Tuesday, August 16, 2022

HISTORY FACULTY OF ECONOMICS, RANGSIT UNIVERSITY

The aftermath of Tomyamkung Crisis 1997 has left severe damages to every sector of Thai economy, being the impact mainly from the bankruptcy of real estate and financial industries, among others. Consequently, the income and output of the people dropped to the historical low while household debt and unemployment skyrocketed, leaving majority of lay people spending their lives in deep poverty.

In response to the crisis, the government had stepped in to help with the rescue packages funded by public debt in the amount so large unprecedentedly seen in Thai history. With this crisis event in mind, Dr. Arthit Ourairat, the President of Rangsit University has come up with the idea that it is  time for Rangsit University to produce high quality economics-major graduates to help solve economic problems deeply rooted in Thai society for so long. The problems of profound interest include poverty and income distribution, among others. The President hoped that these economics graduates will be able to make significant contributions in economic development in government, business and household sectors. With this vision, he then established the Faculty of Economics in 1999 A.D., being the 18th faculty in the list of all faculties of the University.

Dr. Arthit Ourairat

The first dean of the Economic Faculty was Dr. Kosa Areeya, a previous dean of Economic Faculty of Thamasat University. Dr.Kosa helped set up International Program in Economics as part of the curriculum of International College of Rangsit University. Later this program was separated from International Coolege to establish as a Faculty of Economics (Thai – language curriculum) of its own and started to admit students after the Program was accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education on May 1, 2002.

The second dean of the Faculty was Dr. Nattapol Khantachai. He was in charge during the period 2003- 2005.

The third dean was Assistant Professor Chintana Chernsiri. She oversaw the Faculty during the years 2005 – 2006.

The fourth dean was Dr. Anusorn Tamjai. He supervised the Faculty during the period 2006 – 2019.

The present dean of the Faculty is Associate Professor Dr. Narong Petchprasert. He has assumed duty from 2019 up to present.

In 2019, Dr.Arthit Ourairat, the President of Rangsit University, had the vision that several areas of studies in social sciences should be integrated and be set up as an inter-disciplinary curriculum The idea behind this concept is that the conventional approach of the study has emphasized too much on theory of specific branch of knowledge, which is considered to reach saturation point for the time being. In his opinion, the more appropriate approach is the one that integrates many branches of knowledge together in the form of inter-disciplinary curriculum. Basically, he would like to see the integration of the branches of social sciences such as economics, political science and diplomacy and make it a comprehensive program that combines various branches of knowledge in a holistic manner. Particularly attention would be paid to the body of knowledge in “Political Economics” which entails the study of the interaction of political power that has an impact on the competition and the allocation of wealth and resources of the economy. This is the most important social issue in the current globalization setting where all countries are interwoven economically in the manner in which the more powerful countries exercising control over the resources or the domination of power over weaker countries. An instance of the international relation in a current globalization setting can be seen from the recent trade war between China and the U.S. when Mr.Trump initiated a rhetoric “America First” to support his protectionist policy on trade against the rival China. This incidence has sent enormous impact on all people around the globe. In response to the current situation, the President of Rangsit University has recommended that the College of Political Science, Economics and Globalization be established, with the Institute of Political Science, the Institute of Economics and the Institute of Diplomacy being set up to operate under the umbrella of the college. It is hoped that under the new organizational structure, the integration of various branches of knowledge will be materialized though the cooperation of instructors, officials and students of these three institutes in the process of teaching, learning, academic meeting and other collective activities.

Moreover, the Doctorate Program in International Political Economy and Development was established in 2019 under the initiative of Dr. Narong Petchprasert, the current dean of the Faculty of Economics. This Program is ready for admission in academic year 2020. It is a high-level curriculum that combines various branches of knowledge in economics, social science and diplomacy. The Program does not require any classroom study or course work. Only high quality dissertation is needed for the fulfillment of Ph.D. degree.

The new challenges facing the College of Political Science, Economics and Globalization is the rearrangement of the content of the curriculum that will integrate teaching and course works of the three Institutes into a holistic approach of study. This new program will be ready for admission in academic year 2020. There will be new courses with new content that are suitable for teaching and learning in a holistic fashion. Furthermore, the classrooms and facilities must be rearranged to accommodate the students of the three institutes to come to study together in the same classroom. It will be interesting to see students with different backgrounds of knowledge to come to do the same coursework so that they can exchange dialogues and ideas in order to create new body of knowledge and innovations that will benefit the society at large. In addition, the study under this setting will help students learn to adjust themselves to be able to associate with people from diverse backgrounds effectively. As for economics-major students, they will have a chance to learn political science and diplomacy that will help them expand their view beyond the conventional economics. Equipped with this kind of training, they will become “warriors with many swords” and be ready to battle in labor market to take charge in positions  in business or public sectors that require strategic planning skills such as trade ambassador, export and import operators, or international trade representative.

Apart from bundling together the branches of knowledge in the areas of economics, political science and diplomacy into a holistic, multi-disciplinary program, there is also a new change coming out of the above-mentioned curriculum reengineering process in academic year 2020, that is, the improvement of the existing “Bachelor of Economics” program in a transition to the newly-launched “Bachelor of Digital Economy” program. This is the expansion of the existing “Master of Digital Economy” program to apply to undergraduate level as well. Our existing “Master of Digital Economy” program is considered to be the first of a kind in Thailand since it was established in 2015. It was developed from the our original “Master of Applied Economics” program of 2011, by adding some courses on Big Data and Block Chain to the curriculum. These two courses will be taught in undergraduate level as well.

Also in 2020, apart from adding some new courses such as Big Data and Block Chain to the curriculum, the master program is also revised to offer the thesis-only option for students. The 100% thesis option will be suitable for a modern way of learning in the world driven by digital technology such as Internet of Thing that will be accessible by all families in remote areas through 5G network. This is the future trend that will change the way of learning, working and living for people from all walks of life.

The Philosophy of the Faculty of Economics

The Faculty of Economics adheres to the philosophy to be the leader in directing the society to justice, progress and competitiveness in economics. It is intended to be the center of academic advancement in economics, digital economy and political economy. It aims to be the major source of up-to-date information in economics. It will also contribute to the progress of Dharmacratic Society.

 The Mission of the Faculty of Economics

The Faculty of Economics has a mission to produce high quality graduates with morality, ethics and conscience, and be able adapt themselves properly to brace for economic, social and political changes.

The vision of the Faculty of Economics

The Faculty of Economics is determined to maintain its status as a leader in providing high quality education in the fields of economics, digital economy and political economy at the undergraduate, master and doctorate levels that are accredited both nationally and internationally. It commits to pursue academic excellence and help contribute to the new body of knowledge that can be used as a guide for determining national policy.