Will Thailand become the next big higher-education powerhouse?

Will Thailand become the next big higher-education powerhouse?

Universities in Thailand are being flocked by CHINESE students, with the country’s affordable tuition fees and friendly visa rules prompting a significant influx in the last few years and data shows their annual enrolment numbers doubling since 2012.

Thai Instituitions are reportedly scrambling to meet this recent surge in demand as Chinese students look for alternatives to Western schools for their study abroad experience.

A  research says, Chinese migration patterns in Thailand says universities currently make twice the amount in tuition fees from Chinese students as they do from locals.Courses are being created by Private and State Universities, including those for Buddhist monks, aimed at attracting Chinese students. It is being said that the lure of rising Chinese demand in Thai education has already attracted Chinese investment within the sector.

Meanwhile, Assistant Professor Diane Hu at Beijing Foreign Studies University said that Thai Universities are affordable study abroad options for Chinese students when compared to popular destinations such as Australia, US and Britain.

A UG business degree costs up to 120,000 baht (US$3,700) a year in Thailand, while for a similar course, tuition fees can range from US$8,000 in Singapore to over US$60,000 a year at some US universities.

Many of the students come from the largely rural, southern provinces with the hope to escape a highly competitive but poor education system in China and to land with well-paying jobs in Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy.

In comparison to Malaysia and Singapore, Thailand has fewer higher ranking universities. As per the Times Higher Education (THE) University, World University Rankings, the highest-ranking university in Thailand is Mahidol University, which is ranked at number 601–800, and tied at 97th in the THE Asia University Rankings 2018. It also added that part of Thailand’s largest private university, Dhurakij Pundit University, started with 23 Chinese students in 2010 but now hosts about 3,700.

The news was previously published in asiancorrespondent.com

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