Main Article Content



Over the past decade, Thai universities have faced a dual challenge of implementing measures to enhance education quality while grappling with a decline in global rankings. The economic slowdown in the last two decades has prompted a call for educational reforms in Thailand to bolster the quality of the workforce. Since 2020, there has been increased pressure on the Thai higher education system to improve graduate quality and compete internationally. This has led to substantial investments, the introduction of a Thai quality framework, and a focus on sustainable development goals to overcome challenges associated with the middle-income trap. This article argues that inherent policies and practices within Thai academia hinder upward mobility in global rankings. It raises critical questions about how Thailand can integrate its cultural requirements into the pursuit of higher rankings, adapt to internationalization without merely following Western standards, and reconcile with the prevalent influence of Anglo-Saxon paradigms in Asian academic practices.

Article Details



] Altbach, P. G., Reisberg, L., &Rumbley, L. E. (2019). Trends in global higher education: Tracking an academic revolution (Vol. 22). Brill.

Bangkok Post. (2023, February 18). Official says 33 scholars guilty of academic fraud. Bangkok Post.

Buasuwan, P., & Jones, M. E. (2016). Diploma disease in Thai HE. Asia Pacific graduate education: Comparative policies and regional developments, 173-198.

Chaeddhananan, K., &Dhirathiti, N. S. (2022). The model for strategic drive of Thai higher education institutions toward world-class universities. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, 43(2), 271‒278.

Chaiya, C., & Ahmad, M. M. (2021). Success or Failure of the Thai Higher Education Development—Critical Factors in the Policy Process of Quality Assurance. Sustainability, 13(17), 9486–9515.

Clair, R. S. (2021). Marginalizing the Marginalized: How Rankings Fail the Global South. Global University Rankings and the Politics of Knowledge, 133.

de Wit, H. (2019). Internationalization in higher education, a critical review. SFU Educational Review, 12(3), 9-17.

Deem, R., Mok, K. H., & Lucas, L. (2008). Transforming higher education in whose image? Exploring the concept of the ‘world-class’ university in Europe and Asia. Higher education policy, 21, 83-97.

El-Khawas, E. (2013). Quality assurance as a policy instrument: what’s ahead?. Quality in Higher Education, 19(2), 248-257.

Fry, G. W. (2018). Synthesis, rethinking Thai education: Paradoxes, trends, challenges, and opportunities. Education in Thailand: An old elephant in search of a new mahout, 677-709.

Ganotice Jr, F. A., Tang, H. H. H., Tsui, G., Villarosa, J. B., & Yeung, S. S. (2017). Globalization of world university rankings and its impact on Asian universities. In World university rankings and the future of higher education (pp. 329-344). igi Global.

Ginsberg, B. (2011). The fall of the faculty. Oxford University Press.

Hallinger, P. (2014). Riding the tiger of world university rankings in East Asia: Where are we heading?. International Journal of educational management, 28(2), 230-245.

Holmes, H., Tangtongtavy, S., &Tomizawa, R. (1995). Working with the Thais: A guide to managing in Thailand.

Huang, F. (2007). Internationalization of higher education in the developing and emerging countries: A focus on transnational higher education in Asia. Journal of studies in international education, 11(3-4), 421-432.

Lauhathiansind, E., &Chunbundit, N. (2016). Thai Higher Education. The Palgrave Handbook of Asia Pacific Higher Education, 511-530.

Lem, P. (2023, March 18). “Buy papers or lose your job”: the dilemma facing Thai academics. Times Higher Education (THE).

Lao, R. (2015). A critical study of Thailand's higher education reforms: The culture of borrowing. Routledge.

Levy, D. C. (2011). Public policy for private higher education: A global analysis. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 13(4), 383-396.

Lloyd, M. A. R. I. O. N., &Ordorika, I. M. A. N. O. L. (2021). International university rankings as cultural imperialism: Implications for the global South. Global university rankings and the politics of knowledge, 25-49.

Marginson, S., & Van der Wende, M. (2007). To rank or to be ranked: The impact of global rankings in higher education. Journal of studies in international education, 11(3-4), 306-329.Office of the Education Council Ministry of Education Kingdom of Thailand. (2018). Education in Thailand.

OECD, PISA 2022 Database (2023). Retrieved from

Office of the Higher Education Commission. (2014). Manual for the internal quality assurance for higher education institutions 2010. Bangkok: Pappim Limited Partnerships.

QS World Rankings. (2024). QS World University Rankings 2024. Top Universities.

Rhein, D. (2016). Westernisation and the Thai higher education system: Past and present. Journal of educational administration and history, 48(3), 261-274.

Rhein, D. (2017). International higher education in Thailand: Challenges within a changing context. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, 8(3), 281-298.

Rhein, D., &Nanni, A. (2023). The impact of global university rankings on universities in Thailand: don’t hate the player, hate the game. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 21(1), 55-65.

Rumbley, L. E., Altbach, P. G., Reisberg, L., & Leask, B. (2022). Trends in global higher education and the future of internationalization: Beyond 2020. In The handbook of international higher education (pp. 3-22). Routledge.ShanghaiRanking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities. (n.d.). Retrieved January 19, 2024, from

Schwab, K., & Sala-i-Martin, X. (2015). World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, 2014-2015.

SCIMAGO. (2022a). SJR : Scientific Journal Rankings (Thailand).

SCIMAGO. (2022b). SJR : Scientific Journal Rankings (Malaysia).

SCIMAGO. (2022c). SJR : Scientific Journal Rankings (Indonesia).

Scott, T., & Guan, W. (2023). Challenges facing Thai higher education institutions financial stability and perceived institutional education quality. Power and Education, 15(3), 326-340.

Sethakul, P., &Utakrit, N. (2019). Challenges and future trends for Thai education: Conceptual framework into action.

Sinhaneti, K. (2011). Emerging Trends of Thai Higher Education and a Case Study of Shinawatra University in Coping with Global Challenges. Online Submission.

Sinlarat, P. (2004). Thai universities: Past, present, and future. Asian universities: Historical perspectives and contemporary challenges, 201-220.

Tangchuang, P. (2011, March). Linkage between Higher Education and Labor Market in Thailand. In International Seminar on Skills Development for the Emerging New Dynamism in Asian Development Countries under Globalization.

Tangkitvanich, S., &Sasiwuttiwat, S. (2012). Revamping the Thai education system: Quality for all. TDRI Quarterly Review, 27(2), 3-14.ThaiJO, Thai Journals Online.

Times Higher Education. (2024). World University Rankings. Times Higher Education (THE). Rankings,

Wals, A. E. (2012). Shaping the education of tomorrow: 2012 full-length report on the UN decade of education for sustainable development. Unesco.

World Bank. (2013). The world bank annual report 2013. The World Bank.