University council launches new admission system
The Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT) officially launched its new university admissions system called Thai University Central Admission System (TCAS), which will take effect from the 2018 academic year.
Under the new system, high school students will be given five rounds in which to compete for university seats.
TCAS aims to ensure more equality among those vying for university seats by giving each successful candidate only one chance to confirm whether they want to be admitted to a department that has offered them a place, said CUPT chairman Suchatvee Suwansawat.
Students must first forfeit the place they gained in the first round before trying their luck in the second round, or their new entrance examination will be invalid.
Mr Suchatvee said this will help avoid situations in which students who have secured university places unfairly block others from securing a place, as they explore their university placement options.
According to CUPT, 54 universities nationwide will join TCAS in the 2018 academic year and 206,506 places will be available for those who are about to finish high school via the system. “Students will be given five rounds in which to compete for university places; they can choose to apply during each round,” CUPT chairman said.
The first round is a quota method in which students’ records, or their “portfolios”, will be considered by universities as the main entrance criteria, with no written exam. The second round is another quota method for gifted students where the universities will also have written tests in their selection process.
The third round is called the “joint direct admission” in which students will have to sit for central exams organised by the National Institute of Educational Testing Service. The tests include Ordinary National Educational Test (O-Net), General Aptitude Test (Gat), Professional Aptitude Test (Pat) and national nine core subject examinations. Candidates are allowed to choose four department options.
The fourth is a “general admission” where the tests are similar to the previous admission system which students are again allowed four department choices. The last round is called “independent direct admission” which allows universities to use their own criteria to admit students.