China a good market for AIT: Chinese ambassador

AIT President Prof. Said Irandoust and Ambassador Guan Mu

AIT’s current enrolment of 18 students from the People’s Republic of China is low by historical standards. This was the view of China’s Ambassador to Thailand, H.E. Mr. Guan Mu, on learning last week that AIT has produced over 700 alumni from China.
The ambassador made his remarks while visiting the Institute as
part of “China Day at AIT” festivities. He was joined by Mr. Qiu Ning,
First Secretary, Embassy of People’s Republic of China, and other
senior embassy officials.
Meeting on 5 November 2010 with AIT President, Prof. Said Irandoust,
and senior administration officials, the ambassador pointed out that
with so many Chinese students interested to study in Thailand, AIT too
can recruit more capable students from his country.
“China is a good opportunity for AIT,” he said. “With increased
publicity and enhanced communication, I think the number of students
attending AIT will increase.”
The ambassador told the AIT president that his embassy was willing
to work with AIT to increase its number of Chinese students. To do so,
he stressed the importance of developing marketable programs that can
compete in the higher education marketplace.
President Irandoust welcomed such support and briefed the
ambassador on AIT’s collaboration with China, specifically its plan to
open an AIT Office in Shanghai. AIT’s presence there would focus
largely on capacity building activities for small and medium-sized
enterprises, the president explained. AIT officials also briefed the
ambassador on the many recent initiatives and forms of collaborative
work with universities in China.
Noting the historical cooperation that AIT has enjoyed with China, the
ambassador recounted the pivotal role played by AIT’s Chairman of the
Board, HE Dr. Tej Bunnag, on the normalization of Thailand-China
bilateral relations in the 1970s. Dr. Tej is also a former
Ambassador of Thailand to China. AIT was amongst the first
organizations of higher learning to establish formal ties with
counterparts in China, the ambassador explained.
Later, Ambassador Guan Mu joined close to 200 Chinese students and
officials from 6 universities in Thailand who gathered for China Day at
AIT to sample its internationality and to celebrate Chinese culture.
Currently there are approximately 10,000 Chinese nationals studying at
the tertiary level in Thailand.
The Chinese students participated in activities in the AIT Conference
Center Auditorium. President Irandoust, Mr. Qiu Ning, First Secretary,
Embassy of People’s Republic of China; Mr. Luo Yong, President of
Chinese Student Association of Thailand; and Mr. Worawej
Onnom,President of AIT Student Union addressed the crowd. The Chinese
students then had the opportunity to tour AIT’s three Schools: School
of Engineering and Technology, School of Environment, Resources and
Development, and School of Management. They later sampled the cuisine
on offer at AIT’s annual International Food Fair.
Also joining the meeting with Ambassador Guan Mu were Prof. Worsak
Kanok-Nukulchai, Vice President Resources Development; Dr. Barbara
Igel, Dean-SOM; Dr. Weerakorn Ongsakul, Dean-SERD; Dr. Jonathan Shaw,
Director, AIT Extension; Dr.Anil Kumar Anal, Associate Dean-SERD; Dr.
Mokbul Morshed Ahmad, Associate Professor-SERD;Ms. Wannapa Pleinsri,
Representing Head-ERCO, Mr. Worawej Onnom, President of AIT Student
Union; and Mr. Shawn Kelly, Senior Media Specialist.