Thai students flock to UK for degrees
The number of Thai students studying in the UK is expected to rise by 5-7% this year, according to the British Council Thailand.
Uraiwan Samolee, head of International Education at the council, said the UK is now the No.1 destination for Thai higher education students, representing 6,785 (43%) of the total number of Thai students choosing to study abroad, followed by the United States at 37%, Australia 16%, and Canada 4%.
Ms Uraiwan said the number of Thai students studying in the UK last year increased by 5% and she expects to see the figure to grow at the same rate or slightly higher this year.
"The two key factors are probably the strong Thai baht and shorter time needed to complete master's degree programmes.
Many UK master's degree programmes can be completed in just one year, offering value for money and allowing students to move on with their career more quickly," she said.
Ms Uraiwan said the top five subjects Thai students choose to study in the UK are business and management at 41%, engineering and technology 11.5%, social studies 7%, law 6.4%, and creative arts and design 5%.
"We've also seen a growing number of Thai students who study in new technological fields of study such as data science and AI over the past couple of years," she said.
Ms Uraiwan said the council is also striving to increase research collaborations and academic partnerships among Thai and British universities.
"In the last three to four years, we have enabled 55 research collaborations and academic partnerships," she said. "Most research collaborations are in the areas of medical engineering, biological science, food and agriculture and energy."
Andrew Glass, director of the council, said the body, as a "cultural relations" organisation, not only focuses on promoting UK education in Thailand, but also covers raising levels of English proficiency in Thailand and cultural programmes and exchange.
On improving English proficiency in Thailand, he said the council is discussing with the ministry of higher education, science, research and innovations the development of a possible teaching training programme for pre-service teachers.
Mr Glass said the council will introduce a new play-based methodology which allows young learners to develop their English in a natural way.