Mon, August 15, 2022

in-focus

Move to set up educational institutes that can develop manpower for EEC


THAILAND’S higher-education sector is shifting gears towards the future – setting sights on new engines of growth as well as the much-vaunted Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

“We will have to prepare courses that respond to the development of target industries in the EEC,” Office of Higher Education Commission (Ohec) secretary-general Suphat Champatong said of the new focus. 
The government has identified 10 industries as key drivers for the country’s growth. They are: Next – Generation Automotive; Smart Electronics; Affluent, Medical and Wellness Tourism; Agriculture and Biotechnology; Food for the Future; Robotics; Aviation and Logistics; Biolfuels and Biochemicals; Digital Industry; and Medical Hub. 

Move to set up educational institutes that can develop manpower for EEC
Suphat emphasised that the educational sector must earnestly move ahead in line with the country’s development goals and policies. 
He said CMKL University is a clear example of how higher-education institutes can take the initiative in supporting Thailand’s move forward. 
Established by Carnegie Mellon University and King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, CMKL University is now accepting applications to train people for master’s and doctorates in engineering. 
“Graduates will be quality human resources for target industries,” Suphat said. 
He believes CMKL will be able to produce 200 master’s graduates, 80 doctoral graduates and 50 “world-class innovators” over the next decade. 
King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology is a leading educational institute in Thailand, while Carnegie Mellon University is a prominent school in the United States. 
Suphat said Ohec has also been negotiating for cooperation with many other top foreign universities with an eye to setting up more new, high-quality universities in Thailand and producing a capable workforce to match the new engines of growth. 
“For example, we are now in talk with Switzerland’s Les Roches Global Education for a hospitality and leisure management programme, Japan’s Tokyo University for an aerospace engineering programme, and Britain’s University of Portsmouth for aviation and robotics programmes,” Suphat said. 
He added that such moves would also help make Thailand Southeast Asia’s education hub. 
Thammasat University rector Associate Professor Gasinee Witoonchart, meanwhile, recently sought a meeting with Industry Minister Uttama Savanayana about a plan to establish the first higher-educational facility in the EEC. 
“We plan to develop our Pattaya campus in Chon Buri and we establish it as a medical hub too,” Gasinee said. 
She said the campus would operate specialised medical facilities and even include a research centre for medical innovations. 
“We will pursue our goals in collaboration with the private sector,” she said. 
Gasinee said Uttama had expressed support for the plan because it could contribute to EEC development.
The chosen location is about 40 kilometres from U-tapao Airport, 121km from Suvarnabhumi and 27km from Laem Chabang Port. 

Move to set up educational institutes that can develop manpower for EEC
Gasinee said Thammasat’s Pattaya campus would also host a Thammasat Innovation Hub. Spanning 24,000 square metres, it would feature 10 buildings, including a co-working space, “smart space for active learning” and business co-working space. 
Thammasat has already inked agreements for cooperation with several organisations in pursuit of the plan to develop the campus in a significant and high-impact way. Among its partners are the Federation of Thai Industries, MAIC Motor-CP, Banpu and Hong Kong Cyber Port. 
Gasinee said the cooperation would be fruitful. 
“For example, we will collaborate with Banpu in developing metro-train prototypes,” she said, “Our collaboration with MAIC Motor-CP will meanwhile focus on automobile technology development.” 
 

Published : November 04, 2018

By : Chularat Saengpassa The Nation