April 27, 2022 – the Academic Service Bureau of Khon Kaen University and the University Academic Service Network held a seminar on the topic: “New Isan: the Challenge of Being the Loco Engine for University Development”. The seminar was organized online by Zoom and was attended by 102 representatives from 17 universities all over the country.
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University presided over the opening session and delivered the opening address. The soon arriving leaping advance is the issue of the University’s concern. The University sees the importance and necessity in building a network of collaboration both within the University and with the private or industrial sector, in order to drive forward the developmental work that corresponds to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It was a good chance that during this seminar, participants were able to listen to recommendations, opinions, and needs of the private sector, through Khon Kaen Provincial Chamber of Commerce and Industrial Association. What happened today should benefit the academic service works of Thai universities as a whole.
Assoc. Prof. Chuchat Kamollert, Ph.D., D.V.M., Director of the Academic Service Bureau of Khon Kaen University reported about the objectives of this event. The seminar was held under the concept of “New Isan Style”, which is the today’s talk of the town about the direction of the Northeast development under the context of digital era’s rapid changes. The changes come with the high speed railway line, the double-track railway line, the special economic corridor, etc., which make it interesting to see how universities take part in these changes and what the private sector expects from the universities. In order to answer the two issues, the Academic Service Bureau therefore held this seminar of the academic service network of Thai universities. Following this, Assoc. Prof. Mitrchai Jongchiawchamnan, Ph.D., Chairman of the Academic Service Network of Thai Universities delivered the welcoming speech to the participants in the seminar.
Following the opening session was a special talk on “News Isan: What does the private and business sector expect from universities?” by Khun Charnnarong Buristrakoon, President of Khon Kaen Chamber of Commerce. The talk was, in brief, about: 1) Building man, basic knowledge, expertise, and responsibilities – that are still the major role of Thai universities in preparing manpower for the society; 2) Building knowledge that can be truly applied, suitable for the locals and leading to products and benefits, and using the existing knowledge towards internationality and standards of foods, medicine, engineering technologies that are innovations that emerge in our area; 3) Building work – universities are the important employment source and leader of area development, with major roles besides instruction. Universities are the principle locomotive engine for different activities that provoke local economy, building jobs and incomes for the community and locality. The next talk was on “New Isan: What does the industrial sector expect from universities?” by Dr. Taweesan Wichaiwong, Chairman of the Khon Kaen industrial Association. This talk was about the things the industrial sector expects from the universities that will answer the issues of the governmental sector and the provincial strategies to become the Northeast Economic Corridor (NeEC). The next thing is the Green Economy, which is divided into 3 steps: firstly, city planning and zoning that answers the industrial sector needs; secondly, the knowhow – in knowledge, innovation, research studies such as in medicine and farming to fulfill the future industrial sector; and third – human resource development with the Upskill / Reskill programs that train people to acquire more skills to accommodate the changing world at present and that correspond to the needs of the industrial sector. The last part of the seminar was the session for participants to present their opinions.