The Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) hosted a public hearing on the establishment of a higher education institute specializing in arts, aesthetics and civilization for a creative economy. The hearing, which was held on 10 May 2023, was attended by MHESI Minister Prof. Dr. Anek Laothamatas, MHESI Deputy Permanent Secretary Prof. Dr. Supachai Pathumnakul, Prof. Em. Borwornsak Uwanno, Vice Chairman of the Committee to establish a higher education institute specializing in arts, aesthetics and civilization, and over 200 experts.
Minister Prof. Dr. Anek Laothamatas delivered a keynote speech on the role of arts, aesthetics and civilization in the national development. He said that arts, aesthetics and civilization are the foundation of a creative economy, which is the direction Thailand is striving for. The establishment of a higher education institute dedicated to arts is therefore vital to drive the new economy. The proposed institute will be supported by a new law and a new set of criteria, standards and regulations that will nurture and promote artistic excellence without barriers caused by conventional academic criteria.
Prof. Dr. Supachai Pathumnakul remarked that the establishment of an arts institute follows the resolution of the National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council (Policy Council). The Office of MHESI Permanent Secretary and the Policy Council led the drafting of this bill. The proposed institute will be built upon Poh-Chang Academy of Arts with additional courses and advanced technologies to create value to art and culture and to promote a creative economy with unique Thai identity. As a result, the new institute is expected to boost creativity and add value to the economy.
Prof. Em. Borwornsak Uwanno said that this new institute will revitalize the power of arts. It aims to develop manpower and enhance people’s skill levels to develop the creative economy. To achieve this objective, new regulations will be introduced. The admission criteria will be based on students’ portfolio submission, not the test score of Thai University Central Admission System, and the learning will emphasize practice. Faculty promotion will be based mainly on arts creations. In addition to providing education, the institute is expected to create value to the Thai society.