Silpakorn University has decided to cancel this year's central admission test for students looking to enrol in its faculty of information and communication technology's Communication Arts Programme at its Bang Rak campus.
The move followed the Office of the Higher Education Commission (Ohec)'s recent decision to not certify three of the five majors under the programme.
The three majors that were not certified are advertising, filming and radio and broadcasting. The two majors certified by Ohec are customer relations and journalism.
However, the university will shift these majors to its Phetchaburi campus, and will recruit new students through direct admissions rather than the central admission test to keep the enrolment figures down.
Ohec refused to certify the three majors as their ratio of lecturers to students was too low and not enough lecturers held doctorates. Ohec also told the university to limit the number of students in the two certified majors to 100 for customer relations and 60 for journalism.
Panjapol Laopoonpat, vice-rector in charge of planning and development, said Ohec's request prompted the university's executives to stop recruiting new students for the two majors through the central admission test to keep the teacher-student ratio down.
However, Mr Panjapol assured that current students from the second to fourth years would not be affected, saying they would continue their study at Bang Rak campus as usual.
Rector Chaicharn Thavaravej said Ohec should not have said the programme was substandard as many well-known experts had been hired to teach its students since it was launched.
Mr Chaicharn said the campus supported a policy of hiring well-known and experienced experts and up to 90% of the programme's graduates had well-paid jobs.
"We look at a student's academic achievements rather than Ohec regulations," he said.
"Our programme in Communication Arts has been ranked in the top 10 of academic programmes in the country for four consecutive years.
"With us teaching the programme at the Phetchaburi campus, students will of course hesitate before choosing it, but wherever the campus is, our students still learn and train hard," he said.
The programme at the Bang Rak campus was housed at the CAT Telecom Public Co Ltd building.
Ohec deputy secretary-general Waraporn Sihanart insisted current students will not be affected by the accreditation cancellation and the university' s executives will be given time to meet Ohec requirements.
Pisit Ratanawan, an adviser to the student committee of the faculty of information and communication technology, said the Communication Arts Programme was a very good one and he believed many students would get well-paying jobs if they graduated from it.
He said the quality of the university depended on student performance, not the building.
Mr Pisit said he disagreed with Ohec's decision not to certify three majors of the programme.
He doubted Ohec was rigorous in inspecting the quality of each programme at universities.
Mr Pisit said the lack of accreditation was too difficult for students to solve by themselves and suggested the faculty dean and the rector deal with the situation as quickly as possible.
He said they should hold talks with Ohec about finding solutions to the problem.
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Writer: Lamphai Intathep & Praethong Polsawatwanich