February 26, 2014 00:00 By KHWANRIAM KAEWSUWAN THE NATIO
TWO OFFICES will be set up - one for monitoring and evaluation and the other for legal affairs - to address problems plaguing universities such as lack of good governance, improper selection of presidents and substandard courses.
Tossaporn Sirisampan, secretary-general of the Higher Education Commission, told a conference in Songkhla’s Hat Yai district organised by his office yesterday that the office would focus on upgrading academic standards as part of its supervision of higher education institutions.
The monitoring and evaluation office was tasked with checking if study programmes meet the requirements of the Thailand Qualifications Framework.
The legal affairs office would handle additional work, especially rector selection processes that violate regulations, university procurement projects plagued with legal issues and governance not up to par, he added.
In its strategy to be proposed to the new government, the office would suggest using universities as a key mechanism in the country’s development.
The government should increase investment in universities in three areas – research, lecturer development and facility development, particularly for laboratories and teaching tools.
Each university would define its role by becoming an expert in a specific field. For example, Prince of Songkhla University could become a think tank for rubber tree farming and Halal food preparation.
Ampa Suwansri, director for monitoring and evaluation, said the office received many complaints about curricula, especially substandard PhD programmes. Such programmes had tripled to 3,000, so the office would speedily check on them to see if the quality met the standard.