by Ian S. Embradura, OPI
In fostering the linkage between MSU-IIT and Khon Kaen University (KKU) of Thailand, three professors of the Faculty of Education (FOE) of KKU visited the Institute on August 15-18, 2015 for a Focused Group Discussion (FGD) with the Executive Committee of the College of Education (CED).
The representatives from KKU’s FOE wanted to operationalize what both institutions have agreed on in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), according to Acting CED Dean Dr. Manuel B. Barquilla.
Khon Kaen University is hailed as one of nine National Research Universities of Thailand. The three professors from KKU’s FOE who came to MSU-IIT were Dr. Nuchwana Luanganggoon, Ms. Phatchara Phantharakphong, and Dr. Jiradawan Huntula.
Among the terms of the MOU include the exchange of faculty members and students, undergraduate and graduate, which is set to happen by February 2016 wherein KKU FOE sends ten of its students and two faculty members who will be immersed in classroom engagements and in practice teaching.
However, policy concerns regarding the accommodation of international students were also raised during the FGD.
KKU is also offering scholarships in graduate and postgraduate programs for CED’s faculty members who are applying for a Ph.D. degree.
The MOU also includes the conduct of collaborative researches and academic conferences; plans in which KKU would like to reinforce. In terms of research collaborations, it has been agreed in the Focus Group Discussion that FOE and CED will match and combine its research outputs.
As for academic conferences, CED has already co-hosted the 7th International Conference on Education Research (ICER) with Khon Kaen University in 2014 where Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol was one of the keynote speakers.
CED students and faculty members have been presenting papers at the KKU even before the MOU was signed between KKU and IIT in September 2013.
Barquilla hopes that this partnership with KKU, a renowned research university could help the College of Education in its programs through benchmarking of curriculums, strengthening faculty profile, and engaging with Thai students to eventually realize IIT’s aspiration towards becoming a research university.