"In order to prepare graduates for the job market, universities must allow students to face real problems, and to learn how to combine knowledge and technologies to solve those problems." - Associate Professor Dr. Chutiporn Anutariya
A report from the Thailand National Statistical Office showed that in September 2019, almost 400,000 were unemployed, whereas a more recent survey from March to April 2020 found that more than 500,000 new graduates in Thailand may have a high risk of being out of jobs. Startled by these statistics, Thailand Education Partnership (TEP) raises the question of whether an answer may lie in an overhaul of the education system that provides new approaches of teaching and learning at the university level, with the aim to develop graduates who are well-equipped with the skills that will directly respond to the current market demands.
TEP recently conducted and interview in Thai the language with Associate Professor Dr. Chutiporn Anutariya, Associate Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology and a faculty member in the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). Dr. Chutiporn explained that in order to prepare graduates for the job market, universities must allow students to face tackle problems, and to learn how to combine knowledge and technologies to solve those problems.
Dr. Chutiporn further explained: “We cannot use a problem written in a textbook or a real problem that happened 10 years ago as a proposition. Teachers need to make sure that what is discussed is relevant to current issues. This is termed problem-based learning. Students must have a chance to learn from entrepreneurs who can show them how to use their knowledge to solve the problem and succeed,” she said.
The associate dean stressed that team work is also crucial. Apart from other skills they must have, students need to also possess effective communication skills which will allow them to effectively relate to their team.
Dr. Chutiporn concluded that all these skills are crucial and necessary in real work situations and must be emphasized in higher education classes. In addition, with the technological advancement that allows online education to reach even a larger audiences, acquiring these important skills has never been easier or more accessible than today, she said.