class faculty
  • Comprehensive educational courses
  • Skilled instructors
  • Rich cultural heritage 
  • Low cost of living 
  • Reasonable cost of education

Conclusion

Higher education in Thailand is well organised, comprehensive and systematic. Students from a vast number of Asian and Western countries apply for higher studies here each year. Thai education system aims at holistic development of the students and their intellectual as well as professional growth. 
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