February 15, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. – Khon Kaen University led by the President Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D. and administrators welcomed Dr. Danuch Tanthoerdthit, Assistant to the Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation; Prof. Samphan Ritthidet, General Secretary of the Higher Education Committee; Assoc. Prof. Bandit Thipakorn, Ph.D., Chairman of the Adhoc Committee for New-Generation Graduate Project. The delegation came to Khon Kaen to follow-up the New-Generation Graduate Project of Khon Kaen University. The welcoming ceremony took place at 4A1-3 Smart Classroom, 4th Floor, Rattanapittaya Building, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University. Over 50 people, including lecturers and officers, joined the ceremony under the strict measures against the pandemic.
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University said in his welcoming address that the New-Generation Graduate Project, which aims at building high-competency manpower for the “New Growth Engine” under the Thailand 4.0 policy, is building the foundation for higher education development for the future by transforming the system of instruction in the university. The change also involves adjusting of content, structure and process of instruction to cover experience learning in real situation. Learners will be trained so that they are highly competent and potential. KKU is now collaborating with businesses and the industrial sector in order to achieve the said goals. There are the plans of the University for the programs in 2022-2026 as well as the education transformation strategy.
Dr. Danuch Tanthoerdthit, Assistant to the Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation revealed that estimations of the world and population by futurists show that in the next 3-40 years, the population will be decreasing to half the number today. Putting it in simple terms, we will see that national development under the decreasing population is an important issue. This necessitates improvement of education so that it is of a more concise pattern. We may have to add more of non-degree programs to catch up with time. This will also answer those who are employed but want to develop themselves. The end results would be the whole world and the country development.
“Today, learning may not be enough for national development. People in this era want new skills with the body of knowledge that is concise, quick, simple to understand and can be applied in the work right away. MHESI is thus under the attempt to modify for the better and this results in the system that is more concise and direct to what learners want. At the same time, the quality of students must be retained. We therefore join with private groups to design curricula and make contracts for students to be employed in the private sector. We also have to train students to be patient, responsible and self-adjustable. MHESI is the ministry that must develop itself regularly first to be able to prepare students and the public. This leads to various projects and policies that aim to develop students and institutions that will lead to sustainable development,” said Dr. Danuch.
At present, 8 programs of Khon Kaen University are being supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation for the fiscal year 2021. These are divided into 2 degree programs, namely the Information Science Program of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Bachelor’s of Agriculture in Innovative Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture. There are 2 non-degree programs in Modern Varieties Technology, Faculty of Agriculture and New Technology and Agricultural Industry Development, Faculty of Technology. Other programs are Smart Manufacturing for Agricultural and Food Industry, Faculty of Technology, Higher-Order Thinking in Mathematics, programs in humanities and social sciences, and a program of the Research and Development Institute for the Teaching Profession for ASEAN and the New Digital Health Care Program of the Faculty of Associated Medical Science.
Assoc. Prof. Maitree Inprasitha, Ph.D., Vice President for Education and Academic Service explained about the work outcomes of the New-Generation Graduate Project that the project is aimed at preparing competent manpower according to the 3 aspects under the Thai University reform policy. For KKU, what are being implemented are quantitative transformation and qualitative transformation. The impacts that arise are also being investigated. The proposed programs, both the degree and non-degree ones can be divided into programs equivalent to bachelor’s degree programs (18%) and non-degree programs, 57:22 compared to the life-long learning programs. The programs receiving increased budget account for 11.26%. This is making impact on 311 programs in KKU that must be improved in order to answer the national strategy or to develop manpower for country development. Awareness is being made from budget support by the government to make changes in terms of graduates so that they are of high quality and competence. Besides, there are exchanges of knowledge and information among various programs in different universities, for KKU has had a chance to become the mentor institute in the New-Generation Graduate Project.
News: Jiraporn Prathomchai, Sahatsawat Siawsirikul
Photos: Sahatsawat Siawsirikul