As the secretariat of the National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council (Policy Council), NXPO organized a virtual meeting of Policy Council on 15 September 2021. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam with MHESI Minister Anek Laothamatas as Vice Chair.
The following agenda items were deliberated in the meeting:
Higher Education Plan for Manpower Planning and Development 2023-2027 and Science, Research and Innovation Plan 2023-2027
Proposed by the Office of MHESI Permanent Secretary, the Higher Education Plan for Manpower Planning and Development 2023-2027 is a revision of the 2021-2027 Higher Education Plan, taking into account recent changes taking place in Thailand and around the world, as well as the alignment with the Science, Research and Innovation Plan 2023-2027. The revised plan also contains an improvement in the budgeting process and administration that will facilitate the policy deployment and annual budget planning. The 2023-2027 Higher Education Plan also consists of 3 strategic areas: 1) lifelong learning, 2) research ecosystem building, and 3) higher education transformation. The plan is set into two phases: phase I (2023-2025) focusing on supporting the pandemic recovery and phase II (2026-2027) emphasizing sustainability.
Proposed by Thailand Science Research and Innovation (TSRI), the Science, Research and Innovation (SRI) Plan 2023-2027 was developed based on the 2023-2027 SRI Policy Framework with participation of all stakeholders. The plan consists of four strategic areas: 1) SRI for competitiveness and self-reliance, 2) SRI for social and environmental sustainability, 3) SRI in frontier science, and 4) SRI manpower development. Each strategic area has workplans and objective and key results (OKRs).
Both plans were approved in the meeting.
Regional Science Park Strategic Plan
Proposed by the Office of MHESI Permanent Secretary, Regional Science Park Strategic Plan position regional science parks as the social and economic development driver of each respective region of Thailand by serving as a conduit between universities and local businesses and communities. The plan intends to apply technological and business expertise of local universities to the area-based development and industrial clusters of each region, as well as to standardize the management and services of regional science parks.
Medical Doctor Production Project Phase II
Due to the shortage of medical doctor in Thailand, the cabinet approved a project to increase the production of medical doctor from 2018 to 2027 to be implemented in two phases. The project has progressed well thus far. The workplan for phase II, running from 2022 to 2027, sets to supply 13,318 new doctors to the healthcare system to meet the target of one doctor per 1,200 population and to ensure that the physicians are properly distributed throughout the country. The project is under the responsibility of MHESI and Ministry of Public Health.
The meeting approved the proposal of phase II project for submission to the cabinet for final approval on the workplan and budget.
Proposal on Research and Innovation Management Organization and System
In 2019, three new research granting units were set up under the framework of NXPO with a provision to spin off as independent organizations within 3 years. The initiative was part of the reform of higher education, science, research and innovation system. These three units are Program Management Unit for Area-based Development (PMU-A), Program Management Unit for Human Resources & Institutional Development, Research and Innovation (PMU-B) and Program Management Unit for National Competitiveness Enhancement (PMU-C). The three units have been performing their assignments remarkably well since their inceptions. To facilitate the separation of these units from NXPO, NXPO President Dr. Kitipong Promwong presented a proposal to establish a new organization. The proposal was approved and would proceed to the cabinet.