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MANAGING DISRUPTIVE CHANGE

As Prince Mahidol exhorted for the application of learning for the benefit of mankind, this issue contains articles illustrating how members of the MUIC community have used and continue to use their knowledge, talents and skills in helping shape a better society.

From saving leftover food and feeding the needy to cleaning up beaches of plastic waste, from promoting ecotourism to developing a green market, these stories will, hopefully, make readers realize that helping humanity does not need to be so difficult. In your own small way, you can do your part right now.

"Don't Waste Your Food!"

An MUIC alumnus finds fulfillment in saving food surplus and bringing them to depressed communities in Bangkok.
Learn More

Koh Sak Cleanup

Ridding the seas of plastic waste, one beach at a time.
Learn More

Diseases During the Rainy Season

Stay safe!
Learn More

Being a Leader in a Disruptive World

On the lookout for leaders who can manage change.
Learn More

Creating a Successful Green Market

Can profits and concern for the environment go well together?
Learn More

Challenges to Ecotourism

What do they get wrong with ecotourism?
Learn More

AACSB Accreditation

Saving Food, Feeding the Poor

Mr. Po-Tsao "Bruce" Chen
Mr. Po-Tsao (Bruce) Chen, an Environmental Science alumnus (Class of 2014), found his career niche in his current work as Community Engagement Coordinator at Scholars of Sustenance, a non-government organization that seeks to save surplus food and distribute them to poor communities. It also collects leftover food for composting in farms.

Bruce said the lessons he learned in his studies in MUIC “widened his perception of environmental issues.” “It helped me understand relationships within ecosystems before and after it has become dominated by human activities,” he said.

Far from limiting his learning within the four walls of the classroom, Bruce made sure he always signed up for field trips to learn things firsthand. “I joined countless field trips during my time as a student in MUIC, and the most memorable were the ones with Ajarns Wayne Phillips, Ramesh Boonratana and Laird Allan. I started out by participating in class field trips before volunteering as a teaching assistant and a research assistant. It allowed me to monitor various changes in ecosystems and solidified my pursuit of sustainable development.”

He also put into practice the lessons he had learned. He was one of the students who founded Nature Lovers Club in MUIC. “Out of my four years of study at MUIC, I think I spent three years with this club. It allowed me to travel to ecosystems and witnessed a variety of environmental problems.

Asked to explain his fulfillment in his career in an NGO, Bruce said, “Working with a non-government organization feels like standing in the frontlines in the battle for change. Success is when the value (we are fighting for) is adopted by the general public and the ideal becomes a norm (i.e. adopted as a government policy or actions by locals).

What important life lesson has he learned at MUIC? “Human society is simply another form of ecosystem. One cannot solve environmental problems without understanding it.

Asked what his advice to MUIC students is, he answered, “College is the last chance to experiment with your lifestyle. The way you spend your time in college will matter in the long run.

0
tons of food waste are generated in Bangkok per day.
0
kilograms of surplus food are rescued by SOS in Bangkok every day.
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communities (3,000 recipients) receive surplus foods from SOS every day.
0
hotels, supermarkets, restaurants, and others donate surplus food to SOS.
0
kilograms of food waste are composted by SOS per day.

Koh Sak Cleanup

Dr. Wayne Phillips
Koh Sak is a small island only 2.5 hours from Bangkok, and 15 minutes by speedboat from Pattaya, making it ideal for beach and coral reef-based tourism. However, tourism has had a major negative impact on the island and the reefs that surround it.
Like most islands, there are three threats to Koh Sak’s sustainable development: freshwater supply, coral reef damage by tourism, and plastic pollution. We are seeking, and working with strategic partners, to solve these problems at Koh Sak. Here we describe an event we organized for the Trocadero Group who came with us to the island on Friday, May 31, 2019 to promote their Oris Ocean Hero project.
Trocadero Group is the sole distributor in Thailand for Oris Swiss mechanical watches which is raising public awareness about the plastic problem by including recycled plastic that was removed from the World’s oceans into the back piece of their Clean Ocean Limited Edition watch.

About the Author

Dr. Wayne Phillips is a faculty member of the Science Division. His research and advocacy interests include coral reef ecology; coral reef conservation; coral reef restoration; coral reef connectivity; tourism impacts on coral reefs; and photophysiology of corals.

Photo credits: Dr. Wayne Phillips and Mr. Laird Allan

In the morning, we removed a significant amount of plastics from the beaches and rocky coastlines of the island and in the afternoon we made “cement pods” that will become a focus of our conservation and research work as we involve tourism in our efforts to help restore and rehabilitate the reefs around Koh Sak and other islands. (Note: For the total amount of plastic waste we gathered, please see sidebar.)

Of the more than 6000 drinks bottles we have picked up, nearly half of them showed signs of aging (exposure to UV) indicating increased potential for fragmentation making the plastics more difficult to remove from the environment at the same time as making the plastics more available to a wider variety of marine species. Many of those species are directly and indirectly part of our food supply. By removing the large pieces of plastics we prevented the generation of billions of micro- and nanoplastics.

One in four of the bottles we removed did not have a lid so along with the plastic cups, bags and straws, they would have filled with sand and because plastic is impermeable to gas, the plastic would have generated a “Dead Zone” within the coral reef environment – had we not removed it. By removing the plastics, we have avoided this problem thereby improving the health of the reef and its chances to survive global climate change.

We were only able to remove 30-40% of the PET bottles on the west side of the island, and we did not clean the north and east side of the island, highlighting the importance of beach cleanups while we work with stakeholders to introduce alternatives to single use plastics.

To end the day, Oris presented Mr. Sirachai “Shin” Arunrugstichai, our MUIC alumnus, with the Clean Ocean Limited Edition watch because of his valiant efforts in raising awareness to the plight of our marine ecosystems and resources.

Oris also made a donation of THB 100,000 to our reef research and conservation efforts. The money is being used to make a plastic shredder, and simple machines to help us deal with the glass bottles we find, and the ropes and nets we remove.

We had three MUIC faculty, 44 MUIC students, five alumni and friends, and two visiting students working to remove and count the plastics in different areas of the island. The 30-strong Oris group, on the other hand, included media celebrities Nitipat “Earn” Uahwatansakul; Jittapa “Ja” Jampathom; Chaiyapol “New” Julien Poupart; Kamolned “Eye” Ruengsri; and Krissie Sukhsvasti. They worked on the south beach and rocky coastline.

The reader is reminded that we can organize tailor-made programs at the island for you and your organization. Come and join us to make a bigger impact. Please get in touch.

A Sea of Plastic Waste

Marine animals ingest or are entangled by plastic debris, injuring and killing them. Plastic pollution threatens food safety and quality, human health. Source: https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/marine-plastics

300 million tons of plastic are produced every year
8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans
They make up 80% of all marine debris.
Marine animals ingest or are entangled by plastic debris, injuring and killing them.
Plastic pollution threatens food safety and quality, human health.
Source: https://www.iucn.org/resources/issues-briefs/marine-plastics

Eight – Average no. of plastic bags used by Thais per day
1.03 million tons – Amount of plastic waste generated by Thailand per year
3% of this ends up in the ocean

Source: https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Thailand-falling-behind-in-global-battle-with-plastic-waste

  • 50 bags of recyclable PET bottles
  • 5 bags of single use plastic cups and straws
  • 27 bags of foam pieces between 10-40 cm
  • 22 pieces of foam larger than 50 cm
  • 7 bags of plastic bags
  • 5 bags of shoes

  • 7 sacks of small plastic pieces
  • 6000 + drinks bottles
  • 4 bags of detritus
  • 3 sacks of glass bottles
  • 5 20-litre plastic fuel containers
  • 10 broken plastic baskets

  • 1 black plastic bucket
  • 1 rice cooker pot
  • 1 truck tire
  • 1 car tire
  • 2 cubic meters of rope and nets

Diseases During the Rainy Season

With the onset of the rainy season come diseases associated with water—whether floods, stagnant pools or contaminated water.
Here are brief descriptions and symptoms of three such diseases.

Dengue Fever

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection. A severe form of the disease can lead to severe bleeding, organ damage, and even death.
Symptoms: Sudden high fever, severe headaches, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, skin rash (which appears 2-5 days after onset of fever, mild bleeding

What to do: Immediate medical care

Prevention: With no vaccine for dengue fever, the best way to prevent it is to avoid getting bitten by infected mosquitoes. Drain stagnant water from indoor pots or vases and pooled water in the outdoors which can serve as breeding ground for mosquitoes.
https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue
https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/dengue-fever-reference#1
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/05/30/317057771/dengue-fever-101-how-serious-is-this-disease


Typhoid Fever

An acute illness caused by the Salmonella Typhi bacteria ingested through contaminated water or food. Complications may lead to death.
Symptoms: Fever, headache, dry cough, diarrhea or constipation, weakness, stomach pain, loss of appetite, muscle aches, extremely swollen abdomen
What to do: Take a blood or stool exam to determine Salmonella infection.
Prevention: Vaccination, wash your hands with soap after using the toilet and before eating, use alcohol or hand sanitizer, avoid drinking untreated water and avoid using ice in your drinks, avoid raw fruits and vegetables, choose hot food.

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/typhoid-fever#1
https://www.cdc.gov/typhoid-fever/symptoms.html


Leptospirosis

A disease that affects humans and animals, it is caused by the Leptospira bacteria. Untreated, it can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory distress, and even death.
Symptoms: High fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), red eyes, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rash
Treatment: Treated with antibiotics, the patient may undergo extended hospital stay.
Prevention: Avoid swimming or wading in waters that might be infected by animal urine. Wear protective footwear when wading in floodwaters.

https://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/index.html
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246829.php

Being a Leader in a Disruptive World

Prof. Homa Bahrami
May 29, 2019 was a landmark event for Mahidol University International College (MUIC) when it launched its Executive Series program with a joint project with University of California, Berkeley—an Interactive Executive Workshop entitled “Driving Change and Leading in the Disruptive World.”
The guest speaker and workshop facilitator, Prof. Homa Bahrami, Faculty Director for the New Manager Boot camp, the Leadership Reinvention Studio, and senior Lecturer of the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, graciously responded to MUIC 360° Magazine’s request to elaborate more about her very timely and relevant topic.

In a nutshell, what is “disruptive change”? Is it inevitable? Can it be avoided?

Disruption is about challenging the status quo, reimagining the way things can be done. Think about how Amazon has revolutionized the retail business or how Salesforce disrupted business models in the software industry. Think about how iPhone disrupted the way we interact, communicate, consume information and capture our experiences, using a single device. Can we avoid disruption? Only if we disrupt our own business before others do.

How does “disruptive change” impact an organization?

Disruption changes an organization’s fundamental competitive advantage and reason for being. How your product or service is valued by customers, how much you can charge for it, whether you can sustain it, whether your existing workforce has the relevant expertise to move forward.

How can an organization face and/or handle “disruptive change”?

The best way to avoid being disrupted is to anticipate your own demise and imagine new possibilities. Ask yourself if I had to start this business today, how would I approach it? Start with a clean sheet and think about creative alternatives.

You and your team coined the term “Super-Flexibility.” In essence, what is it?

My colleague, Prof. Stuart Evans, and I coined the term “super-flexibility” to refer to a delicate balancing act: In a world of constant disruption, what has to stay the same so that everything else can adapt and evolve. Apple, for example, has always been about “technology for the rest of us”—how to leverage new technology but make it intuitive and easy to use. This has always been the core differentiation for its products, from the launch of the first Macintosh in 1984 to the success of the latest iPhone. This balancing act is the same for an individual—your core values and basic principles don’t change every day. You may believe in the importance of fairness, transparency or accountability—the way you interact with colleagues or customers or how you manage Millennials—has to adapt and evolve. You can learn to be super-flexible, but self-awareness and a desire to become super-flexible are the first key steps in the process.

Adaptive DNA

From their research, Prof. Bahrami and her colleague Prof. Stuart Evans have identified five core capabilities, which they call “Adaptive DNA,” that make an individual or a team super-flexible. “Effecting change requires a variety of capabilities that complement each other. Some leaders are stronger in certain capabilities than others,” she said.

1. Robust DNA
Traits: Having a concrete and steady vision of success and a sense of what’s non-negotiable. Robust leaders have clear principles, must-do priorities, and positive thinking.

2. Resilient DNA
Traits: Optimistic, knows how to put their ego aside, looks to the future and learns from the past, has the ability to bounce back.

3. Hedging DNA
Traits: Thinks ahead about contingencies, great planners, anticipates and thinks about different scenarios, pays attention to a lot of details

4.Agile DNA
Traits: Moves quickly in the face of challenges, intentionally keeps things simple, pragmatic, knows that perfect is the enemy of good

5. Versatile DNA
Traits: Have great sensors and picks up signals very quickly, connects the dots and switches gears, interacts with many stakeholders and adapts their communication style

Creating a Successful Green Market

Sapphaya is a municipality of Sapphaya District in Chainat Province, 188 km north of Bangkok. With a total land area of 228.27 km2 it is the home of at least 44,000 people. Founded as a successful base of the Ayutthaya Kingdom against Burmese forces more than 200 years ago, the province was named Chainat meaning “place of victory.” These days, the province is often bypassed by travelers going to more well-known spots in the vicinity.
In 2017, the Sapphaya municipality mayor contracted Dr. Kaewta Muangasame, a faculty member of the Tourism and Hospitality Management Division of MUIC, to help develop a sustainable community-based tourism plan. Ajarn Kaewta agreed.
After two years, Sapphaya now has a thriving green market that highlights not only laudable ecological-friendly practices but also provides steady employment to the people of the municipality. It has also placed Sapphaya on the tourist map as it features also other local attractions like Wat Sapphaya with its unique Buddha statue and a well-preserved 117-year-old police station.

Meet the Locals and Organize
Ajarn Kaewta said it is very important to meet the local population both to teach them the basics of sustainable tourism and also to learn more about their community—how to leverage its strengths to make the sustainable tourism plan successful.
Local leaders were invited to attend several consultative assemblies and hear their views and suggestions. Their inputs were very important in developing Sapphaya’s brand identity.
They also networked with groups which have similar or related advocacies: Heritage Club, Cycling Club, Children’s Club, Youth Council, and Elderly Council.

What’s the Unique Selling Point (USP)?
Sapphaya Municipality has three main attractions: The old police station (dating back to 1903 or the Rama V era), Wat Sapphaya (which features a unique Buddha statue that lies in a coffin attended by several of his students) and the planned green market.

Other nearby attractions were also identified: The Chao Phraya Dam, a bike trail, an old river pier, Mount Sapphaya which, according to the Ramayan epic, was where Hanuman took the mythical herbs.

Introduce Innovations
The centerpiece of the project is the green market. Unlike other local markets in the province, this one features eco-friendly practices including a ban on single-use plastic and styrofoam. Instead, it uses palm or banana leaves and recyclable food packs made from sugar cane pulp. Customers are also encouraged to bring their own lunch packs and tumblers in return for a 5-Baht discount. This resulted in a lower amount of plastic waste.

Held on one weekend every month with corresponding themes (Songkran, Valentine’s, etc.), the green market features local foods like bamboo sticky rice, anchovy (pla raa), palm sugar, low-glycemic index rice, and others.

It also highlights Thai traditions – local dance, traditional arts, traditional Thai clothes (which vendors are required to wear.)

There are also street arts depicting traditional and rural scenes that were selected by locals during the sustainable tourism workshop.

They also put up “educational stations” which are workshops where tourists and customers can learn how to cook local dishes, make carvings, and learn other traditional skills.

Since the market is open during one weekend a month, part of the attraction is a homestay program for visitors from Bangkok and other provinces or countries.

The market also features English lessons taught by university student volunteers from the USA for the market vendors.

Promote It
A content marketing team was formed to take care of promoting the project. The team tapped social media, putting up its own Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/sapphaya.go.th/). In February 2018, a press conference for the market’s soft launching was held, attended by 20 bloggers and broadcast journalists from TV Channels 3, 9, and 8; and also Amarin Channel, Thai Rath TV, and Thai PBS. The green market has been ranked among the Top 10 local markets in Thailand by edtguide.com.

Rejuvenate the Local Economy
Local residents are encouraged to sell in the green market, provided they follow the eco-friendly guidelines. It is also a good place to sell One Tambon, One Product (OTOP) items. Ajarn Kaewta also supported ideas to create new packaging and signs for local product interpretation to tell the story behind the local food and cultures.

Keep it Sustainable
To keep the project sustainable, Ajarn Kaewta continuously conducts training programs for local leaders and members on the importance of the green concept and practices and also on how to manage the project. Along with this is the training of tour guides and interpreters who will assist customers.

0
Million Baht Total initial budget of the project
0%
Amount of waste reduced since green market opened in 2018
0
Number of shops in green market
0
Number of visitors on first month (August 2018)
0Baht
Gross revenue during green market’s first month (August 2018)

Challenges to Ecotourism

Asst. Prof. Dr. Ramesh Boonratana

About the Author

Asst. Prof. Dr. Ramesh Boonratana is a faculty member of MUIC’s Science Division and his passion and commitments lie in conserving biodiversity and protecting ecosystem through research, consulting, capacity development and awareness raising.

Photo credits: Asst. Prof. Dr. Ramesh Boonratana and Ms. Piyathida Puchakanit

1. Stakeholders’ (suppliers, consumers, and policy-makers) inability to truly grasp the principles and concept of ecotourism. Most think it is anything that has to do with nature or animals. The results: Poor products and poor policies. In some cases, policies worsen the situation.

2. Ecotourism is NOT the only solution. Many government agencies think that ecotourism should be the only form of tourism in the relatively undisturbed wilderness and should be implemented in protected areas. The solution to any form of tourism is zoning, i.e., what you can do where. Therefore, we are talking about responsible tourism in all areas, and ecotourism (soft to hard) in specific areas.

3. Green-washing. Suppliers or policymakers incidentally or accidentally provide products, facilities and services that do not comply with ecotourism principles and concepts, which can then cause (a) those consumers who know ecotourism to shy away from a country or region, and (b) consumers who do not understand ecotourism to think that those products, facilities, and services ARE ecotourism.

4. There is no one unified governing body worldwide to develop and monitor ecotourism products, facilities, and services. Some smarter businesses opt for international certification, but there are many such certifying agencies and they are expensive, therefore most micro- and small enterprises cannot afford the certification.

A Taste of Ecotourism in Thailand

On March 1-3, 2019, more than 20 students enrolled in ICEN 460 Ecotourism went on a field trip to Kanchanaburi province to experience first-hand ecotourism, community-based ecotourism, and community tourism activities. These included visits to a banteng conservation project, reforestation project, snake education course, trekking and floating / kayaking through lowland and riparian forests, interaction with local communities, participation in community volunteer work, and discussions with responsible tourism operators. Accompanied by their professor, Asst. Prof. Dr. Ramesh Boonratana, the students indicated in their reports that they had learned a lot from this exciting activity. Here are some excerpts from selected student reports.

We floated down the Kwae Yai River. This was not your normal float, instead, we wore our life jackets as ‘diapers’ to maneuver in the water with greater ease. After some initial hesitation, our fears quickly turned into ecstasy as the group floated down the serene river. I saw many colorful birds that either sang to us or warned others of our presence. The river was lush with greenery. Midway through, we submerged our ears into the water and meditated as the river took us along. The blue sky flashed before our eyes. The Kwae Yai River is beautiful beyond belief. We were bombarded with new colors, scents and scenes.

-Amanda Welch
“We have learned that there are 3,600 known snake species in the world and 375 are venomous. Thailand has at least 200 snake species and at least 34 are venomous. The probability of dying from snake bite, however, is very low because most of the snake species are non-venomous and snakes won’t initiate the attack if humans do not disturb them or invade their territory. The anti-venom is made by injecting snakes’ venom into a horse, and a horse’s body will naturally create anti-venom which are then extracted by humans.”
-Jidapa Pruksarungruang, Piyathida Puchakanit, Dusita Thaitrong, Suchanun Piriyasatid

“The banteng is a powerful animal that displays strength and beauty all at once. These
animals are calm, allowing us to get a closer view of them. The Banteng Conservation Center educated us on how to distinguish between a male and female banteng. The female banteng have short horns, growing upward, whereas the males have shorter horns, growing downwards. Although the male and female differ in the size and color of their horns, both male and female ones have a white stocking shape on their lower legs. Personally, I loved the experience of encountering the banteng face-to-face. It’s something that I felt I will never be able to experience again.”

– Maddie Beaubien and Sabrina Upole

Top 10 Tourist Arrivals in Thailand, Jan.-Nov. 2018

Source: www.tatnews.org

China

No. of Arrivals 9,697,321

Malaysia

No. of Arrivals 3,569,736

Korea

No. of Arrivals 1,621,237

Laos

No. of Arrivals 1,593,971

Japan

No. of Arrivals 1,502,111

India

No. of Arrivals 1,429,078

Russia

No. of Arrivals 1,267,868

USA

No. of Arrivals 993,631

Vietnam

No. of Arrivals 956,652

Singapore

No. of Arrivals 934,504

MUIC is now AACSB Accredited

Mahidol University International College (MUIC) has been recently accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), a global association of business schools whose international standards have been synonymous with academic excellence.

“AACSB accreditation recognizes institutions that have demonstrated a focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning,” said Stephanie M. Bryant, Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer of AACSB International in an official statement.

Only 5% of the world’s schools offering business degrees at the bachelor level or higher have received AACSB accreditation, reflecting its highest standards of quality. In Thailand, only five institutions of higher learning—including MUIC—are AACSB certified.

Being accredited by AACSB enhances the reputation of Mahidol University as a world-class university. It also shows that MUIC is an internationally-qualified institution that offers high-quality business degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

MUIC’s Business graduates are also expected to have more opportunities to be accepted in reputable MBA programs because some universities prefer applicants who have received their undergraduate degree from an AACSB-accredited program.

Conversely, many employers seek graduates from AACSB-accredited schools, offering them higher and more competitive salaries.

IRGA Student Participates in Dialogue with ASEAN Leaders

Ms. Pin-anong Weesapen, an International Relations and Global Affairs freshman, was one of two Thai youths who represented Thailand during the Youth Interface with ASEAN Leaders, one of the major activities in the recent 34th ASEAN Summit held in Bangkok.

Ms. Pin-anong joined other youth representatives from other ASEAN member states in drafting the official ASEAN Youth Statement emphasizing the importance of education, environment, inclusive socio-economic development to their sector, and youth’s role to support the proposed agendas and the attainment of ASEAN’s objectives of one vision, one identity, and one community.

Her duties included drafting the statement alongside other youths and officially presenting it on behalf of the ASEAN youth representatives to the ASEAN leaders during the interface held at the Athenee Hotel in Bangkok on June 22.

Describing her experience in the event as “something I am proud of,” Ms. Pin-anong said she values the friendship and inspiration and the knowledge she has acquired during the event in the areas of social issues, public policy, international relations, and cross-cultural understanding.

MUIC Student’s Team Scores Best Group Award

Mr. Pawinpon “Elf” Theerawong, a Social Science student of Mahidol University International College (MUIC), led his team composed of nine other students from top Asian universities to win the Best Group Award in the Asian Undergraduate Summit 2019 (China Leg) on June 2-8, 2019 at Zhejiang University, China.

The competition called for a plan to build a city that is energy self-sufficient, eco-friendly, and sustainable for a population of 100 people, in line with the summit’s theme, “Sustainable Cities.”

Mr. Pawinpon, who is also the Mahidol University International Relations Ambassador, also met with officials of Zhejiang University and Chu Kochen Honors College with a view of facilitating future cooperation between them and Mahidol University.

Benefits of AACSB Accreditation

  • MUIC is recognized as a world-class college.
  • AACSB accreditation is a guarantee of a high-quality business degree.
  • MBA programs prefer applicants from AACSB-accredited schools.
  • Many employers offer graduates of AACSB-accredited schools with high salaries.

Gimme Five!

  • Only 5% of schools offering business degrees worldwide are AACSB-accredited.
  • Only 5 colleges and universities in Thailand are AACSB-certified.