In May 2017, the Thai government announced legislation that would allow “high potential” foreign higher education institutions to set up campuses in Thailand.
However, all prospective branch campuses were expected to offer courses that would support science and technology or areas listed in Thailand 4.0, a government initiative designed to propel the economy from middle- to high-income status.
“The government has a clear-cut policy to attract world-class universities”
The first foreign HEIs to establish such partnerships were the USA’s Carnegie Mellon University and the National Taiwan University.
Thailand’s deputy minister of Education Udom Khachinthorn said that the cabinet has now granted Amata University, located at Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate in Chon Buri province, the right to offer an MSc in Engineering Intelligent Manufacturing Systems from the NTU campus in Thailand.
Sansern Kaewkamnerd, a government spokesman, added the degree will focus largely on future automation and autonomous vehicles.
According to the Bangkok Post, the move aims to accommodate smart city development in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor and develop human resources for science and technology to cope with the targeted S-curve industries being promoted by the government.
The two-year course will be based on the identical standards of NTU available both in English and Chinese Mandarin.
Kaewkamnerd said the government hopes the new course from one of the world’s top 72 universities in the QS World University Rankings will upgrade the quality of human resources here for science and technology.
“The government has a clear-cut policy to attract world-class universities to open their faculties in Thailand to supply workers for the 10 targeted industries,” he added.
With the aim to build the country’s strength and to nurture Thailand as the leading hub of innovation in the Southeast Asia region, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Lad Krabang has also partnered with Pittsburg’s Carnegie Mellon University to establish CMKL University.
The long-term collaboration aims to significantly expand research and education in the areas of information, computing and autonomous technologies.
The Carnegie Mellon-KMITL program will focus on collaborative education, research and faculty development programs, according to the KMITL president Suchatchawee Suwansawas.
Khachinthorn added that the two universities would not affect the number of students in Thai universities but will “upgrade the quality of Thai education”.