Today, Professor Dr. Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, President of Walailak University, welcomed delegates from the State University of Malang, Indonesia, led by Prof. Ir. Arif Nur Afandi, S.T., M.T., MIAEng, MIEEE, Ph.D., Vice Rector of Information Systems, Public Relations, and Cooperation, at Chorpradu Chamber, Walailak University Hospital. Central to the discussion was academic collaborations between the two universities.
The State University of Malang (UM), one of the renowned universities in Indonesia, was established in 1954 as a Teacher Training and Education Institute. Later, in 1999, it was changed to the State University of Malang. Currently, the University is ranked No.1 for Education by subject according to Times Higher Education (THE) and offers nine faculties, namely Education, Letter, Mathematics and Science, Economics, Engineering, Sport Science, Social Science, Psychology Education, and Graduate School. The University has around 38,000 students and 1,069 academic staff. And it was ranked by QS Asia University Rankings at 651-700 and THE World University Rankings 2023 at 1201-1500.
On this occasion, Professor Dr. Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, President of Walailak University, briefed the delegates about the history and development of Walailak University. He also expressed an interest in promoting the quality of students who study Bachelor of Education at Walailak University, which includes programs such as Thai Dance Education, Physical Education, Thai Language, English, and Social Studies that have just opened this year.
“We would like to be a part of producing quality teachers and we can learn from the State University of Malang,” said Prof. Sombat. “One of the problems of Thailand’s education is that we focus too much on memorizing and not so much on critical thinking,” he added.
Since 2017, Walailak University has adopted the UK Professional Standard Framework (UKPSF) to enhance the quality of teaching and learning, improving students' critical, analytical, and synthetic thinking skills. Over 90 percent of the university's lecturers have been certified by Advance HE based on the UKPSF. Traditional classrooms that previously accommodated 150 students have been transformed into smart classrooms with a capacity of around 40 students to facilitate student-centered learning and foster a comfortable environment between lecturers and students. Moreover, Walailak University is committed to promoting the production of high-quality research published in Scopus-indexed international journals. Currently, up to 73.0 percent of the research is in Quartile 1, the highest percentage in Thailand (as of 6 March 2023).
Walailak University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State University of Malang in 2010. And since then, the two universities have been collaborating in various areas, including joint research, international academic seminars, and student and staff mobility program. Students in the ASEAN Studies program from the School of Political Science and Public Administration at Walailak University who went to study Indonesian language with lecturers at the State University of Malang have had their articles, which were written in Indonesian language, published in a top Indonesian newspaper called “Surya.” So far, 16 articles have been published, such as “Pikat kecil di Koh Hae,” which describes the beautiful Coral Island in Phuket, and “Warna Meriah Nasi Campur Thailand,” which tells a story about Thailand's southern spicy rice salad with vegetables."
Currently, Walailak University is home to 12 Indonesian lecturers and students, as well as around 80 lecturers and students from 21 countries across the world. The university is committed to producing quality graduates and conducting research that addresses global challenges. It is believed that this discussion will strengthen the relationship between the two universities and expand collaboration into more areas, including science and engineering.
Photos by Theeraphong Nooplod
News by Settaboot Onphakdee
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