Policies and Practices in Thai Higher Education towards Southeast Asian Regionalism
: In the Period of the Recent Eleventh Higher Education Development Plan (2012-2016)

  • Plaiphan Seupsook

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The main objective of the study is to explore higher education policies and practices in Thailand which have been shaped by the regional integration project known as ‘ASEAN Community’. With regard to the influence of regionalisation, the study looks at higher education initiatives at three layers (regional, national, and institutional levels) but focuses on analysis of internationalisation initiatives in Thai higher education. An inductive analysis is conducted through interviews together with documentary analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with policymakers, executives and senior administrators from a government agency, a regional organisation and six universities.
The study reveals that ASEAN has utilised higher education as a vital mechanism to enhance the regional integration and strengthen its global competitiveness. Since Thailand is a member of ASEAN, the government has developed internationalisation in higher education towards the provision of the ASEAN Community aiming to generate intercultural understanding of Thai students and staff, enhance academic cooperation with ASEAN sub-regional countries and external partner countries and promote harmonisation of higher education in Southeast Asia. With these rationales, the Thai government attempts to enhance the international quality of Thai higher education. At the university level, it is found that internationalising policies and practices have also been influenced by the regional and national agendas; nevertheless, the context of individual universities such as location, human resource, and institutional mission has shaped the scope of their international activities. However, the study shows that the internationalising practices in Thai higher education lack ASEAN-oriented contents and need to develop more comprehensive international practices.
Date of Award19 Mar 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Bristol
SponsorsOffice of the Civil Service Commission
SupervisorLisa Lucas (Supervisor) & Susan Robertson (Supervisor)


  • Globalisation
  • Regionalisation
  • Higher Education in Thailand
  • Internationalisation
  • Regionalism
  • Education policy and practice

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