To Foster Inter-University Collaboration, Thailand’s Somchai Santiwatanakul and Tzu Chi University Sign a Memorandum of Understanding

To strengthen ties between Taiwan and Thailand, Srinakharinwirot University’s President, Somchai Santiwatanakul, led a 34-member delegation, including vice presidents, deans, and professors, to visit Tzu Chi University on March 30, 2023.

The two institutions signed a memorandum of understanding for future collaboration, emphasizing their commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and nurturing professionals with humanistic spirit and expertise. They hope this alliance will enable them to work collectively for the betterment of humanity.

Srinakharinwirot University (SWU), established in 1949, was Thailand’s first national teacher’s college. It is a prestigious Thai university with over 20 colleges covering fields such as humanities, social sciences, education, medicine, and engineering. With a student population exceeding 29,000, the university’s Thai name translates to “City of Light,” a title given by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in memory of his mother, Srinagarindra.

Founded in 1994 by Dharma Master Cheng Yen, Tzu Chi University aims to cultivate humane medical professionals. It currently has colleges of medicine, social sciences and humanities, education and communication, and international, with the goal of nurturing professionals who care for society and practice altruism.

During the signing ceremony, Tzu Chi University’s President Ingrid Liu stated that both universities share a strong commitment to promoting SDGs and expressed her desire for increased faculty and student exchanges for jointly preparing students to become professionals.

In his speech, President Somchai Santiwatanakul of SWU expressed feeling honored to visit Tzu Chi University, as well as his gratitude for the warm welcome. As SWU is dedicated to sustainable development, he anticipates collaborating with Tzu Chi University in areas such as faculty and student exchange, hosting conferences, conducting research, providing short-term courses, and offering other programs to promote sustainable development together.

At the signing ceremony, Presidents Somchai Santiwatanakul and Ingrid Liu signed the agreement on behalf of their respective institutions. President Liu thanked Tian-Fu Wu, a Tzu Chi volunteer, for facilitating the exchange between the Thai universities and Tzu Chi University. Mr. Wu expressed his excitement to participate in the signing ceremony, calling it “a good start for the education of our future generations.”

The SWU delegation toured Tzu Chi University’s campus, where they were introduced to facilities by the Medical Simulation Center’s Director, Professor Guo-Fang Tseng. The visitors were deeply moved by the spirit of Silent Mentors, who donated their bodies for medical education. Professor Konstantin Weicht, a faculty member in the International College and executive secretary of the SDGs Center, discussed Tzu Chi University’s SDGs initiatives and potential collaborations.

The signing ceremony was hosted by Dr. Ann Peeraporn, a Thai postdoctoral researcher at Tzu Chi University, Tunpisith Jeamsupakorn, a doctoral student at the Institute of Medical Sciences, and Amarawadee Kareram, a sophomore in the International Service Industry Management’s Bachelor Program. They introduced Tzu Chi University in Chinese, English, and Thai, receiving praise for their excellent work.

Dr. Ann Peeraporn said, “In addition to professional skills and knowledge, Tzu Chi University also provides us ample opportunities to enhance our altruism. We are happy to use our expertise and altruism to serve others.”

During his talk with Thai guests, Tunpisith Jeamsupakorn highlighted numerous on-campus job opportunities available at Tzu Chi University, including serving as a teaching assistant, clinical assistant, and more. Students can also participate as assistants to physical therapists in marathon competitions or attend international conferences to promote Thai culture. The enriching experience of life at Tzu Chi University is something to be cherished.

Amarawadee Kareram hasn’t been able to return to Thailand for over two years, due to the pandemic, but has noticed that many people now want to speak Thai with her. She expressed her delight in being selected as a Goodwill Ambassador, helping faculty members and students from Thailand to learn more about Tzu Chi University and promoting the University in Thailand.