Some Thai universities plan to push back opening dates in 2014

The opening of school terms at some universities in Thailand will be postponed in 2014, so it is in line with back-to-school dates in European and Asean countries, Somkid Lertpaitoon, head of the Council of University Presidents of Thailand, said yesterday.

The CUPT meeting yesterday also resolved that all universities should recruit students via direct admission in January, instead of the usual October. As a result, Mathayom 6 graduates keen to go to university can take advantage of the two-month gap in the adjustment.

Somkid said that because the government had hiked civil servants' salary to Bt15,000 (S$600) a month from January 1, CUPT would ask it to give a pay increase to university personnel and ensure their salaries continued to be 1.7 times more than civil servants - as they were previously.

This excludes new university employees who already receive a starting salary of Bt15,000. He urged the government to support the move, because the hike would be expensive, and could cost an institution such as Chulalongkorn Bt400 million a year.

CUPT also heard the Admission Forum team's proposal for two admission system options for the academic 2014 year.

It assigned the team to further analyse pros and cons before tabling the proposal again on August 26, Somkid said.

The first option was to hold the General Aptitude Test (GAT) and Professional Aptitude Test (PAT) in October 2013, and then the general seven-subject exam in January 2014.

The central admission exam would sell its handbook from May 15-28, 2014; gather applications from May 18-28; collect fees from May 18-30; check scores from June 4-6; announce those qualified for interview and physical tests on June 13; conduct interviews and physical tests from June 23-25; and announce the final result on June 30.

Second option would be to hold the general seven-subject exam in January 2014, then the first GAT/PAT exam in early March and the second GAT/PAT in early May.

The central admission exam would sell its handbook from May 5-18, 2014; gather applications from May 8-18; collect fees from June 8-20; check scores from June 28-30; announce those qualified for interview and physical examination on July 4; conduct interviews and physical tests from July 14-16; and announce final results on July 24.

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