Universities don't need to sacrifice excellence to fund-raising

your say October 01, 2015 01:00

I agree that "Thai universities are struggling to climb world rankings and be profitable" (National, September 28), but I question the conclusion of education expert Rattana Lao that "Thai universities want ... to get a higher ranking. But they have to ge



Chiang Mai, Chulalongkorn, Mahidol, Prince of Songkhla and Thammasat universities are among our top institutions by academic ranking, yet they seem to have been able to generate sufficient funds to thrive and expand. 
In the West, alumni are a key source of funding. For example, at my alma mater, the University of Chicago, alumnus David Booth donated $300 million to its business school – with no conditions attached regarding school programmes. The faculty there has featured seven Nobel laureates in its business school alone. Research is practical – David Booth used his MBA experience to found what became one of the largest US investment management firms. 
Western universities have found that academic excellence brings in top teachers and the best students, who go on to get the best-paid jobs after graduating. I suggest that our quality schools do likewise, merging fund-getting ability with academic excellence – though perhaps with different funding sources. They should not have to choose between sufficient funding and excellence, which should actually go hand in hand.
Burin Kantabutra
 

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