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The universities of Thailand and the United Kingdom are joining hands to tackle the global challenges faced in the higher education sector. They are working together as a consortium of institutions to improve the internationalization of Thai universities, provide better resources to aid research on global challenges, and expand their collective focus on development issues.
Seven Thai universities and fourteen universities from the UK are part of this consortium and are collaborating on many different research projects. These research topics cover a range of subjects such as development studies, chemical engineering, life sciences, medicine, architecture, and agriculture and forestry.
Thailand has a number of community-based projects which universities are hoping to expand and develop through this consortium.
All these topics speak directly to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This faculty aims at improving the future of the planet and all those that live on it.
This project first started in 2020 as a three-year project. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in 2021 which stated that this collaboration will now be extended till the end of 2025. One of the main aims of this consortium is to assist Thailand’s ambitions to revamp its universities to become globally competitive.
Helega Stellmacher, the country director of Thailand says, “The UK-Thailand consortium is designed to foster collaboration between the UK and other countries wherever we are working to make sure that it fosters a more inclusive and globally connected higher education system.”
This project has broader aims including the mobility of PhD scholars, capacity building, how to build partnerships and set up joint degree programs.
As Thailand is quite prone to extreme weather conditions and has a history of severe flooding, this partnership will also aim at developing flood risk maps using high-resolution climate modelling. It will also research how government policies have shaped communities’ responses to flooding and how community knowledge and resilience can be applied to creating better flood management policies in the country.
This project also includes the epidemiology of chronic diseases and research into how health systems, policies and science can best respond to these conditions in Thailand and elsewhere.
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