Depa eyes ‘digital university’ to address Thailand’s talent shortage
Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa) is looking into establishing a university that specialises in digital knowledge to address the shortage of talent in the country.
“This initiative aims to produce digital professionals quickly, as Thailand’s demand for digitally skilled personnel is 100,000 individuals per year, while existing educational institutions produce about 30,000 annually,” Dr Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, Depa president, told Krungthep Thurakij on Tuesday.
Depa’s efforts to collaborate with the private sector and several universities to upgrade and reskill personnel has still fallen short, he said. Digital skills are crucial in driving the business sector into the new era.
"The concept behind the ‘digital university’ is to give personnel a chance to pursue additional courses, so they can expand upon their existing education and upgrade their qualifications without having to go overseas. They can achieve this by doing online courses with leading universities,” he said.
Nuttapon said a team of highly qualified professionals is studying the “digital university” model and is coordinating with top universities in places like Australia and Singapore. The online university is expected to be launched by next year once negotiations are complete.
Eventually, he said, Depa aims to become the main agency responsible for accrediting courses and will further specify details in collaboration, including the potential involvement of the Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Ministry.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s version of Silicon Valley in the 30-rai Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) will include five main buildings. The first will provide office space, most of which has already been rented, while the remaining four will be dedicated to innovation.
Of the four buildings, one will be allocated to start-ups, mobile phone service providers and telecommunication network companies like Nokia.
Meanwhile, the largest building, spanning 40,000 square meters, will serve as a digital innovation hub, comprising testing areas for 5G technology, artificial intelligence laboratories, data centres, innovation design spaces for IoT and smart systems as well as designing and testing areas for robotics and automation.
Negotiations are also underway to establish a major educational and innovation centre for the regional area, with Huawei being considered for this role.