International Journal of Business and Management Study
Author(s) : NATAKORN LIMSUWANROT, TAWEESAK KRITJAROEN, WINAI HOMSOMBAT
The economic crisis in 1997 caused tremendous changes to higher education system in Thailand, in particular the decentralization of university's administration. A number of Thai public universities have been gradually transforming to be autonomous universities. However, almost all cannot achieve the most important goal for academic excellence as reflected by global recognition. During the transitional period, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) was the only public university that transformed from a university under the Civil Services to be an autonomous public university. The university could sustain as one of the leading universities and be ranked in the top 400 World university by Times Higher Education (THE). It relatively outperformed other universities and was regarded as a role model for Thai higher education development. This research aimed to figure out how autonomous public universities could manage to secure from the Thai bureaucratic system and innovate themselves to sustain continuous improvement in the world class university leagues. Key factors influencing autonomous public university to be recognized as a leading and world-class university were explored. Research data were studied and gathered from primary source by an in-depth interview from KMUTT management teams and other relevant stakeholders. Secondary data were also used such as the university's documents and other related studies. Findings from descriptive and content analyses revealed that leadership and teamwork have played crucial roles for KMUTT during the transitional period. Strategic foresight with various initiative projects by KMUTT management team in 1998 created sharp-and-shared vision that paved the way of science and technology university to be one of the leading universities in Thailand and successfully stepped into the world-class university. A commitment to be Learning University has substantially influenced KMUTT to be ranked among world-class university and resulted in present success.