There are people in the sector who dedicate themselves to helping students to find great places to learn internationally – Treenat Jaiyasarn takes this dedication to a whole new level.
Running three core businesses, Jaiyasarn oversees multiple IELTS preparation centres, IELTS testing facilities and also runs an agency.
The agency, WIN Education Group, offers Thai students the chance to apply for universities primarily in the UK, but also offers US opportunities.
Westminster International Academy and Westminster School of English take the helm in terms of IELTS preparation and testing – but that isn’t where Jaiyasarn stops.
The newest venture is assisting facilitation in partnerships between local universities in Thailand and UK institutions – one, which had its articulation signed in November, involves Chiang Mai University and the University of Leeds.
“Thailand runs a six year medicine program – so we add a master’s degree in the fifth year at Chiang Mai’s medical school and the University of Leeds,” Jaiyasarn explains.
“The student will do four years in Thailand. And then they will go to Leeds medical school for one year to get the master’s – then come back to Thailand to finish their clinical year.
“So upon graduation, students will have the [qualification] from Chiang Mai University and an MSc in medicine from the University of Leeds,” he continues.
Jaiyasarn’s many hands in the international education sector in Thailand stem from his own experiences. As a masters student, he studied in the UK at the University of Brighton. Having visited relatives in the UK, upon his return to Thailand he decided to return to the UK to pursue his studies.
“I liked it. After graduation, I stayed on for another year and a half. So altogether, I lived there for four and a half years – quite a good, decent time to get to understand how the country operates,” he recalls.
The articulation agreement Jaiyasarn helped facilitate is one of the first projects of its kind he has taken on, so is currently a newer venture – but his primary businesses are currently in good shape, and continue to expand.
“We can also see that increase for masters international markets in the future”
“At the moment we have four [IELTS] centres in Bangkok and one in Chiang Mai. We are opening one more in central Bangkok, which will then make it six altogether,” Jaiyasarn says.
“And apart from teaching, we are also an official IELTS Test Centre for British Council IELTS. So we deliver academic teaching and we are also at the test point. So it’s not just teaching; we have a facility where we have the British Council come in and run the exam.”
The facilities also invigilate and register the exams – a new feature that Jaiyasarn has introduced in the last year.
The work, Jaiyarsarn says, is simply to meet the growing demand – one session of candidates is tested every day, with up to 22 candidates in each, and three sessions are often run on weekends.
“Through that, we actually can look at the percentages of students taking academic programs, where they go to study in international programs in Thailand or in other countries outside the UK – and the number of students doing UKVI. So we have these statistics of the market demand in particular markets as well, which is very good for us in terms of data collection,” he notes.
“So far for the IELTS preparation side [of the business], we were looking at 3,000 students a year studying with us in Thailand – so the demand is really high.”
The University of Thailand has also taken on IELTS as part of their requirements for international programs and English-taught programs, Jaiyasarn knows that there is an “astonishing” increase in demand for undergraduate international programs.
“We can also see that increase for masters international markets in the future – namely, going outbound for higher education for masters. And, the percentage of those choosing IELTS to study in Thailand is going up to almost 50% of the market at the moment,” he says – something he hopes to capitalise on as the demand keeps going up.
“At the moment we have four [IELTS] centres in Bangkok and one in Chiang Mai”
WIN Education Group, the agency arm of the operation, is also taking on heavy expansion. During Covid, Jaiyasarn opened new offices in Taiwan, Bangladesh and Nigeria – and another office will soon be opening in Abuja, adding to the office already set up in Lagos.
This year, the group has successfully placed nearly 1,000 students, but Jaiyasarn is already looking to put that number over 1,500 in 2023.
While education is his current primary focus, he also runs businesses within Thailand in construction, and interior design.
“I don’t know how I do it, but it is happening!”