The Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT) has drawn widespread criticism after declaring that students infected with COVID-19 at the time of their scheduled appointment cannot take this year’s university admission test, but will have to wait until next year at the earliest.
The exam dates begin in March and the application period runs from 21st January to 9th February. The issue has sparked a backlash on social media, with the hashtag campaign #banCUPT subsequently going viral on Twitter.
It started when an administrator of the CUPT’s “Mytcas” Facebook page replied to an inquiry by stating that infected applicants will not be able to take the test, and that their examination date will be postponed until 2023 or later. The administrator also suggested they consider choosing alternative subjects to study at colleges that do not require test scores.
Chalie Charoenlarpnopparut, the vice-rector for academic affairs at Thammasat University and manager of the Thai University Central Admission System, responded by saying the administrator was correct in issuing such comments.
The CUPT said it has no measures in place for applicants who are found to have contracted COVID-19 at their scheduled examination date.
Applicants with a high temperature must undergo a COVID-19 test using an antigen test kit. If the test returns negative, they will be taken to a specially arranged room. However, those who test positive will not be able to proceed with the exam.
Arunee Kasayanond, deputy secretary-general of the Pheu Thai Party, called on the education minister, the CUPT and student union representatives to seek another way for infected students to sit the exam.