Fairer uni exam slated for 2018
The new central entrance exam for universities will be launched in the 2018 academic year, as agreed by the highest councils of university presidents.
The university admission system will be replaced with a central entrance exam in a bid to address inequality among applicants by taking the pressure off disadvantaged students who cannot sit multiple entrance exams.
Dr Udom Kachintorn, president of the Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT), said yesterday that all council member universities agreed to revoke the existing admission system and replace it with the "Entrance 4.0", or central university entrance exam, starting from the 2018 academic year.
He was speaking after a meeting with the Council of Rajamangala University of Technology Presidents (CRP) and the Council of Rajabhat University Presidents of Thailand (CRUPT).
The central entrance exam will be held only once nationwide, in either March or April. High school graduates are required to sit the General Aptitude Test (Gat), the Professional Aptitude Test (Pat), the Ordinary National Education Test (O-Net) and the national nine core subject examinations before they can apply to sit the central exam.
The four exams are supervised by the National Institute of Educational Testing Service.
After the results of the entrance exam are announced, students can use them to apply for four choices of faculties in two rounds of a clearing-house system.
During this process, universities will not be allowed to directly enrol students in order to provide fair access to all students.
The move came after critics and parents earlier complained the direct admission system was unfair as applicants from poor families could not afford to take several direct admission tests.
The CUPT president explained the new system will be implemented for all CUPT member universities, except the Rajabhat and Rajamangala universities which declined to participate in the second round of the clearing-house system.
Dr Udom said the council will discuss with the CRP and CRUPT again the exact timeframe for the launch of the central entrance exam.
The conclusion will be announced in October next year.