THAI UNIVERSITIES' drop in the latest QS World University Ranking reflects the wrong direction taken in the Kingdom's higher education sector, education expert Pavich Thongroj said yesterday.
"Quantity shouldn't have a bigger focus than quality," he said.
He also urged the government to earmark more funds for the development of higher education institutes’ work in producing good manpower, and for research and innovations.
Several Thai universities dropped from previous rankings. Chulalong-korn University fell 10 spots from 243 last year to 253, Chiang Mai University from 551 to 690 and Thammasat University from 601 to 650.
Pavich said such results showed that Thai universities were wrongly focusing on a larger number of students rather than on quality education, hence the government, the Education Ministry and the Office of Higher Education Commission along with universities should find ways to properly develop Thailand’s higher education sector.
“Compared to foreign universities, Thai ones get very little funding. So, it is necessary that the government earmark more funds for higher education development as well promote research and innovation,” he said.
He went on to say that if Thailand failed to promote its universities’ competitiveness on the world stage, it would be viewed as not having quality manpower, which will affect other aspects of its development. He added that the development of education should be made part of the national agenda.
The QS World University Ranking includes universities from 82 countries, with those from 34 nations featuring in the top 200. The United States dominates, with 49 institutions, ahead of the United Kingdom, with 30, the Netherlands with 12, Germany 11, Canada, Australia and Japan with eight each, China with seven, and France, Sweden and Hong Kong with five each.
This 12th edition of the ranking names the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the top university, scoring 100 out of possible 100 points. Coming in second is Harvard, with 98.7 points, and Cambridge and Stanford coming in third with 98.6 points each.
In Asia, Singapore came in as the top performer with its leading universities making the top 15 for the first time. The National University of Singapore came in at 12, with 94.2 points, followed by Nanyang Technological University in the 13th place with 93.9 points.
China’s Tsinghua University, coming in at 25, is Asia’s third best university, leading a strong Chinese cohort.
The QS global surveys got contributions from 76,798 academics and 44,226 employers, while QS analysed 11.1 million research papers – indexed by Elsevier’s Scopus database. It considered 3,539 institutions for inclusion and ranked 891.