Relief Plan For Students Gets Green Light

Thai Students

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has approved a plan to cap tuition cost payments at public universities at 50% each semester as part of a set of COVID-19 relief measures for students now before the government.

Rachada Dhnadirek, deputy government spokeswoman, said Gen Chan-o-cha approved a plan to lessen the financial burden of students and their parents amid the COVID-19 pandemic

She added that private universities are encouraged to reduce tuition costs and launch other relief measures such as extending loan payment periods or allowing instalment plans for payments.

Other benefits were also suggested, she said. The plan’s budget still needs to be approved by the cabinet before it can take effect.

Ms Dhnadirek said the Education Ministry and Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation proposed a set of relief measures to the government to help teachers, students and parents.

The Education Ministry is in charge of schools under the Office of the Basic Education Commission, Office of Vocational Education Commission, Office of the National Primary Education Commission, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and local administrations, while the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation looks after students at public and private universities, she said.

If approved, public universities would allow their students to only pay 50% of their tuition costs of below 50,000 baht per semester, while those paying 50,000–100,000 baht would only be required to pay 30% and those paying over 100,000 would pay just 10%.

The PM is expected to hand the proposed plan to the cabinet for a budget on Tuesday.

Supat Champathong, permanent secretary for education, said the ministry cannot determine when online learning will end as school reopening requires approval from the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration. It may continue in the second semester, he said.