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Easier access to universities for Thai students

Thailand’s university admission system will go through a massive rehauling program, in a bid to allow easier and fairer access to the country’s universities. The change will be implemented in the next two years, with admissions to follow the new system as early as 2018. The actual, direct admission, system has received much criticism and is considered to be unfair and costly to applicants.

Richer future students can travel to many universities in and outside of Bangkok to sit for the exams and and pay the associated application fees, and then choose from their options, leaving many universities with empty seats to be filled, a situation the officials in Thailand’s Government are striving to change.

“This (new) system basically lets the applicants go through a single, central exam and their scores can be used to seek placements in two rounds,” said education permanent secretary Kamchorn Tatiyakawee at the end of a top-level meeting of the Office of the Higher Education Commission and representatives of universities nationwide Thursday, chaired by Education Minister Dapong Ratanasuwan.

The new application system will allow future students to take a central university exam sometimes in March.  After the test results are made public, students will use the scores they receive to apply to faculties and universities of their choice. They are allowed up to four choices.

Universities will let them know whether they have been accepted. For those of the students who are not satisfied with their results, they may apply again in the second round, as long as their universities of choice still have free places. The results are public, so applicants will know right from the start what chances they have against other students, giving them a clear idea of how competitive they are against other applicants.

This new system will not eliminate the universities’ options to open direct admissions. Some will be allowed, as long as they still have vacant seats left after two rounds.

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