Chi­nese uni to train rail ex­perts here


A top univer­sity in China has cho­sen Thai­land to host its train­ing cen­tre for ex­perts in high-speed rail­way de­vel­op­ment in South­east Asia.

Cen­tral South Univer­sity (CSU), a lead­ing univer­sity for rail­way sci­ence and ed­u­ca­tion, yes­ter­day signed a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MoU) with King Mongkut’s Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy North Bangkok (KMUTNB) to set up its rail­way train­ing in­sti­tute in Thai­land with the aim of pre­par­ing skilled work­ers for Thai­land’s up­com­ing high-speed rail­way sys­tems.

Ac­cord­ing to CSU’s vice rec­tor, Chen Chun­yang, the in­sti­tute will act as CSU’s train­ing cen­tre for rail­way ex­perts in South­east Asia and also pro­vide train­ing for rail­way spe­cial­ists from all 10 Asean mem­ber coun­tries.

“Thai­land is the coun­try in the re­gion we chose to es­tab­lish our train­ing in­sti­tute de­spite other coun­tries like Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore and Pak­istan hav­ing also con­tacted us. This is be­cause we see Thai­land as a re­gional trans­port hub due to its cen­tral and eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble lo­ca­tion,” Mr Chen said.

Mr Chen said Thai­land’s in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment will need a lot of man­power in var­i­ous in­dus­tries, es­pe­cially in high­speed rail. He said Thai­land re­mains short of work­ers in this field, and hoped this col­lab­o­ra­tion would yield good re­sults.

KMUTNB rec­tor Suchart Siengchin said the in­sti­tute has set up an ini­tial tar­get to ad­mit the first batch of about 200 stu­dents from Asean coun­tries by Au­gust next year. How­ever KMUTNB and CSU will have to set up a com­mit­tee to dis­cuss de­tails of how many stu­dents the in­sti­tute should ac­cept per year in the long run, how many cour­ses it should pro­vide and what the bud­get should be, he added.

“We can­not give many de­tails now, how­ever I think we will be able to take in around 200 stu­dents dur­ing the first year. The num­ber of stu­dents might be quite low com­pared to the skilled labour de­mand the rail­ways re­quire, but the num­ber will ex­pand grad­u­ally,” he said.

Mr Suchart said that in its first aca­demic year, the in­sti­tute is ex­pected to of­fer only Bach­e­lor’s de­grees or four-year pro­grammes where stu­dents will spend two years study­ing at KMUTNB in Thai­land and two years at CSU in China.

A Mas­ter’s pro­gramme in Rail­way Engi­neer­ing and Rail­way Sci­ence and sev­eral short train­ing cour­ses re­lated to rail op­er­a­tions and main­te­nance will be added later.

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