Royal Thai Government Scholarship Program

Imprimer
2010-07-24 12:54:45

1. Introduction

The government scholarship programme for studying abroad has begun since 1897 during the reign of King Rama the fifth, with the two main following objectives :

1) to reward the students with a distinguished academic performance ;

2) to substitute foreign civil servants working for Thai public sector at that period of time.

In 1933, King Rama the seventh later assigned the Civil Service Committee, abbreviated “CSC” to be responsible for carrying out the management of government scholarship programme ranging from issuing related government scholarships policies, regulations, and directives, recruiting competent scholars, supervising government scholars as well as placing them in government service positions after graduation.

These two aforementioned objectives have become the fundamental principles for allocating government scholarships. Responsibilities regarding scholarship programme were stated in the Civil Service Act of 1992 in Section 8 (10) as “to formulate a policy and to issue directives concerning Government and King’s Scholarships so as to correspond with the manpower needs of civil ministries, public bodies and departments, and to place recipients accordingly in government service upon graduation.”

In addition, in Section 12 (8), one of the Office of the Civil Service Commission , abbreviated “OCSC” duties is “to carry out tasks related to the administration of government scholarships and King’s scholarships as well as the placement of government scholarship recipients after graduation in the government services, in response to manpower needs of civil ministries, public bodies and departments.”

Accordingly, OCSC has set up four main objectives which are :

1) To prepare and develop human resources in Thai public sector, particularly in updated areas of studies so as to serve changing missions of government agencies and to facilitate social and economic development in the future ;

2) To prepare and develop human resources in Thai public sector to obtain appropriate knowledge necessary for undertaking civil service tasks and to substitute the loss of high competent civil servants ;

3) To substitute the decreasing numbers of scholarships allocated by foreign countries ; and

4) To motivate high potential personnel to work for Thai public sector.

Nowadays, although there are many government agencies offering scholarships, but each agency will mainly focus on the specific fields of studies in accordance with its organizational needs. Unlike those agencies, OCSC allocates government scholarships on the basis of an overall requirement of the public sector. OCSC starts the allocation process by studying on social context trends from National Plans such as National Economic and Social Development Plan, directions in developments of different fields, national public administrative plan, regional and global trend, and other related matters. OCSC also distributes questionnaires to ask all government agencies about its specific needs e.g. what types or specific field of studies each agency needs in the near future. Furthermore, focus groups of experts, social leaders, educational professionals, and etc… are organized to gather different opinions and perspectives. After gathering all different sources of data, OCSC analyzes it and come up with an allocation plan, which has to be approved by Sub-Civil Service Commissions on each annual fiscal year basis.

2. Types of Scholarship and Contract Condition

There are two main types of scholarships granted by OCSC. One is King’s scholarships and Royal Thai Government scholarship for non-specific agencies. The other is Royal Thai Government scholarship allocated upon agencies’ requirement. The following table describes different types of scholarships

Different types of government scholarships granted by OCSC

No
Type of scholarships
General Description
Conditions for Contract
1 1.1 King’s scholarship

King’s scholarships was firstly granted since 1897. At the beginning period, there were only 2 scholarships granted each year. At present, there are 9 scholarships granted each fiscal year.

This is solely the scholarships that do not require the scholars’ commitment to work for the Royal Thai Government.

The recipients have no obligations to come back and work for the government agencies. On the other hand, the recipients are required to work anywhere in Thailand regardless of what kind of organization.
  1.2 Royal Thai Government Scholarship for Non-specific Agencies

These scholarships is aimed at developing civil servants who have expertise in the particular fields of studies or in the scarce field. Also, its objective is to provide the public sector with the personnel whose academic qualifications match with the government organizational needs. For this type of scholarships, the OCSC will place the recipients

in accordance with the manpower needs of civil ministries, public bodies and departments.

The recipients have an obligation to come back and work for the government agencies two times of the study period. If they could not

work for the government, scholars have to pay back three times of the money sponsored by the government

2 Royal Thai Government Scholarship Allocated upon Agencies’ Requirement These scholarships are defined in accordance with the needs identified by the government agencies themselves. Therefore, the recipients of the scholarship must come back to work for the identified government agencies. There are various sub-types of this scholarship (in terms of different degree obtained, the duration of courses, or a place (countries) to study.) There are two main groups of recipients, characterized by non- civil servants and civil servants. The recipients have an obligation to come back and work for the identified government agencies two times of the study period. If they could not work for those agencies, scholars have to pay back three times of the money sponsored by the government

The scholarships granted by OCSC offer different levels of education. There are also general different qualifications defined for each group divided according to the obtained degree level. The details will be described in the following table.

  Level of Degree General Qualifications

Non Civil Servant

 

 

Upper secondary

-  younger than 18 years of age

-  Studying at grade 9 with the GPA of not less than 3.5

  Undergraduate

-  younger than 20 years of age

- Studying at grade 12 with the GPA of not less than 3.5

Graduate

-  younger than 35 years of age

-  obtained the Bachelor’s degree with the GPA of not less than 3.0 (for social sciences fields of studies) or 2.75 (for science or engineering fields of studies)

- never obtained any Master’s degree or other equivalent degrees in the similar field of study that the scholarship offered.

  Ph.D

-  younger than 40 years of age

- obtained Master’s degree with the GPA of not less than 3.5

Civil Servant

Master

-  younger than 40 years of age

- obtained the Bachelor’s degree with the GPA of not less than 2.75

  Master and Ph.D

-  younger than 35 years of age

- obtained the Bachelor’s degree with the GPA of not less than 2.75

  Ph.D

-  younger than 40 years of age

- obtained the Bachelor’s degree with the GPA of not less than 3.5

3. Recruitment and Selection

In terms of recruitment and selection for the general public, The examination curriculum is of two stages : written examination and suitability assessment. As for the written examinations, applicants for the scholarships to study for secondary school or undergraduates will have to take among two to five subject matters, which varies with area of studies. The compulsory subject matters are General English, Thai and Social Studies while the specific subject matters varying with area of studies are Mathematics, Science, English Writing and Thai-English Translation. Regarding applicants for the scholarships to study for the Master’s and the Doctorate’s degree are required to take two main subject matters comprising General English and the Aptitude Test.

As for some types of scholarships which require specific target group e.g. those studying in the renowned universities abroad, the examination curriculum will comprise application documents screening and suitability assessment.

Those who have passed the written examinations or application documents screening will be ranked based on their scores and be selected two to five times of the scholarships (depending on the amount of the scholarships) as eligible candidates for “suitability assessment.” The suitability assessment will evaluate personal history, educational background, readiness for studying abroad, English proficiency, attitudes towards working for the public sector, emotion quotient, and etc. The methods of assessment can be in the form of interview or assessment centers.

Accordingly, attainment of a suitability assessment score of not less than 70% is considered a passing score. Those who got the highest score will be summoned to fill scholarships in rank order.

Regarding recruitment and selection of civil servants, the Office of the Civil Service Commission has allowed department and agencies to select their own scholars based on the OCSC selection criteria ; an example of this is the eligible candidates should obtain an English test result (TOEFL, IELTS etc..…) as determined. In doing so, departments and agencies which have been allocated scholarships have to set up a selection committee and nominate eligible candidates to the OCSC to request an approval for the scholarships.

4. Scholarship Benefits

The scholarships granted by OCSC offer financial benefits including tuition fee (paid in full), monthly allowances (the amount depending on location), educational tools such as books, computers, and etc (lump sum), health insurance (paid in full), and miscellaneous expenses such as things needed to be prepared before leaving for study.