International Higher Education Collaboration for Staff Research Development: A Case Study in Thailand
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Engineering and Mathematics
The Rajabhat Institutes in Thailand have been given the mandate under the Rajabhat Institutes Act to provide educational programs at all degree levels with a focus on service to the local community. While the Rajabhat Institutes have their grounding in teacher education training they have now diversified to offer degree programs in education, science and technology, agriculture and industry, industrial arts, humanities and social sciences and management science to over 110 000 students. In addition, the Rajabhat Institutes provide a comprehensive range of pre and in-service training programs to meet the needs of the professional workforce and the general public. With the expansion to Masters and Doctoral awards, move to full university status and the desire to conduct research for rural development there is a need for the upgrading of skills of the Rajabhat staff and the development of a strong applied research culture. This paper presents a model for international higher education institution relationship for research which fosters independent development for an Asian institution. In this model a two way process is presented which links global knowledge and the local application of the knowledge to meet the needs of the local community. A case study, which is based on this model, for higher degree study for staff is outlined. The case study will focus on a staff development project offered by Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia in conjunction with the Rajabhat Institutes in Thailand. The project provides Rajabhat instructors with an opportunity to undertake higher degree preparation within Thailand through intensive in-country skill development, research study in Australia and Thailand, distance based supervision and local support. In the Project both sides collaborate and recognise the other’s culture, as well as the students' strengths and weaknesses.