Education Ministry to take over more universities

Education Ministry to take over more universities

Two more public universities will soon have their administration taken over by the Education Ministry's special panels set up under Section 44 of the interim charter.

A source at the Education Ministry said Burapha University in Chon Buri and Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok which have four campuses in Chon Buri, Chanthaburi and two in Bangkok will be the latest ones to be investigated and controlled by the ministry's special panels.

Both universities were targetted because of their problems in the selection of rectors which have resulted in long-standing conflicts.

This move has been confirmed by Education Minister Dapong Ratanasuwan, who admitted he has asked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to invoke Section 44 of the interim charter allowing him to form two special panels to take over the administration of two more public universities found to be facing difficulties administering themselves.

However, Gen Dapong did not disclose the names of the two universities.

"There are two more universities that will soon be investigated by our special panels," he said.

Some private universities that provide sub-standard courses, admit students into programmes that lack proper permission and enrol too many students in certain programmes have already been put on a waiting list to have action taken against them, he added.

Seubpong Moungchoo, acting deputy rector of Rajamangala University of Technology Tawan-ok's Uthen Thawai campus, recently opposed the Education Ministry's move to invoke Section 44 to take over his university.

"If Section 44 is invoked, all members of the university's council and the rector of the university must stop doing their tasks immediately.

"We do not know whether the special committees set up by the ministry will really be able solve the problems, so I think the minister should allow the current members of the university's council to explain the facts to him first before a decision is made," Mr Seubpong said.

The Education Ministry's move comes after the prime minister invoked Section 44 of the interim charter in July to tackle chronic problems in the country's tertiary education sector.

Any university that is experiencing internal conflicts in its governing council, lacks good governance or is operating programmes without proper permission may be subject to intervention by the Education Ministry.

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