Quality and Autonomous Universities: Policy Promises and the Paradox of Leadership

  • Rattana LaoEmail author
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 42)


This chapter addresses one of the most contested and celebrated reforms in Thai higher education: the transformation of public universities to become autonomous, which means that the state lessens its role in terms of finance, human resources and administrative management to allow each higher institution greater flexibility and freedom. While its advocates have celebrated this reform as the only alternative for Thai higher education, this chapter analyzes the complexity of translating these policy promises into practical realities. Particularly, it focuses on the paradoxical role of university leadership to make decisions regarding administrative and financial arrangements as well as setting policy directions. The chapter critiques the overt obsession with international rankings and quality assessment as detrimental factors which adversely affect the long-term quality of institutions and lead to dissatisfaction within the academic profession.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kenan Institute AsiaQueen Sirikit National Convention CenterBangkokThailand

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