Professor Vichai Reutrakul, Ph.D., Vice Chairman of the Higher Education Commission led a Thai delegation to attend the Meeting of Franco-Thai Joint Research Committee and visit education body, universities and relevant agencies on 16-20 November 2015 in Paris, France.
The Thai delegation comprises experts from universities and research institute, namely Professor Suthat Yoksan, Ph.D., from Srinakharinwirot University, Professor Srisin Khusmith, Ph.D., from Mahidol University, and Mr. Somvong Tragoonrung, Ph.D., Director of Genome Institute, National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC). 10 joint research projects submitted by 9 Thai universities were selected covering 7 disciplines: Science and Technology; Basic Science; Energy; Health Science; Agriculture and Agro-Industry; Environment, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development; and Social Sciences, Humanities and Culture, and Tourism.
The Thai delegation also had an opportunity to visit and discuss possible collaboration with the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research, the General Investment Office, the High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education, École Polytechnique, and Université Sorbonne Paris Cité.
On the visit to the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research, both sides shared higher education policy and development. The French side highlighted the enhancement of universities and research agencies’ visibility, the university autonomy, and the promotion of excellence through evaluation. The Thai delegation also proposed a study visit to French world-class innovation clusters whereby companies, public education institutions and research laboratories work on collaborative projects focusing on market-oriented projects and prototypes.
Regarding investment in higher education and research in France, the General Investment Office has presented the Initiatives d’Excellence (IDEX) scheme designed to establish "world-class" universities and research institutions capable of competing internationally for the best students and academics, working together in exchange for investment. In terms of higher education and research evaluation, the Thai side has proposed cooperation with the High Council for Evaluation of Research and Higher Education in exchange of experts for evaluation of Thai universities’ performances.
In addition, the Thai side has proposed possible cooperation in student mobility and exchange of students and researchers with École Polytechnique – a leading French institution specializing in engineering, science and technology, and in training workshop and joint degree in Tropical Medicine, Public Health, and Social Sciences with Université Sorbonne Paris Cité – a group of 13 world-class higher education and research institutions.