Walailak University and UMTE Discuss Potential Academic Exchanges and Research Collaborations
Today, at the Chorpradu Chammer of Walailak University Hospital, Professor Dr. Sombat Thamrongthanyawong, the President of Walailak University (WU), warmly welcomed distinguished guests Assistant Professor Dr. Oleg Smeshko, Rector, and Associate Professor Dr. Anna Rumyantseva, Vice-Rector for Research and International Affairs of Saint Petersburg University of Management Technologies and Economics (UMTE), Russia. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss potential academic collaborations.
Saint Petersburg University of Management Technologies and Economics or UMTE is the largest private university in north-western Russia. Offering over 85 programs at the college, bachelor’s, master’s, and postgraduate levels, UMTE has a student body of approximately 12,000, with 3,000 graduates each year.
During the event several presentations were held by Walailak University’s schools and college, highlighting their proposed academic collaborations, such as, the School of Informatics suggested joint research opportunities in IT management; the School of Liberal Arts put forth courses in basic Russian and basic Thai; the International College and the School of Accountancy and Finance proposed exchange student programs, etc.
Walailak University, as a world-class university and research-intensive institution in Thailand, has an impressive 88.67 percent of publications in Scopus-indexed international journals quartile 1 and 2 (as of 8 May 2023), the highest percentage in the country. The university’s commitment to excellent teaching is demonstrated through the implementation of the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF), which enhances student-centered learning and fosters critical, analytical, and synthetic thinking among students. Additionally, Walailak University places great emphasis on promoting English proficiency and internationalization as integral parts of its mission.
“We almost have no choice but to use an international language, an international lingua franca – English – in order to make sure that our graduates would be able to communicate well internationally, would be able to travel, would be able to work with international people, international companies both in Thailand and perhaps overseas,” said Associate Professor Dr. Surin Maisrikrod, Vice President of Walailak University.
He added: “We are very western influenced; we are very western-aligned, if you’d like. But, President Sombat has a different idea…The president wants to make sure that we extend and built and strengthen our relationships with nontraditional educational partners like Russia, other countries in central Asia, and China of course.”
Earlier in June 2022, the executive team from Walailak University embarked on a visit to various Russian universities, including UMTE. Building upon this visit, delegates from UMTE and Walailak University are expected to have an online meeting in about two to three weeks for further in-depth discussions, with the aim to solidify concrete cooperation. Professor Dr. Sombat also expressed his encouragement for WU schools and colleges to consider sending students as exchange students to UMTE, particularly those interested in elective courses. Additionally, the Center for International Affairs is planning to provide assistance and support to students who are seeking international experiences but may face financial constraints.