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History Cooperative Education

Suranaree University of Technology (SUT) was established in 1990 and began accepting its first batch of students in 1993. Realizing the importance of developing professional experiences for students to become well-rounded graduates and to meet the needs of the labor market, Professor Dr. Wichit Srisa-arn, the founding president, was the first to apply the preparation system to be used in Cooperative Education in Thailand. At Suranaree University of Technology, a trimester credit system was established and the term “cooperative education” was coined to support the Cooperative Education right from the very beginning.

Academic Year 1993

  • The creation of the Curriculum Development Committee based on experience in the workplace, consisting of external experts like the Industrial Council of Thailand, the Chamber of Commerce of Thailand, representatives from prominent public organizations and SUT officers such as the Rector, Vice Rector, deans and lecturers from different institutes.
  • Educational trip to overseas universities with outstanding Cooperative Education Programs.
  • Conducted training and seminars to promote the knowledge and understanding of Cooperative Education to SUT personnel as well as exchanging opinions and suggestions.
  • Disseminated the Cooperative Education Curriculum to external organizations both private and public.

Academic Year 1994

  • Established “Cooperative Education and Career Development Project”, a central unit responsible for coordinating among the workplaces, lecturers and students.
  • Became a member of World Association for Cooperative Education : WACE

Academic Year 1995

  • The first co-op placement consisted of 123 students from a non-mandatory co-op curriculum. In the admission process, the Institute of Engineering required that the applicants must have a cumulative GPA of more than 2.5 with good conducts. The Institute of Agricultural Technology required that both the overall cumulative GPA and the cumulative GPA of professional subjects must be more than 2.00 with good conducts.

Academic Year 1997

  • Cooperative Education has become a mandatory curriculum for all undergraduate programs.
  • The Industrial Council of Thailand has approved of Cooperative Education Program and awarded the Co-op Certification of Achievement to every student who completed the co-op program.

Academic Year 2000

  • Hosted the First National Symposium on “Work-Integrated Learning- An Approach in Educational Management” at SUT.

Academic Year 2001

  • Hosted the 12th World Conference on Cooperative Education on “Globalization of Cooperative Education: Adoption of Borderless System” at SUT.

Academic Year 2002

  • The Cooperative Education at SUT became a model for 17 pilot institutions of Higher Education and later for other educational institutions in the country.

Academic Year 2008

  • Hosted the 2nd national symposium on “Sustainable Cooperative Education” at SUT with the collaboration of the Office of Higher Education Commission and Thai Association for Cooperative Education.
  • Project adaptation from the “Cooperative Education and Career Development Project” to “Center for Cooperative Education and Career Development”

Academic Year 2009

  • Professor Dr. Wichit Srisa-an, President of Thai Association for Cooperative Education and Founding Rector of SUT, was awarded the “Father of Cooperative Education in Thailand” by the Office of Higher Education Commission(OHEC) on the occasion of the 1st celebration of the Thai Cooperative Education Day.

Academic Year 2010

  • SUT received the “Nationally Distinguished Cooperative Education Award”. On the same occasion, Professor Dr. Prasart Suebka, the SUT Rector, was awarded the ”Nationally Distinguished Cooperative Education Administrator” on the 2ND celebration of the Thai Cooperative Education Day organized by the Office of Higher Education Commission(OHEC) and the Thai Association for Cooperative Education.

Academic Year 2011

  • Professor Dr. Prasart Suebka, the SUT Rector, was awarded the ‘Nationally Distinguished Cooperative Education Administrator” on the 3rd celebration of the Thai Cooperative Day.
  • The project “Forklift Sugar Reject”, by Miss Pattama Aniwattrakulchai. The School of Management Technology (Logistics Management) has been awarded the “Nationally Distinguished Cooperative Education Project” under the Fields of Social Humanity and Management Science on the occasion of the 3RD Thai Cooperative Education Day.
  • Co-hosted the International Seminar on International Cooperative and Work-Integrated Education: Expanding Sustainable Networking on 20-22 July, 2011.
At present, SUT offers Cooperative Education Curriculum in 24 Academic Schools (26 programs of studies) including the 3 Schools from the Institute of Agricultural Technology, 2 Schools from the Institute of Social Technology, 2 Schools from the Institute of Medical Science, 16 Schools from the Institute of Engineering and 1 School from the Institute of Science. So far 14,561 students have completed the Cooperative Education Program nationally and internationally (as per April 2012).


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