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THE THAI KHADI RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Thammasat University, the second oldest university in Thailand and one of the most prestigious universities in the country, was established on June 27,1934. Initially, its focus was primarily on law and politics, but later it expanded to offer courses in social sciences, humanities, science and technology, and medicine, with the aim of providing higher education in fields pertinent to social needs and development.

At present, there are seventeen faculties at Thammasat : Allied Health Science, Commerce and Accountancy, Dentistry, Economics, Engineering, Fine and Applied Arts, Journalism and Mass Communication, Law, Liberal Arts, Medicine, Nursing, Political Science, Science and Technology, Sirindhon International Institute of Technology, Social Administration, Sociology and Anthropology, and the Graduate School. In addition, there is the Language Institute, offering fundamental English courses and English for special purposes.

Thammasat has four institutes whose responsibilities are mainly research work. These are the East Asian Studies Institute, the Human Resources Institute, the Information Processing Institute for Education and Development, and Thai Khadi Research Institute.

The Thai Khadi Research Institute

Established in 1971, The Thai Khadi Research Institute was initially intended to encourage academics in Thailand to create and disseminate the body of knowledge about Thai society and culture. In the early stage, the Institute focused on researching as its major mission. Emphasis was on humanities and historical research and documentation.

From 1977 the Institute began to expand its scope of work on research and academic activities as Thammasat University’s research center. It provided research funds for university personnel and academics while expanding cooperation and academic networks with international research funds and other international academic institutes. Then the Institute’s research projects covered a wide range of issues, namely rural development, economics, poverty, income distribution, and congested communities. These studies were problem-oriented and policy-oriented, and they were undertaken in response to the government’s policy and the national economic and social development plans. During the past decade, research projects also involved the fields of medicine and science and technology in response to the demands of personnel and academics at the university’s newly established faculties.

At present, The Thai Khadi Research Institute has concentrated on conducting its own research projects in the fields of social sciences and the humanities. The Institute has implemented an integrated research plan in accordance with national research strategies and agenda. Its research agenda, in particular, is in support of national competitiveness, social capital, poverty alleviation, quality of life, and sustainable development strategies, on the basis of in depth understanding of Thai society and culture.

In addition to research works, the Institute also plays a vital role as an academic network. It has continued to organize academic activities, such as seminars and training, and has offered academic services for more than three decades. The Institute has also hosted international seminars on various topics, such as Village and State in Thai Studies (April 1985), Asian Forum for Muslim Social Scientists (February 1987), Thai Studies in ASEAN: State of the Art (September 1987), The Literary, Historical and Cultural Aspects of Thao Hung Thao Cheuang (November 1995), Comparative Thai-Vietnam Archaeology (August 1998), Tai Peoples before the Coming of Civilization (May 1999), Seminar on Ethnography of South East Asian Textiles (August 2000), and Research Methodology for the Study of Art History (May-June 2003).

With its determination to carry out the mission of research and academic work, together with the potential, readiness, and experience of its personnel, The Thai Khadi Research Institute plans to launch two projects in the future. The projects include the teaching program and learning process for Thai studies and a Thai studies academic network. The Institute will continue to conduct seminars and training, as well as academic exchange programs with foreign universities, in order to enhance and develop its research potential to the international level.

Missions

1. To promote research and in-depth study of Thai/Tai culture and society at the local and regional levels.

2. To encourage scholars and faculty members to conduct research relevant to the needs of Thai society.

3. To seek and allocate research grants and funds by coordinating with various national, regional and international agencies.

4. To disseminate research findings and new approaches to Thai studies by organizing talks, training programs, cross-cultural workshops, national and international seminars/conferences as well as publishing documentation in the form of newsletters, journals, pamphlets and books.

5. To promote institutional linkages through an exchange of information as well as an exchange of researchers between national and international institutes.

Organization and Staff

Thai Khadi Research Institute is an agency under Thammasat University, with a faculty status and operates as follows :

1. The administrative body

The director and associate director with 3-year term of office.
The executive committee, whose members are appointed by the University Council on recommendation of the Institute director.
The administrative body sets the policy and supervises the policy implementation.

Directors of the Thai Khadi Research Institute (1971-present)

2. The operation

Research Section : conducting its own research as well as undertaking joint research with external researchers / research institutes.
Library : compiling research information on Thai studies as well as providing information service to researchers and agencies.
Office of the Secretary : seeing to general administrative functions and coordinating with various agencies both within and outside Thammasat University.

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