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Thai high-speed rail builder eyes academics from Beijing's university to teach students

(Xinhua)    15:59, December 03, 2019

RAYONG, Thailand, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- An academic unit of Thailand's high-speed train building consortium has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China's leading railway management institute to teach at its Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) campus in Rayong, eastern Thailand, officials in charge told Xinhua.

Board members from Panyapiwat Institute of Management (PIM), an academic institution under the umbrella of Charoen Pokphand Holding Co., travelled to Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) in mid-2019.

They engaged with academic experts in the university's railway system management to study courses related to railway innovations and technology and shared their knowledge with engineering students at PIM's EEC campus for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Charoen Pokphand Holding Co. is the winning consortium of the high-speed rail projecting linking three airports in Thailand.

PIM management expects 700 students to enroll into the school after construction of building is completed in 2020.

"The board director and several members had observed course related to the Collaborative Innovation Centre for Rail Transit Safety at BJTU on several occasions already," said Dr. Sudhiporn Patumtaewapibal, executive committee member of PIM.

"The university houses the world's leading academic experts in transferring academic knowledge and training to aspiring engineering students in railway management."

BJTU also offers courses related to railway transport economics, and a real-time laboratory where students get the chance to test run trains, said Sudhiporn.

"We wish to engage with professional academics at BJTU to assist engineering students to serve in the S-curve industries in the EEC," said Parichart Buakao, assistant to the president of PIM.

"At our PIM campus at Rayong, our core subjects to meet the demand of the skilled market include automation, digital technology and digital business," said Parichart.

"One of the most sought-after subjects renowned at BJTU is robotics engineering in which our Rayong campus will also be engaging. This particular subject suits all labour forces at the EEC," said Sudhiporn.

Parichart said railway system management courses are rare in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region; therefore deploying academic experts from BJTU to teach Thai engineering students will help fill up the gap.

Both Parichart and Sudhiporn said PIM is now in the process of recruiting professors from BJTU and academic instructions will be conducted in English.

Last October saw the signing of a public-private partnership agreement on the high speed rail project between the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) and Charoen Pokphand Holding Co. and China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC).

The 7.22-billion-U.S. dollar rail project will consist of a 220-km rail, linking three airports -- Don Mueang airport in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakarn province and U-tapao airport in Rayong province.

"We can invite engineers from SRT and CRCC to provide lectures at our classes at the Rayong campus," said Sudhiporn. "Hopefully our graduates will be able to attain training with the railway construction sites."

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at the high-speed railway ceremony in October said that high-speed rail project connecting the airports is designed to connect with the Thai-Chinese high-speed rail project in the northeastern region of the country, accommodating regional land, sea and air connectivity.

The rail project has set a precedent for a regional economic strategy to link China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with EEC.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Shi Xi, Bianji)

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