Tokyo Tech's efforts to develop global leaders are not limited to Japan. The Institute is active in Thailand through Thailand Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (TAIST)-Tokyo Tech, a joint graduate education program organized in cooperation with Thailand's National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and leading Thai universities.
TAIST-Tokyo Tech (hereafter "TAIST") was established in 2007 at the request of the Thai government, which sought to foster development of technically innovative human resources who can solve problems caused by rapid industrialization and contribute to sustainable development.
With support from Tokyo Tech ANNEX Bangkok, Tokyo Tech provides faculty members to the program through faculty dispatches to Thailand and remote lectures from Japan. NSTDA provides facilities for TAIST students, and Thai partner universities, where TAIST students are originally enrolled, provide academic and research advising and award master's degrees to those who complete the program.
Additionally, one academic supervisor from each organization — Tokyo Tech, NSTDA, and the student's home university — is assigned to oversee each student's thesis research. Students who complete the program receive their master's degree from their home university and a certificate from TAIST-Tokyo Tech. In 2022, National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) grants scholarships to TAIST students.
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Partner universities in Thailand : King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) , King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) , Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, Thammasat University (SIIT) , Kasetsart University (KU), Mahidol University (MU)
Currently, TAIST offers three programs which, capitalizing on Tokyo Tech's strengths, fit the needs of the Thai industrial sector:
In 2018, TAIST launched the Rail Transportation Curriculum (RT) in cooperation with Mahidol University. The curriculum is organized as a common minor for the three programs.
The TAIST-Tokyo Tech Student Exchange Program was launched in 2015. An outbound program offers Tokyo Tech students the opportunity to take courses alongside TAIST students in Thailand and to conduct research internships in the laboratories of NSTDA. The inbound program provides opportunities for TAIST students to conduct master's thesis research at the laboratory of their Tokyo Tech supervisor.
Since its establishment, approximately 50 students each year have graduated from TAIST. The program's alumni have gained employment not only with Japanese and Thai companies but also with universities and research institutes in Thailand. Some have advanced to doctoral programs at universities in Japan, including Tokyo Tech, and in the West. These alumni are strengthening ties between academia and industry, and between Japan, Thailand, and neighboring Asian nations.
King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL)
Completed Automotive Engineering Program of TAIST
I entered the TAIST program because it offered me opportunities that no-one else could provide. I liked cars and wanted to get a job in the automotive industry. TAIST not only gave me what I really wanted but also a big chance to prove I have the passion to be successful.
For me, one advantage was the knowledge and vision gained by learning directly from Tokyo Tech professors who have vast experience in their fields. I was also given the chance to improve my scientific, engineering, and technical skills by doing research with the support of top researchers. After graduating from TAIST, it was a great experience for me to enter Tokyo Tech, which is one of the top universities in Japan, and obtain a doctoral degree from Tokyo Tech under a full scholarship.
Since obtaining my doctorate, I work as a researcher at PTT Research and Technology Institute, PTT (Public) Co. Ltd. Everything I learned from TAIST and Tokyo Tech can be fully utilized in my job. The skills and the ways of thinking that I learned are very useful right now. I have to integrate them appropriately in order to do my job well.
Founder and Chairman of Gurunavi, Inc.
As a Tokyo Tech alumnus, I take pride in supporting TAIST, a program that contributes to technical innovation in Thailand by developing talented individuals. As I supported the launch of the program nearly ten years ago, I am deeply moved by the fact that many of its graduates have contributed to outstanding progress in Thailand.
I expect that many more students will engage in the promotion of science and technology in the region using the knowledge and skills they acquire in TAIST, and play important roles both in the planned ASEAN Economic Community and in individual nations the world over. I hope the program continues to thrive through the interaction between Japan and Thailand.
(speech at the TAIST Graduation Ceremony, September 2014)
On the basis of its solid track record of developing talented individuals in Thailand, TAIST-Tokyo Tech will continue to encourage student exchange between Thailand and Japan and to develop highly skilled researchers, engineers, and R&D personnel. These graduates, like their predecessors, will play active roles in the Asian region and the world. Raise your expectations high for TAIST!
This project is supported by Tokyo Tech Fund