Mahidol University insisted yesterday its education standards are up to the Asean University Network Quality Assurance (AUN-QA) level, and says it aims to establish itself as a household name internationally.
AUN-QA is a network of chief quality officers (CQOs) appointed by the AUN member universities to provide a series of guidelines to promote a quality assurance system to improve the overall academic standards of its member universities.
The network consists of 11 evaluation standards, ranging from teaching strategy to student assessment and quality.
Currently, AUN-QA comprises over 30 universities plus an additional 74 unofficial member universities from 10 Asean countries.
Mahidol was the first in Thailand to adopt the network's standards back in 2000, five years after the network was initiated.
Banchong Mahaisavariya, the acting president of Mahidol University, said the university has to reconstruct and improve the quality of each curriculum constantly to pass the network's evaluation test, due every five years. This was part of the challenge it faces after adopting the AUN-QA system.
"Before we adopted the AUN-QA standards, our curricula were mainly 'content-based education', in which we aimed to ensure students manage to learn everything we included," he said.
"However, with AUN-QA, we have to look back and ask ourselves: 'How will the students adopt what they learn in real life?' This led to the creation of our 'outcome-based education' approach, focusing on the practicality of the curricula."
Mr Banchong said Mahidol wanted to become a household name in Asean and beyond.
"The birth rate in Thailand declines dramatically every year, which leads to fewer students attending universities.
"That's why Mahidol needs to be an exceptional university, so we can attract both foreign students and Thai students, even if their numbers are falling."