Historian bemoans Thammasat decision

Historian bemoans Thammasat decision - The Nation, June 25, 2005
Charnvit Kasetsiri, an historian and former lecturer in Thammasat University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts, on Thursday called the university council’s decision earlier this week to have the next entering class spend all of its undergraduate years on the Rangsit campus north of Bangkok a “tragedy, an embarrassment and [the product of subterfuge]”.
Charnvit said the council’s focus was on education as a business. That was why undergraduate students were evicted from the old Tha Prachan campus to make room for graduate students, who pay higher tuition.
The decision was also in line with the government’s plan to clear out the “old town” in the heart of the city, leaving only palaces and temples to promote tourism, Charnvit said.
“Now it’s the end of Thammasat University. It’s an up-country university without social or political roles. . . . It’s no different from universities in dictatorial countries like Rangoon University in Burma,” he said.


[2015 note: Like many Thai newspaper articles from the early days of the Thai internet, this article is no longer online. Below is the complete text of the original article.]

Historian bemoans Thammasat decision

Published on June 25, 2005

Charnvit Kasetsiri, an historian and former lecturer in Thammasat University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts, on Thursday called the university council’s decision earlier this week to have the next entering class spend all of its undergraduate years on the Rangsit campus north of Bangkok a “tragedy, an embarrassment and [the product of subterfuge]”.

Charnvit said the council’s focus was on education as a business. That was why undergraduate students were evicted from the old Tha Prachan campus to make room for graduate students, who pay higher tuition.

The decision was also in line with the government’s plan to clear out the “old town” in the heart of the city, leaving only palaces and temples to promote tourism, Charnvit said.

“Now it’s the end of Thammasat University. It’s an up-country university without social or political roles. . . . It’s no different from universities in dictatorial countries like Rangoon University in Burma,” he said.

Kornchanok Raksaseri

The Nation
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