A 27-member delegation from Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU), Thailand, visited the WOU main campus today to gain insight into course development, as the university prepares to start offering Master’s and Bachelor’s degree courses in English.
All members of the delegation were from the School of Management Science, representing the departments of Public Administration, Business Administration, Construction Management, Accountancy & Finance, and Hotels & Tourism. They met with Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic-ODL) Prof Madhulika Kaushik, Deans of the four Schools, and other academics.
Prof Ho presented an overview of WOU, elaborating on the University’s academic programmes, the course development process, and the learning support services provided.
Meanwhile Dean of STOU’s School of Management Science, Assistant Prof Dr Suree Khemthong, remarked that the School, established in 1979, seeks “to provide knowledge in public administration and business management required in today’s competitive world”. The School has 57 academic staff, including 34 Associate Professors.
The School offers Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Public Administration, Bachelor of Accountancy, and Bachelor of Technology (Construction Management), and three Master’s programmes - Master of Business Administration, MBA in Marketing, and Master of Public Administration (MPA). The School, the biggest of the 12 Schools in STOU, has some 40,000 undergraduate students per semester.
Dr Khemthong said the School plans to collaborate with universities like WOU to offer postgraduate programmes in English. “Our future plans include International MBA (IMBA) programmes such as IMBA in Marketing; International MPA Programmes; and International short courses.”
The coordinator of the visit, Dr Anothai Ngamvichaikit from the School of Management Science, stated that they hope to exchange knowledge and experiences on educational management, including teaching, course development, and curriculum. “We want to upgrade our academic offering for the Asian region. We would like to learn best practices, and so we came here to discuss in detail about the academic programmes in WOU in order to develop and improve the quality of our courses.”
She added, “Currently our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are in Thai. We plan to have our Master’s degree programmes, in both Business Administration and Public Administration, in English soon.”
She said the feedback on course development from WOU will be used to improve the course design of their Master’s programmes as well as their Bachelor in Business Administration programme, before they offer them in English. “We want to also explore collaboration in terms of academics, best practices, quality, and maybe have some kind of MoU so that we can deliver these to the Asian students.”
She said the School would focus on course improvement this year and next year, and after that, they would decide on when to offer the courses in English.