THE president of Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep (UTK)’s Satit Phudhachai-yong told The Nation that after two years of transformation from vocational education to a creative, technology-based programme, the university has made significant p
“In order to escape the middle-income trap, universities have to seek new sciences for their educational |programmes. They will not only cultivate a workforce capable of economic development, but they will enable the graduates to earn incomes of at least US$ 12,000 per year or Bt30,000 per month. Meanwhile, the universities have to improve teaching quality assessment. Not just theoretical |learning, but practical studies are |needed”, Satit said.
In January, delegates from AERO-Bildung, an EASA PART 147 Maintenance Training Organisation, certified the UTK Aviation Institute to open an aircraft maintenance course starting next month. The university has formed an eight-year partnership with Aero-Bildung of Germany to develop a Bt220-million aviation maintenance training centre based on Part 147 and Part 66 of the aviation training standards of the EASA.
Thailand has the potential to be an aviation hub in the region thanks to its geographical advantage, so there is growing demand for aviation professionals in the country and across Asean.
Applications for the aviation programme will open for a maximum of 25 students who have finished study at Mathayom 6 (Grade 12) or graduated at age 25 years. The students will take a two-year course to complete the diploma and earn an EASA professional certificate, with the training course costing Bt490,000.
AERO-Bildung is an international company dealing primarily with the education and training of young people and adults. It is recognised by the Federal Aviation Authority. AERO-Bildung provides basic knowledge training and examinations for all EASA licences.
Another new focus for Rajamangala University is the rising tourism sector. The university is eyeing opportunities to provide halal food for a growing number of Islamic visitors to Thailand. At present, Muslims account for almost half of the 625 million people in Asean, including between 4 million and 5 million who visit Thailand every year.
As well as designing a halal food processing programme under the Home Economics Faculty, the university opened a halal restaurant a few months ago, offering customers a variety of Thai-style halal dishes.
Operated by the lecturers, the restaurant also provides an outside catering service for the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Labour Ministry as a pilot project and prepares halal lunch boxes for Muslim tour groups as well as |delivery service to customers within a radius of 5 kilometres.
“It is not our goal to go into business. We created the halal restaurant to promote halal foods with an authentic Thai taste. The restaurant will give the teachers and students an opportunity to learn about restaurant business management”.
Moreover, the halal food-processing programme would prepare for the |rising global demand. Thailand’s halal food business plays a vital role in the economy with annual exports topping US$5 billion (Bt160 billion). Thailand exports to 57 member countries of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation and is the world’s fifth largest exporter.
Cosmetics, spa, and beauty are other new programmes to be started next year.
The university’s science faculty has formed a partnership with the Thai Cosmetic Manufacturers Association to formulate a cosmetic programme mainly focusing on skin care and spas, while the Beauty Culture Association of Thailand will help transfer knowledge on beauty business management.
Satit said that with a growing awareness on clean energy, solar cells are expanding into various industries and homes.
Thus, the university’s engineering faculty aims to develop converter and inverter technologies.
Moreover, the faculty will provide a short course to train technicians to install solar cell panels. The university also plans to install solar panels throughout their campus within the next two years.