As of February 2019, there are 155 higher education institutions (HEIs) in Thailand including public, private and autonomous institutions. There are 57 public universities which are funded by the government. There are 26 autonomous universities, they operate with independent finances, management and administration but they receive a fixed amount of grants from the government. The 72 private universities are privately funded. In 2018, there are around 30,000 foreign students in Thailand, this includes short-term exchange students. According to QS World Ranking in the year 2020, the Chulalongkorn University has the highest ranking amongst all Thai Universities at a ranking of 247. For more information on Thailand HEIs, please visit Thailand’s Office of the Higher Education Commission at http://www.inter.mua.go.th/.
In Thailand, the HEIs have the usual tertiary education path of a Bachelor’s (cycle de la Licence) followed by a Master’s and then a Doctorate degree. The full-time Bachelor’s degree usually lasts four years. The Master’s degree can be completed in 1 or 2 years whereas the Doctorate degree requires a minimum of 3 years. Professional degree programs like Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Architecture take 4-5 years for completion. As for bachelor programs in medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and dentistry require 6 years to complete. Admission into a Master’s degree requires a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5 or 3.0. Application for doctorate degrees can be done with a Bachelor’s degree that has a minimum of 72 credits or a Master’s degree with only 48 credits. HEIs of Thailand typically use Thai as the language of instructions. Currently, there are 138 Bachelor’s degree, 84 Master’s degree, and 92 Doctorate degree that are taught in English. Students can apply to Thai universities with upper-secondary school GPA and entrance examinations results. Applications can be sent directly to the institution through their website or by email. Most public universities use Thai Central Admission System (TCAS) for fairer admission process. Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate Degree programs in Thailand require minimum English Proficiency test scores; 550 for TOEFL or 6.0 for IELTS.
Tuition fees for Bachelor’s degrees are around US$ 1,000-4250 a year. It costs US$ 2,800-5,250 a year for Master’s degrees and US$ 6,700-12,850 a year for Doctorate degrees. For the cost of living that includes accommodation, food, shopping and some leisure activities, an estimated amount of US$450-750 is sufficient.
Information for International Students
Applications to HEIs can be done directly. After receiving and accepting the letter of acceptance from the institution, the Non-Immigrant Educational Visa application can be done at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate General. This application may take 4-6 weeks to process. This student visa is only valid for 90 days after arriving in Thailand. Upon entering Thailand, students need to register and pay all fees to their respective institution, and the student visa will be renewed and extended. For renewal of visa, it will cost 1,900 Baht. Documents required for visa application are a passport that doesn’t expire in less than 6 months, a photograph with size of 4*6cm, the letter of acceptance and transcript from the related HEI and a letter from the HEI confirming that the applicant will be in Thailand for educational purposes.