Rattana Lao. A Critical Study of Thailand’s Higher Education Reforms: The culture of borrowing. Routledge, May 2015. ISBN: 978-1-13-802268-3. Pages: 210.
This book offers a critical examination of contemporary higher education reforms in Thailand situated in the broader historical, socio-economic and political changes. Through a qualitative case study with three methods of inquiry, this book explores why different 'global education policies' such quasi-privatisation, internationalization, as quality assessment (QA) have resonated in Thailand higher education sector. Grounded in policy borrowing and lending, this book uses the politics, economics and culture of borrowing to analyse major reforms in Thailand for the past one hundred years. It is argued that historical legacy, policy contexts and belief systems of policy elites play pivotal roles in facilitating policy changes or the lack thereof. While historical analysis elucidates that the Thai state has always been an active borrower of western ideas, the perseverance of the 'Thai-ness' discourse has often been used to suggest its so-called independence and idiosyncrasy. This in-depth analysis of the Thai case aims to contribute to the critical studies in Asian education, comparative higher education, policy borrowing and lending and Thai studies.