The Commission on Higher Education Standards has resolved to remove a requirement that university students must complete their studies within a given period or be automatically expelled.
The decision was reached at a meeting on 14th October, said Prof Supachai Pathumnakul, the commission’s secretary. He said the change was made in line with the lifelong learning policy of Anek Laothamatas, the minister of higher education, science, research and innovation.
“Now students who work and study at the same will not have to fret about losing their place if they exceed the allotted study period,” he said.
Working while studying enhances students’ work and life skills and gives them valuable work experience before they graduate, he noted.
Most universities in Thailand give undergraduates up to eight years to complete their studies while granting graduate students five years and doctoral students six years.
“The cancelled time limit will apply to all three levels of higher education,” Prof Pathumnakul said.
University councils will have to adjust their regulations in line with the new resolution, regardless of whether their college is state-run and privately owned.
Prof Pathumnakul said the former time limits are now considered something of an anachronism as the concept of lifelong learning is being encouraged and promoted nationwide, he said.
The ministry hopes to see Thai universities rank among the world’s top 100 within 10 years.