Making education higher: The Webster way

Making education higher: The Webster way

With the spotlight on the modernisation of the nation’s economy and the drive to achieve Thailand 4.0, doubts over the country’s ability to achieve such lofty goals have called into question the capacity of the current educational system to support the development of its ambitions. The realisation of Thailand’s wide-spread educational shortcomings has resulted in more parents than ever striving to provide an international standard of education for their children. With the escalating cost of overseas tuition and associated expenditures rising beyond the reach of many families, local institutions have been established to fulfil the needs of this discerning group of parents, many of whom would prefer their children to enjoy their formative years closer to home.

Having been established over a century ago in the American heartland, Webster University is viewed as one of the world’s leading higher education institutions with campuses in multiple locations across the globe incorporating ten main campuses, including the original St Louis campus, London, Beijing, Geneva, Vienna and satellite campuses at US military facilities. These locations total more than any other university. Despite the extent of the university’s network, class sizes are still kept small at under 20 and are highly interactive. The style of teaching means graduates are able to think for themselves and develop aptitudes for critical analysis: the kind of abilities required for raising the standard of the workforce of the future.

Webster University Thailand was founded in 1997 and started accepting students in 1999, firstly in Cha-Am and subsequently at its Bangkok Centre. The curriculum achieves the same standard as that of St Louis with many of the same courses offered no matter which campus students wish to attend. Additionally, with current faculty comprising over 20 different nationalities and a larger than average American contingent than any other international university, Webster can truly be called the only American university in Thailand. As over 60 countries are represented in the 500 strong student body, an education at Webster University affords students a global perspective and international environment. They would be hard pressed to access these facilities anywhere else. Thanks to high quality learning experiences, Webster University students are able to transform themselves into global citizenship with individual excellence without the need to leave Thailand, unless they wish to take advantage of gaining a fresh outlook by studying at one of the many other Webster University campuses located overseas.

Who now heads up Webster University in Thailand?

Dr. Ryan V. Guffey, began his term as Rector of Webster University Thailand early this year. He joins the university from his previous position as Vice President for Student Development and Global Affairs at Lindenwood University, a dynamic four-year liberal arts institution located in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

A native of St. Louis, Dr. Guffey’s current position is his second posting and fifth visit to Thailand. In 2012, he was selected to participate in the Fulbright Exchange Program, offered through the US Department of State, when he was awarded a teaching and consultant fellowship at Chulalongkorn University.

As Rector of Webster University Thailand, he aims to advance the institution’s positive impact by increasing the number of education opportunities for Thai nationals and members of the ASEAN community, with a keen focus on supporting Thailand 4.0 initiatives.

What makes Webster University Thailand so special?

The University was founded in partnership with the Srikraivin-Bonython Foundation and stands out as a university that is American in its education and global in its vision. An American education offers students intellectual breadth as well as professional depth. Students not only study their major subjects, but are able to participate in a global citizenship curriculums that ground them in today’s world.

As part of a network of international campuses, the University is presently the only truly international university in Thailand. The University offers the World Traveler Program which allows students from Thailand to study at any of the other international campuses for the same tuition fee as the Thailand campus for a period of one year, and in addition provides a plane ticket to and from that destination.

What programs does Webster offer in Thailand?

Webster Thailand offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses at its campuses in Bangkok and Cha-am to develop their abilities and properly prepare students to enter the workforce. The Cha-am Campus hosts mostly undergraduates who may study Business Administration, Psychology, Computer Science, Management, Media Communications, International Relations, and a variety of elective options to complete undergraduate general education. Undergraduates may also take Computer Science or Business Administration at the Bangkok Campus. Additionally, Webster University offers Master in International Relations and Master in Business Administration programs conveniently located in central Bangkok. Masters students may enrol in evening classes and continue working while completing their degree courses.

How does Webster University Thailand support Thailand 4.0?

Thailand 4.0 is a progressive initiative aiming to liberate the country from multiple challenges by focusing on economic prosperity, social well-being, enhanced human values, and environmental protection. Webster University Thailand is working to support this initiative by offering innovative education and training for future industry leaders and entrepreneurs. Webster Computer Science and Business Administration programs support the Thailand 4.0 Agenda to develop leaders in technological industries to bolster economic growth. Webster offers courses in entrepreneurship to support innovation-driven enterprise and incubate next generation entrepreneurs.

What are some of Webster's plans for development and growth?

Webster University Thailand is going through a period of dynamic growth, with the recent opening of the Bangkok campus at the Emspace in Empire Tower, Sathorn, and renovations and improvements to the Cha-am campus. Webster’s prestigious academic record is advancing with the addition of certificate programs for working professionals. The University is currently offering a Certificate in International Tourism allowing students to investigate how cultural, political, and economic systems affect the growing tourism industry and giving students the tools they need to become innovators and entrepreneurs in their fields.

What are the differences between the two campus locations?

The University boasts two campuses in Cha-am and Bangkok. The Cha-am Campus is a natural haven on the coast, not far from Bangkok. This campus offers comprehensive facilities such as classrooms and faculty offices, communal spaces, computer and media labs, library, social areas and exercise facilities, as well as Wi-Fi and an on-site cafeteria, a 20-minute drive from Hua Hin.

The Bangkok Campus is located in the heart of the city in downtown Sathorn. It is a contemporary academic base offering an innovative learning environment in the modern metropolis. The Bangkok Academic Center welcomes postgraduate students and undergraduates on select courses as well as offering flexible day or night study programs for MBA students.

Author: Dr. Ryan V. Guffey, Rector, Webster University Thailand. Further information may be obtained from Timothy Malloy, Director, Marketing and Enrolment, Webster University Thailand, Bangkok Campus, tel: 662 106 6599 email:

Series Editor: Christopher F. Bruton is Executive Director, Dataconsult Ltd, Dataconsult’s Thailand Regional Forum provides seminars and extensive documentation to update business on future trends in Thailand and in the Mekong Region.

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