by offering a non-degree program for all ages to supply most sought-after workforce in hyper-relevancy era. By 2021, Online Instructional Designer, Virtual Learning Facilitator, Data Scientist Facilitator courses are planned to be launched.
King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Southeast Asia Center (SEAC) to promote Lifelong Learning. Together they collaborate in the development of a non-degree program available in e-learning, online learning, classroom learning and other learning approaches for three main targets including students, businesses and industry personnel and the public. This is to create and enhance human capital’s Hard Skills and Hyper-Relevancy for Thailand’s and regional labor market. The program will be conducted through flexible and modern learning platforms in response to different demands of learners.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Suvit Saetia, President of KMUTT, said that “The modern world now needs a new definition of “students”. With the rise in aging yet highly potential population and over 38 million working people who are keen on catching up with the changing technology, the university wishes to offer an opportunity for everyone to reskill and upskill. Now the university cannot just focus on students with a high school degree. Yet, we must also keep an eye on people in the workforce because everyone has the potential to become a leader and to create value in work that is beneficial to the society. Therefore, the new equation that the university is now working on to cross the old border of “time” is how to look beyond the dimension of age. From now on, we will welcome students from various generations while at the same time studying programs and curriculum will not be restricted by semesters and units. Meanwhile, the examination-based assessment will have to be adjusted.”
Mrs. Arinya Talerngsri, Chief Capability Officer & Managing Director of SEAC said “Under the SEAC’s EMPOWER LIVING commitment, we are determined to continue our operations in improving and elevating the potential of Thai people through Lifelong Learning in order to add value and perfectly respond to all goals in life. In today’s circumstances, it is evident that what Thailand really needs to do is to enhance the potential of Thai people, equipping them with Hyper-Relevant Skills, so that they can drive the organization and the country forward. With regard to this, the center is in search of an alliance with knowledge and expertise who shares our mission to reskill and upskill people. This gave birth to a mutual agreement between KMUTT and SEAC to develop a program which would create and enable students to enter the career world with job expertise, life expertise, mindset and skill set. This would in turn lead them to more career opportunities where they can apply what they learn in the university to the work context they are in, making them preferred choices for the labor market and for the country as a whole.”
“Education today focuses on giving learners knowledge which they can apply to new situations they encounter at work. People have different skills and thus require different learning styles. We will coach them until they are full of capabilities and skills which will be assessed by means of credentials. Eventually, this could pave the way for Lifelong Learning with no time boundary. The university is ready to welcome people of different age groups – from young age until post-retirement. People keen on learning, regardless of who they are, can learn anytime. Despite not having a high school degree, they can still be accepted into the university so that they can find what best suits them. From now on, university study that takes four to five years will be the thing of the past. Now, people are welcome to learn whenever they feel the need to. With the right skills, they can enter the labor market. Whenever they feel they need to upskill, they can return for more studies. After all, this is called a Lifetime University which means a university for “Lifelong Learning”, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Suvit Saetia said.
Mrs. Arinya added that “The SEAC never ceases to encourage Thai people to make changes in their lives through Lifelong Learning. As for this collaborative program between KMUTT and SEAC, the center is proud to be part of the mutual effort to enhance the potential of Thai people, including students, business and industry personnel and public so that they can compete with international competitors. Moreover, it is our pleasure to be able to exchange knowledge, expertise and our teaching skills to create and develop Thai researchers, data scientists and data scientist facilitators – all of which are vital to the future and are directly associated with the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Apart from our mission to bring Thai people to the next level, together we also plan to move forward and expand our operations to neighboring countries in the near future.” The agreement between KMUTT and SEAC is operated under “A collaborative project to promote Lifelong Learning” which will take three years, from 18 June 2020 until 17 June 2023. In the first year, pilot projects will be carried out domestically such as a collaboration to design learning courses for new career groups such as Online Instructional Designer, Virtual Learning Facilitator and Data Scientist Facilitator. There will also be the development of a non-degree Business Mindset curriculum designed particularly for science personnel and researchers who are in dire need of business skills and mindset. Online learning will also be implemented in response to the social distancing measure. In the following years, KMUTT and SEAC plan to expand their operations and services to neighboring countries to shrink educational and labor boundaries and to enhance people’s potential in the regional labor market. More collaborations from the world’s leading institutes will also be sought in the future.
This MOU is considered a significant step of the education and human resource industry in various dimensions. It is an important moment when a public academic institute joins forces with a private learning center so that together they can contribute to creating proficient workforce for the country. With the strengths of the two organizations, the agreement will help alleviate the issue of low-quality workforce, unemployment and other employment conundrums where supply and demand does not match. This will bring about positive changes in Thailand’s economy and society.”