Probe into university's B16m suit against mentally ill lecturer

Probe into university's B16m suit against mentally ill lecturer

'Dr Keng' on the TV3 programme Morning News on Monday. (Screenshot)
'Dr Keng' on the TV3 programme Morning News on Monday. (Screenshot)

The higher education ministry and a House committee will investigate the case in which a mentally ill former lecturer is being sued for 16 million baht by the university that granted her a PhD scholarship.

Takorn Tantasith, chair of the House committee on higher education, science, research and innovation, said on Monday that the panel would convene on Dec 14 and hear from the former lecturer and a representative of Mae Fah Luang University.

Mr Takorn said the former lecturer sent her petition directly to him via Facebook, and the House committee would investigate the issue thoroughly to set a standard for scholarship applications and repayment.

The Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, Supamas Isaraphakdi, said she ordered officials to look into the matter and promised justice in the investigation.

The former lecturer at Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai province is known only as “Doctor Keng”.  According to reports, she was born to a poor family and was able to pursue a doctoral degree only through scholarships from the ministry of higher education and Mae Fah Luang University.

During her PhD study in England in 2012 she suffered from mental illness and received treatment there for 28 days. Afterwards, she completed her studies.

Dr Keng said on a TV program, Morning News TV3, on Monday, that she then returned to Thailand and became a lecturer at Mae Fah Luang University.

On Aug 19, 2014, the anxiety disorder that she had suffered in England resurfaced and she submitted a letter of resignation to the university.

Her resignation request was quickly approved because of her health problem. But later she was sued for 16 million baht for failing to work for the university for 10 years to repay her scholarship.

Dr Keng said she then sought reinstatement, but to no avail.

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