Most Westerners in Thailand laugh at the idea of Thailand’s ‘universities’. For the most part, institutions whose vast majority of students couldn’t even begin to compete with students at any Western university, nor with students at universities in Japan, Korea and Singapore, the news this week shows one of them, Thammasat University, is getting worse. The rector of Thammasat University in Bangkok (supposedly the country’s second-best university, Somkid Lertpaithoon, has said students will NOT be allowed to campaign againist Thailand’s lese majeste law on university premises (the law that says you can’t say anything against Thailand’s royal family or you’ll be put in jail), or even talk about it.
That a UNIVERSITY would even think about saying freedom of speech and thought is not allowed, would be unheard of in a developed country. In Thailand, where the education system is one of the worst in the world, no, it’s not surprising.
Just one more reason why Thais will never compete with most of the rest of the world, not if the education system in Thailand remains as it is. After all, Thais are not taught or expected to think, only to memorize, regurgitate and follow. And the rector of Thammasat University has proven that — once and for all.