Two vocational colleges are set to adopt Japan's Kosen education method due to academic co-operation between the two countries.
The co-operation materialised after a memorandum of understanding was signed recently by Thailand’s Office of Vocational Education Commission (Ovec) and Japan’s National Institute of Technology, or Kosen.
Kosen provides its students with at least a five-year engineering education from about the age of 15.
It runs 55 campuses, which altogether have about 52,000 students including hundreds of foreigners. Some of the campuses offer higher education up to the doctorate level.
Among the highlights of its approach are practical and creative learning and character building.
The Suranaree Technical College and the science-based Technology Vocational College at Chon Buri are the first Thai institutes to adopt the Kosen approach.
In the pilot phase, both colleges will have a 30-student Kosen class.
Kosen is known for its great mix of experimentation, demonstrations, internships and co-op education. Character-building is based on students’ lives in dormitories and extracurricular activities.
“We will find out which parts of Kosen work best in the Thai context. When we know the key to success, more vocational colleges will follow,” Ovec deputy secretary general Aganit Klungsang said.
Kosen representatives will visit Thailand on September 21-22 to discuss the two Thai institutes’ preparation and progress.
Through the memorandum of understanding, both Kosen and Ovec have agreed to promote the following academic activities: exchange of faculty and staff members; exchange of students; exchange of publications and relevant academic and scholarly information; joint research, lecturers, symposia and conferences; and teacher development on pedagogy and research.
According to Aganit, Kosen has also co-operated with educational institutes in Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.
“So when Kosen jointly conducts training there [those countries], Thai teachers will be able to join too,” he said.