Thammasat UniversityThammasat - The First University for the People

Thammasat - The First University for the People

Thammasat - The First University for the People

The COVID-19 posts an intense challenge to our well-being and health system around the world.  The effects of this pandemic on the economy force every business sector not just to recover but rather to fast forward and adapt themselves into this ‘new normal’ way of living.  This imposes great uncertainties to all of us, thus, how universities should enhance their civic engagement and work towards outcomes that benefit the communities that they serve is a challenge for many institutions.

There are also the challenges created by a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business environment, exacerbated by both the coronavirus and the rapid pace of change in technological developments, the latter of which means that many graduates will be required to do jobs that do not yet exist.

Thammasat University, the second oldest university in Thailand, determined to adapt this new way of teaching and “learning” to meet the present needs for this new normal way of “living” and to continuously steer our society toward a positive direction by “leading” the changes for a better quality of life, following our core value – being the university for the people.


Be a leader in education, adapting new way of teaching and learning systems to meet present needs using “Active Learning” and “Service Learning”.

The key challenge ahead is to find the “right balance” between the online and classroom learning.  The “new normal” way of learning and living present us with several benefits, conveniences, and time efficiency.  The traditional classroom learning, however, offered the interactions, the two ways communication, group discussion, presentations and other classroom experiences that were missed out during the online learning.  Online grading and assessments are still the unsolved equations for most faculties.

With the modern mission statement to “learn, live and lead”, TU is adapting both its teaching and learning systems to meet the demand for “active learning” and “service learning” as Covid-19 disrupts higher education.  A core part of the Thammasat’s strategy is its Gen Next Academy, which enables learners of all ages to access learning online via a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) or, pre-coronavirus, in person on campus. “Lifelong learning means people receive an education continuously, rather than gaining a degree and then going into work.  This is made possible through a modified system that includes online learning, classroom learning, and intense short training courses. This marks a big step for the institution towards expanding educational opportunities to reach the people.

Being a leader in research and innovation that leads to social change, for a better quality of life, that can be sustained on both local and international levels.

Serving Thailand’s societal needs has been Thammasat University’s guiding principle throughout its history, and presently it states its main strategic objective is to become “the University of the People, the Research University and the International University.” The research activities in areas such as artificial intelligence, agriculture, medicine, logistics and business will also play a key role in achieving this goal.  Thammasat has almost 20 centres of excellence in research.  These centres of excellence form an ecosystem in which research collaborations can be established to help facilitate the multidisciplinary approaches that are needed when tackling social issues such as sustainability and healthcare.

Finding the balance between academic freedom and being agile enough to tackle fast-evolving social issues can be difficult, but Thammasat finds itself well-placed to maximise its social impact.

Having Thammasat University Hospital on its Rangsit Campus is another benefit, as it facilitates quicker bench-to-bedside transitions for Thammasat's researchers, who have developed a variety of groundbreaking AI solutions for tackling public health and caring for Thailand’s ageing population such as project “ReArm”, “EZ Stand Walker, and “Knee & Hip Center”.

To be a leader in steering our society toward a positive direction regarding social, environmental, art and culture, sciences, medicines, and others.

Thammasat places an emphasis on sustainability by teaching the humanities, social sciences and STEM subjects in an environment that aims to create a “smart university”. This goal is being reached by introducing energy saving and renewable measures on campus, and by creating and implementing new technology that is environmentally friendly. As Thailand shifts its political agendas towards meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Thammasat University has become central to coordinating research and policy while helping to prioritise the country’s social mobility.

Thammasat is the first university in Thailand who has received an award on “Cultural Change for Sustainability” for its campaign to reduce single-use plastics from the International Sustainability Campus Network (ISCN) during the 2020 ISCN Awards Ceremony on 14th May, 2020.  Thammasat is leading by example in setting its own targets to become a fully sustainable “smart university”.

Closing Remarks:
Commemorating the 86th anniversary of Thammasat University, Associate Professor Gasinee states that an important ‘step’ in today’s fast changing world is, for Thammasat University, to dare to be academically innovative in order to drive Thai education forward amidst new challenges and be flexible and ready to overcome those challenges. It is important for the university to have a global mindset, meaning a far-reaching vision that views society at a global level. The university must also adapt itself to become a leader in driving social change and bringing benefits to society. Thammasat community is like the wind beneath the wings that helps maintain Thammasat University’s core value — the university of the people, for the people — forever.

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