Impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on Thailand’s Higher Education

Abstract

Thailand is one of the countries in Asia Pacific where the 4th industrial revolution has been incorporated into national policy agendas. It has become not only a policy catchphrase but also a model towards which the country’s economic development will be navigating. It has been clear that Thailand has defined the policy outputs of the 4th industrial revolution to encompass the country’s economic prosperity, social well-being, human value upgrades and the promotion of environment protection. These policy outputs could only be realized through the disruptive change of innovation and digital technology. Several policy initiatives have been introduced within the country, for example, the active role of private sector, demand-driven policy in public sector, global and regional network and outreach, infrastructure development and, most important of all, the upgrading of manpower skills. Higher education institutions are one of the key agents in assisting the government and preparing Thailand’s economy for the disruptive change, including the incorporation of entrepreneurial skills for graduates, the re-positioning of key research areas to focus on priorities for innovation and the transformation of the role of the university into the ‘hub of practical knowledge’ between the community, industries and people.  This session will elaborate more on the transformation of higher education sector in responding to the demand of Thailand’s 4.0 and using concrete examples of some leading universities in Thailand in transforming its research and teaching models to accommodate the change.