How Mahidol’s Music College hit a high note and broke into world top 100


Mahidol University’s College of Music has revealed the secrets of its success, after being named among the top 100 universities in the field of performing arts earlier this month.

Mahidol became the first Thai university listed among the global elite for performing arts in this year’s QS World University Rankings.

"Obtaining the rank is considered difficult to some extent but to hold and make it even better is a challenge for me, the college and Mahidol University,” said Prof Narong Prangcharoen, dean of the college.

“However, if we continually prepare and develop ourselves, maintaining standards is not difficult,” he added.

Narong is the first Thai composer to win the Charles Ives Fellowship in musical composition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He explained that the QS ranking uses two main criteria: Academic reputation and employee reputation.

How Mahidol’s Music College hit a high note and broke into world top 100

The college sets out three key areas to build its academic reputation. Firstly, it has built recognition overseas by participating in international events arranged by the Pacific Alliance of Music Schools, the International Benchmarking Exercise and the International Council of Fine Arts Deans.

Secondly, it has built exchange programmes with music institutions abroad, including partnerships with leading Chinese music institutes, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the Central Conservatory of Music the leading in China.

Thirdly, the college has adopted international standards and the European Music Quality Enhancement (MusiQuE) accreditation for bachelor's and master's degree programmes.

“This demonstrates the quality of teaching and learning of our institution and makes it known even more internationally,” Narong said.

“Also, as a composer, I have my followers following the work at Mahidol University in the knowledge that I returned to Thailand and took the role of administrator here.”

Narong studied in the US, where he was composer-in-residence for the prestigious Pacific Symphony in Orange County, California.

How Mahidol’s Music College hit a high note and broke into world top 100