MUIC 360 Degrees

Apr-Jun 2022


Recognizing MUIC’s World-class Education

Accreditation is, simply put, a recognition of a university’s quality of education given by its peers. To be recognized by an established accreditation organization like the ASEAN University-Quality Assurance or the American Chemical Society (ACS) is an affirmation that MUIC is indeed performing well—that it is indeed the leading international liberal arts college in Thailand that provide quality tertiary education to its students.
Accreditation: Shaping the Future
Q&A Asst. Prof. Dr. Patsarin Rodphothong Wongkamhang
Asst. Prof. Dr. Kanat Tangwongsan
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aram Tangboonduangjit
Asst. Prof. Dr. Manchuta Dangkulwanich
Mr. Dhup Bhukdee
Mr. Chattarin Ruchawapol
Dr. Dynaya Bhutipunthu
Ajarn Ploy Nikadanont
Ms. Chanakan Rojanapenkul
Mr. Poom Suksirivecharuk


Shaping the Future

For the past 36 years, Mahidol University International College’s (MUIC) has produced thousands of graduates, a good majority of whom now enjoy successful careers whether in public service or the private sector. This was made possible through the academic excellence of MUIC. Providing students with quality education has expanded their potentials, shaped their futures and enriched their lives.

One way of achieving and maintaining that academic excellence is through a professional evaluation by accreditation organizations. One of them, the ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance (AUN-QA), recently accredited two more academic programs of Mahidol University International College (MUIC), namely, Computer Science and Communication Design programs. Meanwhile, MUIC’s Chemistry Program received recognition from the American Chemical Society (ACS). They join a growing list of MUIC programs that have received accreditation.

In this issue, MUIC 360° Magazine interviews the executives, faculty members, and students who have played a part in this recent achievement. They share with us how accreditation and recognition by reputable academic organizations play a part in ensuring that MUIC remains on top of the list of leading universities in Thailand.


Asst. Prof. Dr. Patsarin Rodphothong Wongkamhang
Associate Dean for Strategic Planning and Quality Development

Dr. Patsarin heads the department responsible for facilitating the accreditation of MUIC’s academic programs, among other duties. Such an undertaking is part of the college’s forward planning or strategic steps in order to keep abreast of the times and also in positioning MUIC to be prepared for the challenges of the future.

What is the significance of AUN-QA accreditation and ACS recognition to MUIC? In what ways does accreditation enhance the capabilities of MUIC?

MUIC, as the leading liberal arts college in Thailand, continuously improves its educational offerings—especially in program curriculum structure and content, as well as other support systems—as one of its strategies. Thus, receiving international accreditation reflects MUIC’s mission and goal “to be a globally recognized international liberal arts college.” Success in this endeavor will increase MUIC visibility within and outside of Thailand. It is also a strong indication that we will continue to develop our education service to meet the students’ needs and that of the changing world.

In the process of accreditation, the programs have to review their core products and services. With this revision, programs will see the bigger picture and may realize opportunities for improvement.

What are the concrete benefits that AUN-QA accreditation and ACS recognition to the learning experience of MUIC students?

Accreditation bodies are often customer-focused. Students are definitely the most important group of customers. Every change      and improvement plan      that has      been made focuses      on making student learning experiences better.

Dr. Aram wears two hats—as lecturer mostly of mathematics courses and as Science Division Chair. Teaching math      courses in MUIC for several years now, he said, “Mathematics is a visual subject. It involves translating abstract ideas into visual images. So when students have difficulties understanding math concepts, I would ask them to visualize those concepts with real world presentation.”

He believes that mathematics is an important foundation course for all Science majors (especially Chemistry and Computer Science). “Mathematics is a language tool for all science majors. It allows scientists to communicate the quantitative aspect of their subjects.  This includes accurate measurement in chemistry, rate of change of different quantities in physics, binary number systems for representing information in computer science.

As division chair, one of his tasks is to ensure that the Science Division effectively shapes the future of its students through the academic excellence of its science programs. One way of keeping the Division in top shape is by having its programs undergo accreditation by relevant institutions, in this case, AUN-QA and ACS.


Science in Top Form

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aram Tangboonduangjit
Chair, Science Division

“AUN-QA accreditation allows the division to continuously improve and monitor the quality of education. It will also bring recognition not only to the division but also to the college in terms of academic quality and standard in the ASEAN region. We hope that it would help attract students in the ASEAN community to study with us, thereby increasing the number of students in the science programs.”

At the Cutting Edge

Asst. Prof. Dr. Kanat Tangwongsan
Faculty Member, Computer Science Program

“Our graduates—in fact, our student interns—are highly prized in the computing industry. They have strong analytical skills, deep theoretical understanding, and up-to-date practical technical skills.”

As a faculty member of the Computer Science program, Dr. Kanat strongly believes that it is in the front ranks of computer science programs in Thailand: “Our CS program is positioned to stand out as one of a kind.”

He explained: “We teach computer science as a rigorous science discipline, starting out focusing on foundation and mathematical aspects of computing, yet drawing on real-world scenarios/applications as a playground. Delivery happens through a set of well-designed introductory and core courses that integrate ideas across various areas of computing. This makes learning more engaging and fun than the siloed arrangement of traditional subject areas.”

He added that the x-factor is their tightly-knit community. “We are at a size where students and faculty members know each other personally, creating an ideal environment for personalized education. Students are supported to further their interests and passions; they have access to faculty members who have the (technical) expertise and care deeply about these students’ success and growth. Overall, this means the students get to work on many hands-on team-based projects over the years, fostering their technical and teamwork skills.”

Dr. Manchuta was part of the team that      obtained the American Chemical Society (ACS) recognition for MUIC’s Chemistry program. The process started in August 2019 and concluded in January 2022, a      rather long timeline having been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

She explained that the ACS recognition of the Chemistry program is the first in the Asia-Pacific and the third outside of the United States. “Gaining the recognition shows that our chemistry curriculum is world-class, broad-based, rigorous and aligns with the standards of ACS-approved four-year bachelor’s degree programs in the United States. These guidelines cover various aspects of chemistry education, crucial for training students to become effective scientific professionals, including curriculum, faculty and instrumentation,” she added.

The ACS recognition had a positive impact on the curriculum revision in 2020. “We refocused on core chemistry and natural science subjects and introduced a compulsory two-credit polymer course. Applied chemistry specialties are now offered through our partners (Flinders University for a double degree track and Siriraj Hospital for a BSc+MSc track).  This is one example of many tangible benefits to our students enrolling from B.E.2563 onwards,” she explained.

Dr. Manchuta is optimistic that the Chemistry program’s students will benefit much from the ACS recognition. “Graduates from ACS-approved programs in the US are better prepared for technical employment, and so should graduates from ACS-recognized programs outside of the US. Aside from a comprehensive chemistry curriculum, one concrete example is that our MUIC students have access to modern instruments both at MUIC and MU-FRF (Mahidol University Frontier Research Facility) as parts of their coursework.”

“We do our best to provide world-class chemistry education to prepare our students for the changing world and gaining the ACS recognition validates that.”

Achieving International Standards

Asst. Prof. Dr. Manchuta Dangkulwanich
Faculty Member, Chemistry Program

Shaping His Future

Mr. Dhup Bhukdee
ICCS and ICCH minor

"MUIC’s Chemistry program helped provide career opportunities for me as a research scientist. Staff members and instructors gave their best efforts in facilitating my academic growth."

Mr. Dhup Bhukdee is a senior Biological Sciences student minoring in both Chemistry and Computer Science. He recently finished his academic requirements and will soon graduate this year with a string of achievements—winning the Gold Medal in the Young Rising Stars of Science Award (2021), co-authoring a research paper in the Journal of Chemical Education in July 2020, among other notable feats.

Equally impressive is Mr. Dhup’s success in minoring in both chemistry and computer science and completing his Biological Sciences degree with first class honors in just four years.

He explained how each program complements the other:  “Chemistry gives more depth and another perspective to what is taught in biology.” On the other hand, he said, “computer science adds a new way and logical thinking into solving problems efficiently.”

He credits his intellectual growth to his mentors in the Science Division. “It was only after I attended some classes and talked to instructors that my interest was widened and led me to decide to take chemistry as a minor and later computer science.  Since my mentors know my interests and plan, they provided me with as many      opportunities.”

Mr. Dhup now has several career options available to him: He currently serves as a research assistant to his thesis advisor while he is applying for graduate studies. If this plan falls through, he said he would likely work as a data scientist or a consultant.

Successful Career

Mr. Chattarin Ruchawapol
Alumnus (Chemistry, Class of 2019)

"MUIC’s Chemistry program helped provide career opportunities for me as a research scientist. Staff members and instructors gave their best efforts in facilitating my academic growth."

Mr. Chattarin enjoys a successful career as CEO and Head of Research and Development of H.G. Health (Thailand) Co., Ltd. which focuses on beauty and skin care cosmetics with DNANON as its main skin care brand. He credits part of his career success to his studies in MUIC’s Chemistry program. He explained, “Because of hands-on-learning and critical analysis skills achieved during my undergraduate degree, especially      integrated laboratory and my senior project courses, I can manage to solve technical issues. For instance, the concepts of solubility, chemical profile, physical chemistry, and so on pave the way for my understanding of real-world business and how the combination of chemistry and other science fields of knowledge can be improvised to do such amazing work.”

Looking back, he shared what he believes as the strength of MUIC’s Chemistry program:

“Chemistry is one of the most fundamental courses, which leads to the understanding of other courses such as food chemistry, the physical and chemical profiles of numerous scientific labs including biology (human metabolism), physics (temperature, mass, or anything we can physically measure), and mathematics (energy calculation).”

He is confident of the quality of fellow graduates from MUIC that he does not hesitate to hire them in      his company. “There are many successful MUIC graduates in both business and science fields that I have met and currently work with. Science graduates from MUIC have the potential to get hired by top companies because they have a solid grounding in the most fundamental courses and they can easily learn to adapt in the company they work in.”


A Milestone in Communication Design

“The accreditation is a confirmation that we have created a high-quality, sustainable Communication Design Program that best serves the needs of our students, stakeholders and communication design field in Thailand and ultimately in the world.”

Dr. Dynaya Bhutipunthu
Faculty Member, Communication Design Program

Dr. Dynaya Bhutipunthu, who was then Program Director of Communication Design when it was starting to undergo AUN-QA accreditation, explained that the accreditation is very important in the development of the program.

The accreditation, which took place over a period of two years, required the following steps:

  • Research into leading Thai and global arts and design programs, criteria and best practices of leading industry organizations as well as 21st Century designer skills, career opportunities and global trends;
  • Aligning (and revising accordingly) the current curriculum in response to research results;
  • Refining the curriculum to the structure of the Outcome-Based Education (OBE) approach of AUN-QA;
  • Reviewing exit plan, thesis project and exhibition showcase, ensuring they are aligned with the main expected learning outcomes;
  • Submitting the curriculum to the university committee for feedback and revision;
  • Writing the SAR (Self-Assessment Report) of the program, participating in a series of workshops, experts’ reviews, and revisions; and
  • Documenting preparations for AUN-QA assessment review.

Asked in what concrete ways does the accreditation   benefit the program, Dr. Dynaya said, “The process of applying for accreditation involved interviewing experts in the industry, alumni, and current students which helped us truly understand the kinds of skills students need to learn and the type of environment we must provide to lead to the success of our graduates. It helped us to further develop the program and will eventually benefit related fields in Thailand.”  

The recent AUN-QA accreditation of the Communication Design Program was very significant because it is the first and only program of its kind in Thailand and ASEAN to be accredited by AUN-QA.

Ajarn Ploy, a faculty member of the Communication Design Program, indeed sees this as a major achievement for it enabled the faculty to take a step back, assess the program and the academic and practical needs of the CDP students, and implement      necessary improvements.


“It helped us in ensuring the quality of our teaching and learning by allowing us to examine our curriculum in order to identify strengths and weaknesses, as well as the requirements of our students and stakeholders that enable us to solve problems efficiently.”

Asked about the capabilities and potentials of their students, Ajarn Ploy replied, “The strength of the CDP students is their creativity. They take advantage of their rough and raw craftsmanship to create their own unique style.”

“The Communication Design Program’s AUN-QA accreditation signifies its quality standing in the ASEAN level. Yes, we are one of the leading programs.”

One of the Leading Programs

Ajarn Ploy Nikadanont
Faculty Member, Communication Design Program

Mentoring Young Artists

“The CDP program provides us not only with knowledge but also valuable experience and a warm family environment.”

Ms. Chanakan Rojanapenkul
4th Year Student, Communication Design

For Ms. Chanakan Rojanapenkul, a 4th Year Communication Design student, a typical day in their studio class can only be described as “hectic, experimental, yet fun day.”

She explained, “Our professors start by assigning our task, and then we try to figure out our own solution to achieve our target. It’s hectic because everybody’s all over the place; no one really knows where to start, and no one really knows how the audience will perceive our works. But it’s fun for me because I get to see all the successful yet weird outputs I have made.”


She emphasized the importance of such a learning process: “These classes train me by allowing me to experiment independently and recognize my capabilities at my own pace. The professors would only guide us to what they believed could help solve our problems rather than telling us what’s supposed to be the correct answer or method. Our professors believe that we learn more through experience than on only theories.”


Most important is the strong support that students receive from their teachers. “My mentor, Ajarn Dow (Dr. Dynaya Bhutipunthu), encourages me to slowly figure out how to solve the problem I am facing and be able to give alternative solutions. And she also praises me when I achieve it.”

In the end, all of these lead to success. One of Ms. Chanakan’s achievements is having her team’s entry (a post-COVID travel app for Gen Z called “Scooch”) be accepted in ImaginAsia 2021.

Ready for Professional Work

“MUIC’s Communication Design Program does not simply train you to be a professional designer but also to be a critical thinker who knows how to apply creative and design thinking to achieve solutions to problems.”

Mr. Poom Suksirivecharuk
4th Year Student, Communication Design

According to Mr. Poom Suksirivecharuk, the Communication Design Program prepares its students to be ready for professional work even before graduating. “By the time we reach our third year, we would have      already learned all the major fundamental skills that are required for us to take a simple freelance job or enter a design competition. Many CDP ajarns and alumni share news about design competition, internships, jobs and other career opportunities anytime there is one available.”

He said that under the program, each student is allowed to grow at his own pace. “We all go through each design step at a different speed.” However, he added that “when it comes to a team project, students learn to respect their      fellow members’ design methods and thus synchronize our respective paces to work within the given timeline. In the program, not only do they teach us the hard skills of different techniques and design tools, in both digital and traditional platforms, but, more importantly, the CDP studio class also develops our soft skills through activities that require teamwork and more.” This results in success for most of the students’ individual      and team projects, Mr. Poom said.

“Accreditation such as AUN-QA forces us to look real hard at ourselves in the mirror, and describe all the blemishes and beauty spots. This is definitely not something we'd normally do—it's just too uncomfortable. In a way, the exercise has helped highlight our strengths and weaknesses. It has given us an opportunity to identify and articulate roadblocks that the program needs help with.”
- Dr. Kanat Tangwongsan Faculty Member, Computer Science Program
Faculty Member, Computer Science Program

As can be seen from the above quotes, the recent AUN-QA accreditation and ACS recognition achieved by the Computer Science and Communication Design programs and Chemistry Program, respectively, demonstrates MUIC’s continuing endeavor to achieve world-class standards and make it the top international liberal arts college in Thailand.


What’s the significance of AUN-QA accreditation to your program?

“The Communication Design Program at MUIC is the first and only program of its kind in Thailand and ASEAN to be accredited by AUN-QA. This is greatly significant in terms of the development of the Communication Design Program and in turn will also benefit related fields of study in Thailand. It motivates us to continue improving the program to be the best and for the benefit of our students. Our ultimate goal is that the program’s graduates are equipped with portfolios to apply for any communication design job opportunities anywhere in the world.”
- Dr. Dynaya Bhutiphuntu
Faculty Member, Communication Design Program

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