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Top 10 Universities in Thailand for Higher Education

Students choice of selecting a university abroad depends heavily on the employability opportunities. Every year “The Times Higher Education” releases ranking list for universities around the world. The ranking is based on 13 performance indicators which measure the institution’s performance across teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

The list is prepared after compiling answers of several recruiters, chief executives and business managers from top companies in 20 countries.

Let us have a look at the list “Top 10 Universities in Thailand for Higher Education for the year 2020”

Mae Fah Luang University


Mae Fah Luang University was established in 1998 and known as the “University in the Park” for its spectacular 800 hectare wooded hillside campus in the northern district of Chiang Rai. It was named after the “Princess Mother” Srinigarindha, whose son Bhumibol was King of Thailand from 1946 to 2016.

It was started with just 64 students but by 2014 it had 12,700, including nearly 1,000 graduates and 450 overseas students, spread across 14 schools including cosmetic science and anti-aging and regenerative medicine, making it the fastest-growing of Thailand’s private universities. Its philosophy is to “restore forests and develop people” and declared has goals of “new, different and better”.

All classes except nursing and Thai law are taught in English and there is a single satellite campus in Bangkok, which hosts the school of anti-aging and regenerative medicine.

Located more than 300 miles north of Bangkok in the Greater Mekong Subregion, also sometimes known as the Golden Triangle, it proclaims itself a “centrally located education hub for all six countries” – Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and China.

The Medical Hub built around the University Hospital established in 2012 offers services across the region.

MFL research in 2017 showed that any benefits from Chinese dam-building projects on the Mekong would be far outweighed by the damage done to fisheries downstream in the other five countries, and in 2019 it launched the “City of Herbs” project in the region, based on traditional local medical practices. Vocational classes run by the university include flight attendant training.

Mahidol University


Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand, can be traced back to the foundation of the Siriraj Hospital, which was established by his Majesty King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) in 1888.

The hospital had a medical school – the oldest seat of higher education learning in the country – which first awarded a degree in 1893. In 1943, it became the University of Medical Sciences before finally becoming Mahidol University, in honour of his royal highness Prince Mahidol of Songkla , also known as Thailand’s “Father of Modern Medicine and Public Health”, in 1969.

The university has three campuses across Bangkok, the biggest of which, Salaya, is located in Nakhon Pathom province. There are also two smaller inner-city bases. In addition, there are provincial campuses in Nakhon Sawan, Kanchanaburi and Amnaj Charoen provinces.

The Salaya Campus houses the most research centres, along with the institution’s student union and student accommodation.

The original medical school is based at the Bangkok Noi Campus, which is home to the faculties of Medical Technology, Nursing and Siriraj Hospital.

The university houses the Mahidol University International College which, in 1986, began teaching Thailand’s first international bachelor’s degree programme. UIC, as it is known, now offers 19 undergraduate and two master’s degree programs, and has more than 3,000 students.

Mahidol University is a member of the country’s National Research University Initiative and Research Promotion programme, as decreed by the Office of Higher Education Commission at the Ministry for Education in 2009.

This programme aims to promote Thailand as a hub of internationally recognised research, education and development. It was allocated a $350 million budget.

Chulalongkorn University


Chulalongkorn University is a public research institution based in Bangkok with around 40,000 students.

The institution was founded in 1917. That year, King Vajiravudh decided that the former Civil Service College was ready to become a university, naming Chulalongkorn in memorial to his father, the king regarded as having laid the foundations of modern education in Thailand.

King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) had the aim of enabling the country to resist the tide of colonialism, one element of this being to improve the educational system of Siam (as the country was then known).

In 1961, the university established the graduate school, followed by a number of research centres and institutes.

The university’s strategy for the period between 2012 and 2016 focuses on different aspects of development and improvement, with the aim of raising the institution to a level of excellence that will enable it to become a “World Class National University”.

The institution’s vision is to be “Thailand’s source of knowledge and reference, a guiding light of wisdom for sustainable development”.

The university has the motto of “Pillar of the Kingdom”.

CU’s emblem is the Phra Kieo, a coronet worn by princes and princesses. When the institution was named after King Chulalongkorn, the Phra Kieo became the institution’s emblem.

The coronet housed in the CU Memorial Hall is a replica made in 1976, by royal permission, of an original found in the royal Grand Palace.

Other attractions on campus include the Museum of the Human Body, the Museum of Thai Classical Music and the Snail Museum of Thailand, part of the institution’s Natural History Museum.

Chiang Mai University


Named after the beautiful city of Chiang Mai in which it is located, Chiang Mai University was the first higher education institution to be established in northern Thailand.

The university opened in 1964 with three faculties that offered programmes in Science, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Today, Chiang Mai offers almost 100 undergraduate and about 160 postgraduate courses in seventeen faculties to over twenty-five thousand students.

Additionally, two of its international undergraduate programmes and 18 at Masters and Doctoral level spanning Social Sciences, Health Sciences, and Science and Technology are taught in English.

The university is organised across four campuses: Suan Sak, which is 5km away from the city centre; Suan Dok whose name translates as Garden of Flowers; Mae Hea, located south of the city and, Sri Bua Baan, the university’s most southerly campus.

It also boasts three interdisciplinary Research Institutes with other facilities that include no less than 19 libraries. The main Central Library was built at the same time as the university itself and offers books, journals and multimedia resources in several different languages.

Since 1998, the university has also been home to an Art Museum, which hosts exhibitions by renowned contemporary Thai artists, international collections, and screenings of foreign films, as well as acting as a space for students to exhibit their own work.

Chiang Mai students can also sign-up to join a number of recreational and sports clubs that offer instruction in a number of traditional Thai sports such as Thai boxing (Muay Thai), sword and pole fighting, as well as Thai dancing.

Students seeking accommodation are directed towards the university’s ‘International Hostel’, which offers fully furnished, air conditioned rooms and suites for short and long term visitors. The hostel is priced affordably and prices include breakfast.

Kasetsart University


Kasetsart University, in Thailand, was the first agricultural university and the third oldest university in the country. Kasetsart University is based in Bangkok, and now has four campuses, also making it the largest university in Thailand.

Established in 1943, it promoted subjects related to agricultural science. Yet since then, the university has expanded its subject areas to cover science, the arts, social sciences, humanities, education, engineering, and architecture. In the future, the university intends to include medicine and health science to its array of departments.

The four campuses are in Bangkhen, Kamphaeng Saen, Si Racha and Chalermphrakiat Sakon Nakhon Province. All 28 faculties are spread across the multiple campuses as well as 18 research stations, two colleges, nine institutes, four veterinary hospitals, and four radio stations.

Bangkhen Campus is the original and main campus of the university in the lower part of the northern zone of Bangkok, which holds the university headquarters and is the hub of advanced research and academic development.

The university campuses offer food services, stores, banks, post offices and bookstores for students to conveniently buy everything they need.

Kasetsart University Library is responsible for being the university’s knowledge repository, and it has a large digital database on Thailand’s agriculture. The library is the country’s first prototype eco-library, which conserves energy and environment, manages and develops services and has one of the most complete databases in the country.

Sports fields and courts are available to all students equipped with a variety of modern facilities and machines. Kasetsart University also built the Chulabhorn Walailak swimming pool which was opened by Princess Chulabhorn in 1978.

Princess Chulabhorn Walailak, the youngest daughter of King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit, actually attended Kasetsart University graduating with a First Class Honours. Other notable alumni include Khemanit Jamikorn, a Thai TV actress, singer and model, Weluree Ditsayabut, former Miss Universe Thailand 2014, and Luang Por Dhammajayo, the abbot of Wat Phra Dhammakaya in Thailand and the president of the Dhammakaya Foundation.

Khon Kaen University


Khon Kaen University is regarded as the one of Thailand’s top research universities.

Founded in 1964 near the city of Khon Kaen, it was initially set up as an institute of technology to further the study of engineering and agriculture and was later named the University of North East Thailand.

It renamed Khon Kaen University – known as KKU – and was appointed one of Thailand’s nine national research universities in 2010, in addition to its work as a major educational centre in the Mekong region.

With more than 40,000 students, including 10,000 postgraduates and 500 overseas students, across around 350 study programmes on its main campus, KKU also has around 2,200 academic staff and 8,500 support staff.

One of KKU’s main strategic goals is to be recognized both internationally and regionally as a leading university in research.

Among the areas in which outstanding research takes place at KKU is in medicine, public Health and tropical medicine, with its Tropical Disease Research Laboratory gaining widespread acclaim.

It also excels in its historic research strength of agriculture, with studies focusing on tropical farming systems in both animal and plant science. Work on the bio-diversity in the Mekong River basin, as well as business and tourism in this area, has also been recognised.

In line with the goal to develop the university’s research, it has now has a total of 25 research centres of excellence and research specialist groups, based around six research themes: health problems, food products and food for health, water management, improving literacy and numeracy, biofuels and advanced materials.

In addition, the university has partnerships with more than 160 national and international research organizations from 25 countries.

There are also exchange programs for KKU students, personnel, provided with full equipment, knowledge, labs and other kinds of bodies of knowledge.

King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang


King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) is based in the city of Bangkok in Thailand. It was founded in 1960 as a telecommunications training centre with support of the Japanese government and is often considered a major science and technology institute in Thailand.

Since its inception, KMITL has grown to offer courses within seven faculties and affiliated research centres covering a range of different subjects.

In 1982 KMITL launched Thailand’s first Doctoral Degree in electrical engineering and awarded a doctorate in electrical engineering to Dr. Chom Kimpan, who also earned the first Doctor of Engineering granted by a Thai university.

In 2010, the University of Glasgow signed a partnership agreement with KMITL’s International College which enables students to study for two years at KMITL followed by two years at Glasgow, leading to the degree of BSc (Hons) Software Engineering. This offers students an opportunity to experience living and working within two opposing cultures while developing key academic skills.

KMITL offers a sports centre, swimming pool, tennis courts, and sports fields for students to enjoy while studying. A variety of student clubs are available as well, including basketball, rugby, table tennis and judo.

The university also offers other clubs outside of sport such as: photography, electronics, music, engineering and public relations.

The university library is a four-storey building which covers 10,000sqm of land. In 1994, the central library was visited by her Majesty the Princess, who placed a headstone at the front of the building in honour of its official opening.

KMITL has produced a number of professional engineers within the science and technology sectors. Notable alumni include Wibool Piyawattanametha who was selected as being among the Top 40-Under-40 Young Scientists in the world by the World Economic Forum. In addition, the university can boast Kokaew Pikulthong, a former Member of Parliament and leader of the National United Front of Democracy Against Dictatorship, and Yaowalak Traisurat, who won Miss Thailand Universe in 2003.

King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok


King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok, generally abbreviated as KMUTNB, is a renowned public higher education intuition in Thailand. With a focus on engineering and applied sciences, the university strives to encourage innovation in science and its application in industry.

The predecessor of KMUTNB, called Thai-German Technical School, was established as a partnership between the German and Thai governments in 1959. Since then, the institutions follow German standards and higher education structure. In 2007, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology North Bangkok was renamed King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok and became an autonomous state university.

After half century of transformation, the university consists of three main campuses, which cover over 200 hectares of land. They are located in Thailand’s capital Bangkok, famous for its vibrant cultural life; Prachinburi, a small city in northeast Thailand; and Rayong, a town located in the heart of Thai agricultural and industrial realm.

The institute is organised in 12 faculties such as the faculty of engineering, the faculty of technical education, college of industrial technology and the faculty of applied science.

Students have the chance to pursue a variety of degrees at all educational levels from bachelor, master’s to doctorate. All programmes are taught in English, which makes the university easily accessible for foreign students.

The symbol of the university is the great crown, the royal seal of King Rama VI, which represents the royal patronage of the university. The symbolic tree of KMUTNB is the red pradoo, whose flowers are full of blossom in February, when the institutions celebrates its anniversary.

King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi


King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) is a technical university in Thailand.

In 1960 the university opened as Thonburi Technology Institute, with just 21 staff. In 1971 it merged with the North Bangkok College of Technology and the College of Communication Technology to become King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. It was the first university in Thailand to receive full autonomy from the government.

In addition to its teaching and research, the university presents itself as a multidisciplinary think tank, educational park and industrial park.

A range of courses with English instruction is available to students at bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level.

As a prominent research centre, KMUTT’s main areas of research expertise are materials sciences, earth systems sciences, indoor air quality, energy management, bioscience, bioengineering and policy research.

The university also has a respected Faculty of Architecture and Design.

Life on campus is energised by the many clubs run by the student union. There’s the chance to take part in activities like football and cheerleading, or to try out Southeast Asia’s challenging takraw – a form of volleyball in which players can’t use their hands or arms to hit the ball.

Thonburi is a district of Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok, and is located near the city centre, next to the Chao Phraya River. One of Thailand’s most iconic temples, Wat Arun, is located in this district. Thonburi has multiple canals which locals navigate on small boats.

Mahasarakham University

Mahasarakham University (MSU) started out as the College of Education, Mahasarakham. It became a regional campus of Srinakharinwirot University in 1974, with four faculties: education, humanities, social sciences and science.

In 1994, the university gained independent status to become Thailand’s 22nd public university. Rapid expansion saw Mahasarakham offer undergraduate and post-graduate degree programmes in three academic areas – social sciences; pure and applied science; and health science – and set up the Khamriang Campus in 1998, 7km from the original campus (both are situated in the Masha Sarakham Province, and are around 470km from Bangkok).

Student enrolment now stands at over 40,000 across 177 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes including 87 bachelor’s, 57 master’s and 33 PhD programmes. There are 17 faculties in total: music; politics and governance; cultural science; education; fine and applied arts; humanities and social sciences; law; faculty of tourism and hotel management; Mahasarakham Business School; medicine; nursing; pharmacy, public health; veterinary medicine and animal science; architecture; urban design, and creative arts; engineering; environment and resource studies; informatics, and science and technology. There are also a number of research centres including the first natural medicinal mushroom museum and learning centre in Asia.

Other MSU firsts are that is the only Thai university to offer paleontology at MSc and PhD level, the first university in the country to establish a faculty of cultural sciences and the first to join the Microsoft Regional Campus IT Program. Furthermore, its faculty of education was voted as Thailand’s Best Education Faculty by the National Education Office.

Student facilities and activities available include venues for sports (swimming, basketball, takraw, badminton, tennis and football), a performance centre, two book centres, a computer centre, banks, post office, a medical centre, and MSU Plaza has shops including a pharmacy, a convenience store and a stationery shop.

MSU has enrolled international students from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Pakistan, South Korea, Sudan, Taiwan, UK, USA, and Vietnam.

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