Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) recently announced the result of the QS Asian University Rankings 2013. Mahidol University is ranked 1st in Thailand and 42nd in Asia. In the field of Health Sciences, Mahidol University is placed number 14 in Asia.
The QS Asian University Rankings 2013 is based on the following criteria:
1. Research Quality (60%): measured by papers per faculty, citations per paper, and academic reputation based on peer review
2. Teaching Quality (20%): measured by student to faculty ratio
3. Employer Reputation (10%): measured by the survey of employers throughout Asia regarding the universities graduates
4. Internationalization (10%): measured by percent of foreign faculty, percent of foreign students, and percent of exchange students
Furthermore, the QS Rankings also tabulate the results according to the field of study. As such, Mahidol University is ranked as followed:
1. Medicine: 12 in Asia, 111 in the world
2. Pharmacy: 7 in Asia, 54 in the world
3. Biological Science: 30 in Asia, 188 in the world
Professor Rajata Rajatanavin, president of Mahidol University, said these results demonstrate that Mahidol University is a leading Thai university that offers international standard teaching and learning, conducts world class research, and exhibits global competitiveness. Our success is possible because of our commitment to continuously improve teaching and learning and to ensure that our research contributes to the well being of Thai society and humankind. This is our determination to be "Wisdom of the Land".
The ranking results also reflect potential of Mahidol University to be the Regional Education Hub and our readiness for the upcoming ASEAN Community. Mahidol University has planned and implemented many policies toward preparation for the ASEAN Community. For example, we promote, encourage, and empower our students to gain as much global educational experiences as possible by participating in exchange programs with leading universities in ASEAN and throughout the world. We set the ambitious target that 3000 students annually will have parts of their learning experiences oversea by 2017. We also implement measures to increase the amount of foreign visiting professors to 10% of our faculty member. This will provide our students with opportunities to learn from a different perspective and enhance the international dimension throughout our curricula.
Another successful initiatives are arrangement of study tours and cultural exchange between Mahidol Universitiy and leading ASEAN universities. In the near future, Mahidol University aims to double the numbers of inbound students from ASEAN countries. The main impetus for this effort will focus on negotiating collaborative agreements on development of young staff from developing ASEAN countries. The funding for this initiative will come from Mahidol University and the third party.
In any case, Professor Rajata Rajatanavin pointed out an important observation regarding the trend in ranking of Thai universities as a group comparing universities from the rest of the world. Overall, the ranking of Thai universities are declining and only three universities are listed in the top 100 of Asia (Mahidol University at 42nd, Chulalongkorn University at 48th and Chiang Mai University at 98th). On the other hand, the ranking of the universities from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, India, and Malaysia are improving and more are listed in the top 100. In part, this trend is the result of significant investment on higher education and research by these governments. Thailand's budget for higher education and research is trending downward. This may negatively affect the country's competitiveness.