If you were to name some of the most happening places worldwide, Thailand would easily top the list. From its luscious nature, white elephants, delectable cuisines, and possibly the best nightlife experience in the globe, Thailand has more to offer than meets the eye. But many don’t know about the thriving higher education opportunity in Thailand. Let's find out whether this Asian peninsula can be your next higher study destination.
Why Study in Thailand?
As of 2022, Thailand is home to about 15,000 international students. It's easy to see why students choose Thailand. It's cheap, offers world-class education, and is a multicultural hub with a robust tourism sector.
This year 8 universities from Thailand made it to the QS Ranking of best universities across the globe. Additionally, almost all Thai universities consistently feature within the top 500 range in the Asian ranking.
A prospective student can choose from 12 public and 39 private universities in Thailand. A regulatory body known as the Thai Qualifications Framework oversees and monitors higher education in Thailand.
The robust curriculum, industry-driven education, and practical implementation of knowledge easily make Thailand one of the best countries to pursue higher studies.
Admission Process in Thailand Universities
Just like western countries, Thailand primarily offers higher education in bachelor, masters, and Ph.D. The intakes are in spring and autumn, with expected classes to begin in the second week of January and September, respectively.
The process of admission starts around three months before class commencement. Most Thai universities follow a rolling admission process, so students should prepare at least a year before the intended admission semester.
There is no central application system in Thailand. So a prospective student will have to apply to each university individually. Depending on the universities, the required document also differs. But some universal documents apply to almost every university.
-Certificate of graduation (Last passed examination for bachelors, masters, and Ph.D.)
-Academic transcripts (Last passed ones for bachelors, masters, and Ph.D.)
-GRE (Only for Bachelors)
-Statement of Purpose
-Language proficiency certification (IELTS/ TOEFL-iBT)
-Application fee payment receipt
Additionally, the transcripts need to be notarized or translated if they are not in English.
Almost every university in Thailand follows a central admission system as outlined by the specific university. The process applies to bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. as well.
However, for thesis-based masters, candidates may contact professors beforehand. While the applicant will still have to go through the central admission and screening process, managing a supervisor will expedite the process.
The admission process for Ph.D. exclusively requires a supervisor owing to the nature of the degree.
For each session, the admission occurs on a rolling basis. So it's recommended to apply early.
Scholarship Opportunities in Thailand
Scholarship opportunities in Thailand can be divided into several streams. There are government-funded ones as well as organizational scholarships available for prospective students.
There are also specialized scholarships dedicated to a specific stream. For example, the SIIT scholarship (https://www.siit.tu.ac.th/admission.php?sid=21). It is one of the prestigious scholarships provided to masters and Ph.D. students who holds an exceptional academic track record and industry insight.
The scholarship is provided to students of life sciences and engineering. The scholarship covers everything from tuition, accommodation, and living expenses for the awarded students.
Other scholarship opportunities include –
Petchra Pra Jom Klao Scholarships (https://iadmission.kmutt.ac.th/afford/scholarship)
Chulalongkorn University Scholarships for International Students (https://www.grad.chula.ac.th/en/scholarship.php?type=1)
PSU-Med ISG Scholarships (https://grad.psu.ac.th/en/news/scholarship/953-142.html)
TIPP Scholarship (https://tica-thaigov.mfa.go.th/en/page/cate-7115-what-is-tipp?menu=605b1272233f4b075654ba92)
Mahidol Postgraduate Scholarships for International Students (https://graduate.mahidol.ac.th/inter/?p=scholarship)
While most of these scholarships are available for the postgraduate level, some are available for the graduate level as well. Almost all of these scholarships are based on merit so expect tough competition to secure one.
Associated Costs of Higher Studies in Thailand
Cost of Education in Thailand
One of the key reasons behind the popularity of Thailand as a study-abroad destination is the affordable tuition structure. But the affordability is mostly limited to public universities as private universities can run an eye-watering sum each year.
The cost of education in public universities at the undergraduate level is around 1700 euros or 1,88,063 BDT per semester. For masters, the cost is around 2000 euros or 2,21,250 BDT per semester (1 EUR = 110 BDT).
But for a private university, the cost can be as high as 20,000 euros or 22,12,505 BDT per year for bachelors. For masters, it can cost up to 14,000 euros 15,48,754 BDT per year. The Ph.D. cost is relatively cheap at around 700 euros or 77,437 BDT per year.
Living Costs in Thailand
The cost of living in Thailand greatly depends on the location you’re staying. Downtown Bangkok would cost much more compared to Chiang Mai or Lampang.
On average, a student can expect to spend around $600 or 64,079 BDT to $1200 or 1,28,158 BDT on living expenses in Thailand every month (1 USD = 106 BDT). The sum isn’t fixed, and it will greatly depend on the lifestyle and spending habits of the student.
Work Opportunity in Thailand
An international student will need to obtain a permit from the immigration office to be eligible for part-time jobs alongside studies. A student can work up to 20 hours per week as per the stipulated regulation.
The minimum wage in Thailand is around $9.27 per hour. So a student working 20 hours per week can expect to earn around $ 750 or 80,099 BDT per month.
Thailand has much to offer beyond its touristy cities and neon-flooded nights. The country of the white elephant is steadily becoming the perfect study-abroad destination for many prospective international students.
The accredited certificates, practical skill-oriented education, and a great career opportunity are sure to be lucrative for many. The diverse stream of education is another plus point of Thai higher education. Even though the country is heavily focused on industrial development, arts and humanities studies are equally thriving.
Additionally, there are generous scholarships and work opportunities for students. So it won’t be very difficult to finance the education once you’re admitted to a university. On the whole, it can be said that international students including Bangladesh have scopes for higher studies in Thailand.