Walailak University is a comprehensive and research-intensive university located in Tha Sala District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand. The history of Walailak University dates back to 1967 when the locals of the province started calling for the establishment of a university. After 12 years of advocacy, Members of the Parliament from Nakhon Si Thammarat first proposed to establish the university in 1979, and five years later in 1984, a group of prominent locals set up "A Group to Campaign for a University in Nakhon Si Thammarat."
The Cabinet finally passed a resolution to establish the university in April 1990, and in February 1992, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej named the University "Walailak University" after the second name of his youngest daughter, Princess Chulabhorn Walailak. King Bhumibol Adulyadej formally approved the legislation establishing the university on 29 March 1992, which is celebrated as the Foundation Day of the University.
On 23 May 1998, the first batch of 70 high school leavers enrolled at Walailak University, and the first class began on 28 May of the same year. The University is designed as a comprehensive university, offering three main academic areas: health sciences, science and technology, and social sciences. The university aims to produce quality graduates through research-inspired and contemporary pedagogical practices, with a focus on developing practical intelligence, adversity quotient, liberal arts perspective, technology competence, and high moral values.
Walailak University is located in Tha Sala District, Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, 780 kilometers south of Bangkok, with a population of approximately 120,000. It is easily accessible through daily air, train, and bus services. The University covers a total area of 3,600 acres (1,456 hectares), making it the largest single-campus among universities in Thailand. It offers students the opportunity to study in 46 undergraduate and 28 postgraduate fields across 16 schools, 3 international colleges, and 1 College of Graduate Studies. The university has adopted the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) to ensure exceptional teaching and learning and has over 97% of its lecturers certified by Advance HE based on the UKPSF, the highest number in Thailand and the second-highest in the world.
Walailak University houses key centers of excellence specializing in melioidosis, dengue research, health systems and medical research, CE-HSMR, innovation and health products, and drugs and cosmetics. All final-year students undergo an 8-month cooperative education both domestically and internationally to cultivate career readiness. Walailak University has received international recognition for its education and research. The university is ranked at 1501+ by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023 and among the top 551-600 Asian universities by the QS Asia University Rankings 2022. The university is also one of only 14 universities in Thailand recognized as a Global Frontier Research University, with 83.40% of its research articles published in international journals in the Scopus database Q1 and Q2 in 2022.
The Walailak University campus is a serene and scenic environment, surrounded by the Khao Luang national park and the sea. It offers amenities such as a sports complex, tennis and badminton courts, a golf course, and a fitness center. The campus serves as a home to students and staff from over 21 different countries, fostering a culturally diverse educational experience. The university also operates the Walailak University Hospital, which is the largest tertiary hospital in the upper southern region of Thailand and provides extensive services to both inpatients and outpatients. The Smart Farm at Walailak University grows popular Thai fruits, such as aromatic coconut, Monthong Durian, sweet corn, and snake fruit. Walailak Botanic Park, a 533-acre (215-hectare) conservation area, offers academic services, educational opportunities, and tourist destinations. It encompasses traditional forest areas, an office area with lodging and conference facilities, an herb garden, a natural history museum, a Science and Local Wisdom Learning Center, and an eight-story sky tower. Through its dedication to quality education, innovative facilities, and stunning campus, Walailak University has become a world-class university where global citizens can discover a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and culture.