In today’s fast-paced world, technology and knowledge are developing constantly. Therefore, it is important to adopt a habit of lifelong learning to update and sharpen the skills. Thammasat University‘s “Gen Next Academy”, now in its second year, can deliver just that, guaranteed with over 20,000 learners enrolled in the program.
Dr. Nopparat Plucktaveesak, Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Faculty of Science and Technology, said that Thammasat Gen Next Academy is intended to allow outsiders to study in the university. There are three target groups of the program:
- Advancement group: High school students who want to start their higher education early.
- Re-training group: People in the working-age that want to learn things outside of their circles/ expertise
- Lifelong Learning group: retiree, wanted to keep learning new things.
There are three different class types in the program; the face-to-face class with Thammasat students, short-term weekly training sessions, and classes on the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
The two most popular courses in the program are Food Technology in Daily life, teaching those interested in the food industry about the component in food, food preservation, industrial food processing, insurances, and food quality evaluation. Another popular class is Entrepreneurship in Organic farming business. Being popular among the working people, the course is about innovations in organic farming, entrepreneurship, investment, funding source, basics laws, ethics/ social responsibilities, business plan, and some case study.
The program also features some courses from the department of food science and technology, and the department of agricultural technology in master’s degree program, faculty of science and technology. Anyone interested in the master’s degree can take the courses as the preparatory courses before enrolling in the master’s degree program.
Dr. Nopparat added that the credit in the program can be kept in a “credit bank”. The learners who have earned the credit from the program but face some problem with the enrolment process can keep their credit for up to 8 – 10 years, depending on the courses.
The Gen Next Academy is still developing to fulfill the objective of promoting lifelong learning policy. The faculty of science and technology is currently developing the curriculum that allows learners to transfer up to 75% of their credits in the Gen Next Academy and be able to graduate from the program. This program is also in sync with the announcement of the credit bank learning system from the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation (MHESI).
The process of being “Thammasat Learners” in the Gen Next Academy can be done easily by registering in a form at https://gennext.tu.ac.th. Then, they will soon receive the “Thammasat leaners card”.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chalie Charoenlarpnopparut. Vice President of Academic Affairs, Thammasat University, said that all three groups can collect their certificates and turn them into credits, especially those in the “Advancement Group”. They can enroll and go from being “Thammasat Learners” to “Thammasat students”. By transferring the credits to the degree, they will be able to finish the degree with a shorter time. For the future, Thammasat is currently working on the new admission procedure to accept people based on their existing credits. For instance, anyone with over 25% credits can directly enroll in the program.
If the curriculum and the credit bank system is approved by the MHESI, Thammasat will be able to accept the new students in 2021.
For more information: https://gennext.tu.ac.th