Advertisement

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

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

Abstract

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.

References

  1. Argyris, Chris. 1980. Inner contradictions of rigorous research. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Atagi, Rie. 1998. Economic crisis accelerates the reform of higher education in Thailand. International Higher Education 11 (Spring): 9–10.Google Scholar
  3. Bok, Derek C. 2004. Universities in the marketplace: The commercialization of higher education. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Budget Bureau. 2014. Annual budget expenditures: Ministry of Education. Bangkok: Office of the Prime Minister.Google Scholar
  5. Charas Suwanwela. 2008. The autonomy of Thai universities. Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Chulalongkorn University. 2016. https://www.reg.chula.ac.th/fee1.html
  7. Daily News. 2015. Puetbong…Mahakap panlan nguen kongthun thekno…Ladkrabang [Reveal corruption saga involving 1,000 million for technology investments of King Mongkut’s University Technology Ladkabang. January 6. http://www.dailynews.co.th/article/291707
  8. Downing, Kevin, and Fraide A. Gantoice, Jr. 2017. World university rankings and the future of higher education. Hershey: IGI Global.Google Scholar
  9. Harit Sutabutr. 2014. University council in the autonomous university: Learning from experiences of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. Unpublished presentation.Google Scholar
  10. Hazelkorn, Ellen. 2017. Global rankings and the geopolitics of higher education: Understanding the influence and impact of rankings on higher education, policy and society. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Krissanapong Kirtikara. 2004. Transition from a university under the bureaucratic system to an autonomous university: Reflections on concepts and experience of the King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. Bangkok: Office of the Education Council.Google Scholar
  12. Powers, Joshua B., and Edward P. St. John, eds. 2017. Higher education, commercialization, and university-business relationships in comparative context. Norwalk: AMS Press.Google Scholar
  13. Rattana Lao. 2012. The logic of Thailand higher education sector and quality assessment policy. Ph.D dissertation. Teachers College, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  14. ———. 2015. A critical study of Thailand’s higher education reform: The culture of borrowing. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Riggs, Fred. 1966. Thailand: The modernization of a bureaucratic polity. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.Google Scholar
  16. Siffin, William. 1966. The Thai bureaucracy. Honolulu: East-West Center Press.Google Scholar
  17. Sokal, Alan D., and J. Bricmont. 1999. Fashionable nonsense: Postmodern intellectuals’ abuse of science. New York: Picador USA.Google Scholar
  18. Stein, Donald G. 2004. Buying in or selling out? The commercialization of the American research university. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10075370.Google Scholar
  19. Thai Rath. 2015. Chi sathan mahawithayalai yuet lak thammapiban [Push universities for good governance]. March 20.Google Scholar
  20. Thaipublica. 2012, October, 26. Autonomous universities (2): The changes after the transformation. A case study of Burapha University. http://thaipublica.org/2012/10/autonomous-university-burapha-2/
  21. Varaporn Bovornsiri, Pornlerd Uampuang, and Gerald W. Fry. 1996. Cultural influences on higher education in Thailand. In Comparative perspectives on the social role of higher education, ed. Kenneth Marc Kempner and William G. Tierney, 56–77. New York: Garland Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kenan Institute AsiaQueen Sirikit National Convention CenterBangkokThailand

Personalised recommendations