The University of Melbourne and Thailand
The University of Melbourne has well-established linkages with Thailand. These take a variety of forms,
including formal bilateral linkages with several universities. Key linkages and programs are summarised
BILATERAL RELATIONS FOR ACADEMIC COOPERATION AND EXCHANGE
The University of Melbourne has four partner institutions based in Bangkok. At University level:
and at Faculty level:
Architecture Building and Planning: Kasetsart University
Engineering: Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology
Economics and Commerce: Thammasat University
For summary information on each of the institutions, please refer to: http://www.inter.mua.go.th/glance/
A university level Memorandum of Agreement with Chulalongkorn University was entered into in 1988,
revised and renewed in 1999; and renewed again in 2006, for a period of five years. The current
agreements comprise an MoU for academic cooperation and exchange, and a Student Exchange
agreement, covering both undergraduate and postgraduate student exchange. Professor Frank Larkins,
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) signed the renewal agreements during his July 2006 visit to
Chulalongkorn University. The Education and Engineering faculties have close links with respective
Faculties and academic staff at Chulalongkorn.
The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the Faculty of Engineering has an
informal exchange agreement with its counterpart at Chulalongkorn University. This agreement commenced
in 2004. Four University of Melbourne students undertake studies at Chulalongkorn for a four week-period
from late June to late July. Likewise, four Chulalongkorn students study at the University of Melbourne for a
four-week period in October. The students work on final year projects and are supervised by academics at
the host institution. They then return to their home institution to write up their final year reports. The Faculty
of Engineering issues outgoing students with $500 to support living expenses.
The Faculty of Education has a formal relationship with Chulalongkorn University and sponsors a bi-annual
International Conference. Associate Professor Christine Ure, Associate Dean (Academic) represented the
Faculty of Education at the 9th International Conference, Managing Teacher Education for Excellence held
at Chulalongkorn University in July, 2004. Associate Professor Ure was a panellist at a session that
discussed research and changes in pedagogy in teacher education. She also presented a paper entitled
"Paradigm Shift in Pedagogy: Transforming Teacher Education" which explored how teacher education must
adapt to keep abreast of changes in the demands made on teachers. A key theme of the conference was
the transformation of teacher education needed to address changes in the characteristics of students and
schools in the now information-rich global community. The conference theme stressed the changes that
must occur in Teacher Education programs in order to develop graduates who are ready for the schools of
today. Dr Sinlarat Paitoon, Dean, Faculty of Education at Chulalongkorn regularly visits the University of
Professor Clive Fraser, Professor, Department of Geomatics has ongoing research links with both the
Department of Survey Engineering at Chulalongkorn University and with the Government of Thailand’s Geo-
Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA). At present, the three organisations are
‘between’ formally funded projects, with a few recently completed and the next funded activity commencing
in August 2005. The collaborative research, which has generated some joint publications, concerns
geospatial information extraction from high-resolution satellite imagery.
Further information regarding Chulalongkorn University may be found at: http://www.academic.chula.ac.th
In 1998, a faculty level Agreement for Educational and Scientific Cooperation was signed by the Faculty of
Architecture, Building and Planning and Kasetsart University and this was renewed in 2003. There is also
strong collaboration between the Faculty of Land and Food Resources and the Faculty of Agriculture at
Kasetsart University; however there is currently no formal agreement regarding this arrangement. A letter
requesting a formal linkage was sent to Dr Thanwa Jitsanguan, Vice President for International Affairs on 18
February 2005 and a response is awaited. Further information regarding both collaborations is provided
The Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning helped establish the Faculty of Architecture at
Kasetsart University in 1994. Professor Darko Radovic, Head, Urban Design has visited Kasetsart on a
number of occasions on behalf of the Faculty and over the last several years has been invited a number of
times to teach as part of Kasetsart’s Masters of Urban and Environmental Planning (MUEP). Most recently,
Professor Radovic was invited to participate in the new PhD program, expected to be launched in late 2005.
The Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning is hoping to establish a staff exchange program, similar to
the student program. Discussions are also underway regarding a joint or coordinated masters program.
Together with Kasetsart University, the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning organised a tripartite
collaborative project, Bangkok–Melbourne–Bordeaux (BMB) which included the School of Architecture and
Landscape Architecture at Bordeaux University. This has been a very successful teaching and research
exercise which, besides urban design-research workshops for postgraduates, has generated two
international symposia, two volumes of proceedings and a book is expected to be completed by 2006. In
2004, the BMB workshop was held at the University of Melbourne.
There have been strong links between the Faculty of Land and Food Resources and Kasetsart University
for the past ten years.
The current collaborations have enabled the Undergraduate International Experience Program that has been
conducted since 2000. This program is part of the third-year Industry Project subject that enables up to six
final year students, enrolled in the Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Resource Management and Horticulture
degrees, to undertake a research project in Universities in South East Asia. In 2000 there were five
students, in 2001 and 2002 there were two students each, in 2003 there were three students, and in 2004
there were five students placed in Kasetsart University. In 2005 there will be a further five students
undertaking their projects at Kasetsart University in the Animal Science and Horticultural departments linked
to academic staff in the Faculty of Agriculture located at the Kamphaengsaen Campus, Nakhon Pathom,
which is about 80 km or 1.5 hours north-west of Bangkok. Dr Orarat Mongkolporn, who completed her PhD
under the supervision of Dr Paul Taylor in FLFR (now Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticulture),
is the organiser of this program in Kasetsart University.
Professor Lindsay Falvey, former Dean, Faculty of Land and Food Resources has had long involvement with
Kasetsart University and undertook a study leave in 2002 at Kasetsart where he wrote his book entitled ‘Thai
Agriculture: Golden Cradle of Millennia’, which is regarded as the definitive work on the subject. Professor
Falvey was based at the Australian Study Centre that is located in the President’s Office of Kasetsart
In 1998, Associate Professor Paul Taylor and Dr Rebecca Ford, Lecturer, Plant Biotechnology in FLFR were
involved with staff at Kasetsart University in conducting a workshop at the Kamphaengsaen Campus in the
application of biotechnology to Plant Breeding. FLFR has also hosted staff from Kasetsart University as
postgraduate candidates including recent graduates Dr Orarat Monkolporn (Biotechnology) and Dr Lerchat
Boon-Ek (Animal Science).
FLFR staff have been involved in assisting with the supervision of postgraduate students enrolled in Master
and PhD programs at Kasetsart University. Associate Professor Taylor is currently an honorary staff
member at Kasetsart university and is on the advisory committees for two postgraduate students. He is also
acting as a mentor for Dr Mongkolporn who is on a grant from the Thailand Research Fund to study
anthracnose resistance in chilli.
FLFR was also responsible for initiating the conferring of an honorary PhD on Professor Dr Charan
Chantalakhana from Kasetsart University for his work in international livestock development, particularly
practical research that benefited the financially poorest of the world's farmers. Other joint research has
included inputs from Mr John Perkins, Emeritus Professor Adrian Egan and others in fields as diverse as
dairy, forestry and sustainable development.
Professor Falvey has presented key-note lectures at Kasetsart-based international and national
conferences, on subjects including the history of Thai agriculture, reorganisation of universities, and
management systems. Associate Professor Taylor has delivered several seminars on Agricultural
biotechnology at Kasetsart University.
Further information regarding Kasetsart University may be found at: http://www.ku.ac.th/english2003/
In 1996, a faculty level Agreement for Academic Cooperation and Exchange (staff and students) was signed
by the Faculty of Economics and Commerce and the Faculty of Commerce and Accounting at Thammasat
University. This was renewed in 2000 and both universities have agreed to renew in 2005.
In April 2005, two Thammasat Faculty of Commerce and Accounting staff, Professor Jittaporn Sriboonjit,
Assistant Dean, Foreign Affairs and Ms Thanathorn Srisawat, Academic Facilitator, Foreign Affairs attended
the University of Melbourne Exchange Fair. A visit to the University of Melbourne is expected by the Rector
and / or the Associate Rector in late 2005.
Further information regarding Thammasat University may be found at: http://www.tu.ac.th/
Sirindhorn Institute of Technology (SIIT)
A faculty level Agreement of Cooperation was signed between the Faculty of Engineering and SIIT in 1999.
In 2004, the Faculty of Engineering decided to renew its Memorandum of Understanding with SIIT in view of
the strong links between the respective Departments of Civil Engineering; renewal negotiations are currently
In 2003, the Faculty of Engineering trialled an informal exchange agreement similar to that at
Chulalongkorn, whereby four University of Melbourne students undertook study at SIIT and one PhD student
from SIIT undertook study at the University of Melbourne. Unfortunately, this program was not successful
and has since ceased.
Further information regarding SIIT may be found at: http://www.siit.tu.ac.th/
KEY RESEARCH PROJECTS AND AFFILIATIONS WITH THAILAND
Professor John Clement, Professor of Forensic Odontology, School of Dental Science will conduct
work in tsunami-affected regions of Thailand throughout 2005 and ensuing years. He will work with local
authorities to examine and identify bodies. His tsunami relief role to date has largely focused on helping to
organise the Australian component of the forensic odontology teams working in Thailand through the
Australian Society of Forensic Dentistry.
Professor Clive Ogleby, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geomatics has since the early 1980s been
constructing a three-dimensional model of Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of Thailand. This technique
involves obtaining a three-dimensional record of existing monumentation and uses a variety of techniques
including close-range analytical photogrammetry. Professor Ogleby also currently works with Khun Mechai
Viravaidya who chairs the Population and Community Development Association. Professor Ogleby is
responsible for organising student visits to Thailand for volunteer work and he oversees the extended
Geomatics Student Ambassador Program in Thailand.
Ms Nicole Tse, Fine Arts and Physics PhD Candidate, Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation has
won one of six 2005 Endeavour Australia Cheung Kong Awards recently issued by the Department of
Education and Training. This will facilitate Ms Tse’s research into the behaviour of western art materials in
tropical environments and Ms Tse will work with colleagues at the National Gallery of Thailand, the National
Art Gallery of Malaysia and the Heritage Conservation Centre in Singapore. While on brief project visits to
the institutions, Ms Tse will investigate the effects of humidity on Western canvas paintings. The larger
project involves five partners, those aforementioned and the National Gallery of Victoria and the Vargas
Museum at the University of the Philippines. The project involves visual examination and documentation of
the works as well as scientific analysis, using Electron Speckle Pattern Interoferometry (ESPI).
The Centre for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) has over recent years conducted professional
development workshops for academics from Thai institutions. In mid 2004, a 50-member delegation from
Mahasarakham University attended a five-day professional development program in the theme of improving
student learning and teaching practice in Thailand. Faculty of Economics and Commerce academics also
provided presentations including an overview of the Critical and Analytical Learning in Macroeconomics
program by Dr Carol Johnston and a review of the Faculty’s Teaching and Learning Unit. It is possible that
future programs of a similar nature will be run for staff from Mahasarakham University. Recently, the CSHE
quoted for a week-long series of professional development programs for staff from Surat Thain Rajabhat
University, however these have not yet eventuated.
Professor Lenore Manderson, Australian Research Council Federation Fellow (2002 – 2007) and
Professor of Women's Health, Key Centre for Women’s Health and Society is undertaking comparative
research in urban and rural areas of Australia, Thailand and Malaysia in the theme of ‘RESILIENCE –
Research into Social Inclusion, Locomotor Impairment and Empowerment through Networking,
Collaboration and Education’. Professor Manderson’s research entails looking at the different social,
economic and cultural settings the social impact of physical disability on social participation and resilience,
considers how capability is impeded by limited physical ability, and describes the stigma directed at affected
individuals and those who care for and live with them. Professor Manderson’s work involves collaboration
with the Faculty of Nursing, Khon Kaen University, Thailand and the Department of Allied Health Services,
University Malaya, Malaysia. This investigation fits into Professor Manderson’s general research topic of
‘Self, the Social Body and Wellbeing: Embodiment and Adaptation in Cross-Cultural Perspective’.
University of Melbourne Scholarship Fund for Young Women in Thailand
In 1998 the University established a program to provide scholarships towards the final two years of
schooling for disadvantaged young women in rural Thailand. The aim of the program is to help
disadvantaged, but academically able young women to complete their secondary schooling.
In the first phase of the program, 1998 to 2000, some 39 young Thai women were supported to successfully
complete the final years of secondary schooling. The program was extended for a further three years in
2000, with annual grants of $15,000. For the period May 2002 to March 2003 there were 29 scholarship
recipients from 19 schools in five provinces in north-eastern Thailand. In the second phase of the program,
(March 2002 – March 2005), all students completed their schooling and about 90% sought tertiary studies.
One outstanding student, Ms Lowan Sontana passed the entrance examination for studies in the Faculty of
Dentistry at Sri Nakarinwirote University, Bangkok. During the third phase of the program (May 2004 –
March 2005), there were a total of 80 scholarship recipients who have completed Grade 10 and currently
continue their secondary education.
As part of the 150 anniversary community initiatives, the University agreed to double the funding for the
Thai Scholarships Program in 2003. The commencement of the expanded program was deferred until 2004,
and funding of $50,000 was provided, $20,000 to allow the completion of the existing program, and $30,000
to allow the commencement of the next cycle in the program. It was agreed that $50,000 will be provided in
2005, and $40,000 in 2006 to support the new program.
This program is administered by the Population and Community Development Association, the body chaired
by Khun Mechai Viravaidya.
In 2001, as a new initiative, the University agreed to provide the sum of $5,000 in each of 2001, 2002, and
2003 to assist the Population and Community Development Association to develop a school lunch program
in north-eastern Thailand. This project enables villages to develop small subsistence farms providing food
for children. In 2004, support was provided through this program to four schools in three north-eastern
provinces. The program had been expanded as part of the University’s 150 anniversary community
initiatives, and the funding for this program is included in the figures listed above.
RECENT VISITORS TO THE UNIVERSITY
On 11 April, 2002, the Assistant Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of University Affairs, Dr Chantavit
Sudjatanond, visited the University of Melbourne for discussions. In reciprocation, Mr Roger Peacock, Vice-
Principal, University Development, gave a presentation to the Ministry and 30 senior staff from Thai
universities in Bangkok on 23 April, 2002, entitled Responding to the Global Higher Education Challenge.
Other visits since then include:
Senate Committee on Public Participation, Thai Parliament, led by the Chair, Dr Chirmsak Pinthong
Delegation from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Science and Technology in
A delegation of 50 members, under the Thai University Administrators Program and led by the
Ministry of University Affairs in January 2003
Her Excellency Miss Suchitra Hiranprueck, Ambassador of Thailand to Australia in October 2003
Delegation from the Council of University Presidents of Thailand in October 2003, led by Professor
Dr Alulya Viriyavejakul, Chair of the Quality Assurance Forum of the Council and President of
Professor Jittaporn Sriboonjit, Assistant Dean, Foreign Affairs and Ms Thanathorn Srisawat,
Academic Facilitator, Foreign Affairs, Faculty of Commerce and Accounting, Thammasat University
attended the University of Melbourne Exchange Fair in April 2005
Following the visit by the President of Mahasarakham University in late 2003, in May, 2004 some 50
members of staff from Mahasarakham University undertook a professional development program at the
University of Melbourne run by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education. The program was directed at
the improvement of student learning and teaching practice in Thailand. A separate program was also
provided for two members of their administrative staff – Ms Yuwadee Tapaneeyakom, Vice-President of
Policy and Planning and Dr Cha Churat, Director of the Language Development Centre.
International Relations Office