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Chulalongkorn University is Thailand's oldest and one of the country's most prestigious universities. It was officially established on March 26 1917 by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) and named after his father King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) as he initiated a policy to promote education so the country to adapt to the developing world and avoid colonization. Chulalongkorn University opened with four faculties, Medicine, Public Administration, Engineering, and Arts and Sciences and an enrollment of 380 students. The first commencement ceremony took place on October 25, 1930 when King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) conferred degrees to the first and second classes of medical students. Today, the university consists of 18 faculties, three schools, three colleges and six institutes with a total enrollment of more than 32,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Chulalongkorn University has presented honorary degrees to a number of international dignitaries and heads of state including former US Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Bill Clinton, the late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, former South African President Nelson R. Mandela and H.M. King Don Juan Carlos de Bourbon of Spain. In 2006, Chulalongkorn University was ranked "Excellent" in both academics and research by the Commission of Higher Education.
Thailand’s first institution of higher learning officially came into being in March 1917. The groundwork and preparation, however, took place more than a century ago. The worldwide economic, social and political changes in the late nineteenth century contributed to Siam’s decision to adapt in order to avoid being colonized by Western powers (“Siam” became “Thailand” in the year 1939). Thus, King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) introduced a royal policy to strengthen and improve the government so the country could successfully resist this tide of colonialism. One of the major parts of this policy was to improve the Siamese educational system to produce capable personnel to work in both the public and private sectors. As a result, a school was founded in 1871 at the Royal Pages Barracks within the Grand Palace compound. Later, in 1882, King Chulalongkorn developed this school and gave it the name “Suankularb”. In the same year, the King also established other schools, the Army Cadet School, the Cartographic School, the School for Princes and the School for Dhamma Studies.
In 1899, Prince Damrong Rajanupab, a younger brother of King Chulalongkorn who was the Minister of Interior at the time, submitted a proposal to found the Civil Service Training School with Phraya Wisutsuriyasak (M.R. Pia Malakul — who later assumed the title of Chao Phraya Phrasadej Surendradhibodi) as the principal. However, since the school’s students had to work as royal page trainees in their third year of study before graduation, the name of the school was changed to the Royal Pages School in 1902. The Royal Pages School progressed steadily and produced an increasing number of graduates for the government each year. However, King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) saw that the original intention of his father, King Chulalongkorn, was to establish an institution of higher learning. While, at the beginning, the course of study focused on government, over time, the curriculum expanded to include more disciplines to meet the expanding needs of the kingdom. Such disciplines included law, international relations, commerce, agriculture, engineering, medicine and teacher education. Thus, King Vajiravudh ordered that the Royal Pages School become an institution of higher education and gave it the name the “Civil Service College of King Chulalongkorn” on January 1, 1911.
The Civil Service College then used proceeds donated by members of the royal family, government officials and ordinary citizens to erect a statue of King Chulalongkorn the Great. After the statue was completed, about eight hundred thousand baht remained in the Royal Treasury Ministry. With interest the sum grew to be 982,672 baht. King Vajiravudh then gave this sum to be used as the original capital of the college. Furthermore, he graciously donated the palace of his brother, the late Crown Prince Vajirunhis, as the site of the college and gave a large plot of land, about 523 acres, adjacent to the palace in the Patumwan district, for future expansion. Later the Administration Building was constructed as the college’s first building.
After the Civil Service College had been in operation for some time, King Vajiravudh considered that it had achieved a level of readiness and so, on March 26, 1917 he declared that it should become Chulalongkorn University, a memorial to his father. The newly founded university was under the supervision of the University Affairs Department, Ministry of Education. Phraya Anukijwithoon was the first principal (the title was changed to Rector in 1935). There was a University Council, which was responsible for policy making, planning and advising on the affairs of the university. Prince Damrong Rajanupab was the Chairman of the Council, and the principal of the university was the Secretary.
When it was first founded, the university had 380 students taking classes in four faculties located on 2 campuses. The Faculty of Medicine was located at Siriraj Hospital, while the Faculties of Public Administration and Engineering were housed in the Administration Building and the Faculty of Arts and Science in Prince Vajirunhis’ palace in Patumwan district. The Law School was under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice until the university was ready to take over, and the Teachers’ Training School was handed over to the Ministry of Education.
In 1923, the university accepted high school graduates to study in the Faculty of Medicine, which received support from the Rockefeller Foundation to organize a Bachelor’s degree program. Five years later, the first group of 18 graduates finished their studies, and received the first degrees to be awarded in the kingdom.
In 1929, the Faculty of Public Administration became the Faculty of Law and Political Science. In 1933, after the establishment of the constitutional monarchy in 1932, the government transferred this faculty to Thammasat University, which was established in 1934. The result was that Chulalongkorn University had only three faculties during that time.
The development of Chulalongkorn University continued. From 1934 to 1958, the university emphasized improvement of undergraduate education; thus, more faculties were established. In 1961, the university established the Graduate School followed by research centers and institutes.
CU is now accepting international applicants (non-holders of a Thai passport) for undergraduate admission to international programs for the academic year 2016-2017. Currently, 13 undergraduate programs are offered in English. For more information about any of these programs, please visit their website.
Applicants may choose four programs. If they are accepted to more than one program, they are required to confirm their choice after the acceptance to the program(s) is announced.
The following is the schedule for Admission to International Undergraduate Programs.
|January to February||Online Application for International Admission (Non-Thai students)
March 2016: Interview and/or written examination (if any)
|March||Interview and/or written examination (if any)|
|April||Announcement of student acceptance to the program(s)|
|April||Student’s confirmation of his/her choice|
|April||Certificate of admission being issued and sent to the applicants via email.|
Applicants are required to include an application fee, THB 1,000 (plus 3% credit card processing fee), for each program they apply to. They are able to make credit card payment by logging into their application account.
- In the QS Asia University Rankings 2016. Chulalongkorn has been ranked as the top Thai university and 45th in Asia
- In the QS World University Rankings 2016/17. Chulalongkorn is ranked the 1st in Thailand and 252nd in the world
- In the QS graduate employability rankings 2016. Chulalongkorn is No. 1 university in Thailand and No. 151 - 200 in the world
- In the Center for World University Ranking or CWUR, Chulalongkorn is ranked as number 1 university in Thailand and 320th in world rankings in 2016, considered by alumni, researches, quality of curriculums and instructors.
- In the Round University Ranking 2016. Chulalongkorn is ranked the 1st in Thailand and ranked 424th in the world.
- In the RUR Research Performance World University Rankings 2016. Chulalongkorn is No. 1 university in Thailand and No. 424 in the world
- In the CWTS Leiden Ranking 2016. Chulalongkorn is ranked the 1st in Thailand and ranked 432nd in the world.
- In the THE World University Rankings 2016. Chulalongkorn is ranked 601- 800 in the world.
- In the RUR Reputation Rankings 2016. Chulalongkorn is No. 1 university in Thailand and No. 182 in the world.
- In the SCImago institutions Ranking, which ranks international researches of universities. Chulalongkorn is ranked 475th in World rankings in 2016, up six places from last year.
- In the U.S. News. Chulalongkorn is ranked 579th in the world. considered by the university's reputation, medium, citations, international cooperation, the quantity of Ph.D. students, etc.
On campus accommodation for international students and visiting faculty is available at Chulalongkorn University International House (CU iHouse).
Chulalongkorn University International House ( CU iHouse) is a 26-storey, 846-unit, on campus residence for international students and lecturers. Rooms come fully furnished with air conditioning, modern conveniences, 24-hour security and safety systems.
The residence is included in the university’s shuttle bus services.Chulalongkorn University provides free shuttle bus service for students, faculty and staff. The shuttle bus service operates all routes Monday to Saturdays, 7AM – 7PM, but only routes No.1 and 2 on Saturdays.
Chulalongkorn University offers a number of sports facilities so that students and staff may maintain good health. The sports facilities include:
Chulalongkorn Stadium – This standard outdoor stadium has a maximum seating capacity of 25,000. It is ideal for football, hockey, rugby and other outdoor sports with a field of synthetic turf and 8-lane synthetic track. A Sports Library is also housed here.
Indoor Sports Gymnasium 1 – This multi-purpose gymnasium has facilities for sports, such as sepak takraw, volleyball, basketball, table tennis, badminton, judo, boxing and gymnastics.
Indoor Sports Gymnasium 2 – There are 4 badminton courts. 1-hour booking in advance at the court is required.
Tennis Courts 1 – There are 10 tennis courts with full lighting; knock boards for self-practice are also available.
Tennis Courts 2 – There are 4 tennis courts with full lighting.
Futsal Field – There are 2 futsal fields with full lighting, located near the Faculty of Sport Science.
Golf – There are 1 pitch course in back and 1 putt course in front of Indoor Sports Gymnasium 1.
Beach Volleyball – A beach volleyball field is located in back of Indoor Sports Gymnasium 1.