Bangkok (VNA) – Most of Thailand’s top universities slipped down in several rankings of Asian university released recently.

In the 2018 Asia University Rankings, Times Higher Education (THE) magazine downgraded seven of ten Thai leading universities compared to last year while two secured the same ranking and only one advanced.

THE Asia University Rankings based the assessment on 13 indicators, such as research performance (volume, income and reputation), teaching and learning environment, and citations (research influence). This year’s ranking covers 359 universities in 25 Asian countries.

Chulalongkorn University, the oldest university in Thailand, slid from the 151-160 band to 164th. King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang fell to 201-250, from the 181-190 group. 

King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi went down to 114th from the 101-110 band. Chiang Mai University dipped to 201-250, from the 171-180 range. Both Khon Kaen University and Prince of Songkla University plunged to 251-300 from 201-250 group.

King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok dropped into the 301-350 band, down from the 251 division a year earlier.

In another ranking by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, only one Thai university entered the Top 500 while Singapore had two in the Top 200 and Malaysia had two in the Top 500.

Foreign educational experts said that lack of budget for research and development and decline in population are among reasons behind the tumbling ratings.

Due to the aging society, Thai universities are faced with oversupply in higher education and lower attendances. These universities are suggested to stem large falls in student enrolment, potentially by attracting more students from overseas or by merging or closing institutions.

Suphat Champatong, secretary-general of the Office of the Higher Education Commission (Ohec), said the agency has already set up a 10-year plan to help the country's top six universities obtain a better ranking on the regional and global stage.

Under the plan, six leading universities will receive more budget from Ohec to increase their spending on research and development. -VNA