The existence of ASEAN is not only for economic benefits but also for the connections between member countries. It also increases opportunities in the labor market to exchange human resources. CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam) are considered as a group of opportunities. According to the prediction of Economic Intelligence Center (EIC), the economy is growing 6-7% per year.
However, eventhough the doors of opportunity open, there is a lack of harmony and potential personnel. Currently, we are in the fast changing digital era where we can communicate with the other sides of the world. The invention of Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays an important role in most business world.
Education should be equal and continuous.
In the past half year, QS, an annual publication of university rankings, reveals “World’s University Ranking by 2020” and 8 of Thai’s universities are on the list. Thammasat University is one of them that has a strategy to connect with CLMV countries.
It is interesting to see Thammasat’s next move and what opportunities they see in CLMV countries. “CLMV countries are the potential countries whose economy will grow. We need to rely on each other so a harmonious relationship between citizens is a necessity. Students from CLMV countries are the links between Thai and CLMV countries” Assoc.Prof.Dr. Kitti Prasertsuk, Vice Rector for International Relations, said. Sustainability is what we need to do. Sustainable relationship is created from long-term cooperation. Therefore, what Thammasat does is to invest in human resources by giving scholarships to elites from CLMV countries.
“CLMV countries are our neighboring countries. Providing scholarship helps improve human resources which are the crucial parts for the development of their countries and ASEAN” Vice Rector stated. In order to successfully build connections between countries and invest in human resources, we systematically give scholarships as it is essential to the nation.
For instance, giving scholarship to students from Cambodia in 2019 starts from contacting Embassy of Cambodia in Thailand and they contact Ministry of Education in Cambodia. As a result, there are 300 applicants and there are only 16 students who will get a scholarship that covers tuition fees and monthly expenses during undergraduate years with no conditions.
From the perspective of a student who receive scholarship, Mr. Phanna Kov, students from Cambodia who studies Social Policies and Development (SPD), reveals that Thailand is my dream ASEAN country that I want to study in. After I graduated from high school, I was waiting to apply for the Royal University of Phnom Penh. However, after I heard about the scholarship, I decided to apply for it.
“Currently, I am happily live and study in Thailand. I learnt about many things and got new experience, including Thai food, Thai culture, and Thai history. I got a chance to go to slum in Klong Toei. I saw the life in slums in a big city. It was a good experience.” he said.
He said that his goal and future plan is to see a better society. Therefore, after graduation, he will pursue master’s degrees to enhance specialization in policy making and social problem solving.
On the other hand, Ms. SreyNit Hon chooses to study in Marketing, Thammasat Business School, states that she is growing up in a countryside of Cambodia. Farming is the only thing she knows. Studying in Thailand makes me want to help tackle problem in country and international. To illustrate, Civic Engagement class allows me to come up with a plan for community problems.
“Thailand is the very first destination for Cambodia students. Therefore, this program benefits both students, the courses, and the university itself. University will have more international elites which will increase an exchange and enhance education in the international level.”Asst.Prof.Dr. Supranee Lisawad, Assistant to International Relations said. Thammasat’s strategy of building internal and external relations is an example of strengthening itself and country sustainably.