1. Introduction to TAIST-Tokyo Tech Program
TAIST (Thailand Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) is based on the idea of collaboration among NSTDA and partner universities in Thailand and a foreign institution to develop the Thai human resources. TAIST will serve as a virtual institution and focal point. NSTDA will provide researchers to act as adjunct professors, research projects and scholarships for graduate students. A foreign institution or university will provide a world class background, expertise and experience, academic instruction and research advice. Thai universities will provide an academic frame work, academic staff to oversee and guide students and degrees for the successful candidates. The viability of the idea is nicely demonstrated by the creation of the first TAIST, namely TAIST-Tokyo Tech, with the cooperation of Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT), King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) and Kasetsart University (KU). It is expected that several similar collaborations will be established in the future.
The main objective of TAIST-Tokyo Tech is to establish an institution for human resource development to foster and support world-class researchers and high-level engineers through a combination of advising from Tokyo Tech professors, excellent facilities and research staff in NSTDA, and established resources of Thai universities. At present, the participating universities are KMITL, SIIT, KMUTT and KU; more universities from Japan and Thailand are expected to join in the near future.
TAIST-Tokyo Tech aims to harmonize advanced technology with the environment and to realize research and human resource development for global sustainable development. Looking back at the history of modernization through industrial development, factors such as global warming, abnormal weather and the pollution of air, water and soil indicate that there is a real risk of serious destruction of nature and life in the near future. It is urgent for us to recognize this paradigm shift in science and technology and concentrate our effort and intelligence on technologies which are in harmony with the environment. In Thailand, development and industrialization have been so drastic, compared with developed countries, that problems derived from these factors are much more serious as they become obvious. In light of such a situation, expanding research and education to harmonize advanced technology with the environment effectively and efficiently will be quite necessary and the outcome of such effort will be valuable not only for Thailand, but also other countries of the world.
The establishment of this joint graduate program will be a historical step for Tokyo Tech, which aims to be one of the top science and technology universities in the world. The first phase in creating this program is the exchange of academic staff and students according to agreements set forth by two institutions. The second phase is to facilitate lectures accredited in recipient universities through a distance education system as has already been conducted in both Thailand and the Philippines. The third phase is to establish an internationally cooperative graduate institute as well as to conduct HRD through education and researches. Many European and Australian universities are quite active not only in terms of accepting foreign students, but also in providing education in overseas campuses. The establishment of TAIST-Tokyo Tech is extremely important since Tokyo Tech is now coming onto center stage, and with joint cooperation between Tokyo Tech and Thai partners, TAIST-Tokyo Tech will become a similarly prominent institution
The TAIST-Tokyo Tech project will maintain a competitive edge over those of western countries by mobilization of whole institutional resources based on long history of education and research of Tokyo Tech, NSTDA, KMITL, SIIT, KMUTT, KU and other participating universities. Tokyo Tech and TAIST-Tokyo Tech share the same philosophy of education and research - HRD by promoting cutting-edge research activities. It is expected that TAIST-Tokyo Tech will initiate the start of a positive spiral of human resource development system in Asian region.
- Location and operation of TAIST-Tokyo Tech
- TAIST-Tokyo Tech is located at NSTDA in Thailand Science Park (TSP)
- Research and education are conducted at the research institutions under NSTDA, namely NECTEC, MTEC, BIOTEC, NANOTEC and TMC and at the participating universities, namely KMITL, SIIT, KMUTT and KU.
- TAIST-Tokyo Tech will eventually have master's and doctoral level programs. The master's program will be set up first, and the doctoral program will be initiated at a later stage.
- In the first year, all students will be Thai. Later, it is expected that TAIST-Tokyo Tech will also accept students from other Asian countries and all over the world.
- Students will be registered at one of the participating universities of TAIST-Tokyo Tech program. NSTDA will award scholarships to all TAIST-Tokyo Tech students.
- Successful TAIST-Tokyo Tech students will be awarded master's degrees from KMITL, KMUTT, KU, SIIT, and will also receive certificates from the TAIST-Tokyo Tech program. This certificate will be signed jointly by representatives of Tokyo Tech and NSTDA. The issue of joint degrees and certificates will be a matter of further discussion.
- Some Tokyo Tech students will be encouraged to study at TAIST-Tokyo Tech for short terms.
- Personnel from industrial companies can request to participate in individual courses.
2-3. Faculty members and their duties
- The majority of courses will be taught by professors from Tokyo Tech with participation from Thai counterparts. Professors from Tokyo Tech may include retired professors or contract-based experts from specific industries. Tokyo Tech professors will also provide research cooperation on strategic topics.
- Tokyo Tech will dispatch professors for education and research using its own budget. The expected duration of staying in Thailand will be as follows:
Program management: 2-3months (total)/year;
Professors for education & research: 10-20 persons/program, 1-3weeks/time;
Professors for R&D: 1 week/time
- Most lecture courses will be taught in the form of intensive courses over a period of 1-3 weeks. These face-to-face lectures might be combined with distance education.
- Participation from other universities in Japan is most welcome. Possible candidates for participation are Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, etc.
- Researches at TAIST-Tokyo Tech will base upon collaboration among Tokyo Tech, Thai universities and NSTDA and utilize mainly the human resources and facilities at NSTDA.
- Cooperation with various industries will be enhanced through activities at TAIST-Tokyo Tech.
- The Thai government is initiating an Institution to serve as a central funding and coordinating body for projects similar and analogous to TAIST-Tokyo Tech. After this concept is realized, the structure and affiliation of TAIST-Tokyo Tech may be modified.