NIDA Summer Camp 2019 welcomes young leaders

NIDA Summer Camp 2019 welcomes young leaders

Another step on the road to becoming the region’s leading graduate school for young leaders

Higher education is generally known for its solemnity and stress, with students and professors typically working hard in their respective fields to expand the horizon of knowledge.

But the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), a graduate school located in Bangkok, is making a difference. The NIDA Summer Camp aims to keep participants abreast of today’s economy while they enjoy entertaining activities and visit historical sites of Thailand’s former capital. 

It is NIDA’s passion to keep up with the fast-changing world. Under the theme ‘Creative and Innovative Economy’, Asst Prof Dr Kanokkarn Kaewnuch, Assistant to the President for International Affairs, said that the recent 8th NIDA Summer Camp drew the attention of the global student community.

Insights into the camp

Apart from promoting the university itself, the camp’s purpose is to foster an academic collaboration among partner universities around the world and affirm that NIDA is recognised on the global stage.

“This camp is where participants from different universities around the world get to know us and our expertise in various areas. And we want to seize this opportunity to be the university that helps build connections between those universities,” Kanokkarn explained.

“Students of different parts of the world applied for the programme, and there were just over 90 campers from over 20 countries at the camp whom we selected from over 300 applicants internationally, the Asst Prof continued. “The first camp eight years ago was attended by 20 campers, but the number of students who are interested in attending the camp increases every year, so we have to choose from a larger group.”

The camp has been held for eight consecutive years. Each year the theme varies based on the issues of the time.

“We try to keep up with world trends, and this is why the theme of the camp changes every year. ‘Economic Development Versus Sustainable Development’ was last year’s theme in honour of His Majesty the Late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose Sufficiency Economy Philosophy is widely known and respected. This year we realise and want to accentuate the importance of creativity and innovation which play crucial parts in the economy.” 

Beyond learning and activities, the most valuable thing campers obtain is new friendships with fellow attendees.

“It is not our intention to purely immerse all the participants in academic lectures. We adopt an activity-based style of learning to plan fun and enjoyable activities in order to encourage creative thinking throughout the camp. Also, they will have the opportunity to visit temples and historical sites in Ayutthaya,” states Kanokkarn.

“The most memorable thing is the experience shared in the camp. For instance, a student from Spain was so impressed by his new friendship with a Vietnamese student because, on a daily basis, there is slim chance that they could possibly meet and get to know each other under any other circumstances.”

Heard from campers

Xu Siyi, student in the School of Public Administration, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), China

“At first, I applied for the camp because my advisor recommended it and the topic is something I am interested in. When I arrived, I got to learn a lot of new things and hear interesting stories from new friends coming from different places. What’s more, attending the camp gives me the opportunity to make friends with fellow campers from Russia, Spain and others. Most importantly, NIDA has inspired me to study for a master's degree in economics.”

Ulugber Nizamov, an Uzbekistani student studying the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), a Japanese university

“As an economics major, after I heard the theme of the camp, I was totally into it. The terminology is new for me. I wish I could contribute the knowledge I’ve gained from this camp to people in my country and use the ideas to strengthen the bond between Thailand and my homeland.”

The lectures are mainly held on the NIDA campus but students also have the opportunity to go on short trips to ASIATIQUE, Ayothaya Floating Market, Wat Chaiwattanaram, Bang Pa-In Palace, Wat Phanan Choeng, Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall, and others.

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