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New Graduate Programs In Petrochemical Technology And In Polymer Science At Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand An International Academic Partnership

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.335.1 - 1.335.10

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Paper Authors

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Somchai Osuwan

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Raymond D. Daniels

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John F. Scamehorn

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2260

New Graduate Programs in Petrochemical Technoloy and in Polymer Science at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand --An International Academic Partnership

Raymond D. Daniels, John F. Scamehorn, Somchai Osuwan University of Oklahoma/Chulalongkorn University


In 1992, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, entered into an academic partnership with three U.S. universities (Case Western Reserve University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oklahoma) to develop and offer graduate programs at the master degree level in petrochemical technology and in polymer science. Students were admitted to the program and the first classes were offered in 1993. The first group of students graduated in July 1995.

The graduate programs as conceived and implemented are international in nature. Instruction is in the English language and curriculum content and thesis requirements are typical of those required in engineering graduate programs at major U. S. universities. Course instructors for the first two years of the program have been faculty from the partnership U.S. universities. Eventually, a near fifly-fifly distribution of U. S. and Thai faculty instruction is anticipated. Thesis research is conducted under U. S. and Thai faculty co-advisors, and the theses are written in English.

The program has received strong support from the government of Thailand and Thai industry. In 1993, the partnership was awarded a USAID, University Development Linkages Project (UDLP) grant. This paper reviews the feasibility studies and planning for these graduate programs and the academic partnership. and it describes our experiences with the program through the first two and one-half years of operation.


Petrochemical Industry in Thailand

The pace of economic development in Thailand in recent years has been impressive. With manufactured exports growing at 35 to 40 percent per year for five consecutive years., GDP growth in 1994 was 8.5 percent.’ Thailand is clearly among the wave of newly industrializing nations. Success, however, has highlighted problems of human resource development and utilization. Key skills in the science and technology fields are in short supply. The underlying reason is the apparent slow response of the educational system to market demand. With reduction in the growth of government employment and the expansion of the industrial sector. there is a change in the skills demanded in the labor market. More engineers, computer scientists, and scientific personnel are required, while there is less demand for the social and political sciences and humanities. A prime example is the human resource requirements of the growing petrochemical industry.

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Osuwan, S., & Daniels, R. D., & Scamehorn, J. F. (1996, June), New Graduate Programs In Petrochemical Technology And In Polymer Science At Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand An International Academic Partnership Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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