Unis agree on B4bn tonic to assist students, staff

Unis agree on B4bn tonic to assist students, staff

Dozens of universities in the kingdom have agreed to introduce remedial measures worth more than four billion baht to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on students and faculty members, according to the Council of the University Presidents of Thailand.

The measures include the registration of a 400-million-baht fund to financially assist students in their remaining years in university and sustain the employment of staff, said CUPT president Suchatvee Suwansawat.

Mr Suchatvee said tuition fee deadlines and other expenses will be deferred until the next academic period in the middle of this year.

Software licences needed to conduct classes online will need to be procured. These include Google Meet, Microsoft Team and Cisco Webex Meeting.

Lecturers must be trained to deploy the software tools. Licences and training on how to use the software cost about 500 million baht.

Mr Suchatvee said rents on university-run dormitories will be lowered, while students and staff will receive Covid-19 health insurance.

CUPT, which has 34 universities in its network, will trim the funding of non-urgent projects and put the money into schemes to help students and faculty.

The universities will also establish a facility to produce sanitiser gel and face masks where students can volunteer to help.

The universities are also looking to set up field hospitals and quarantine quarters on their premises.

They hope to increase field hospital beds by 2,000 and have enough quarantine units to accommodate 1,400 people.

Mr Suchatvee said 19 out of 34 universities in the network have the capacity to designate spaces as field hospitals and quarantine quarters.

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